It’s easy to understand why Gideon took some time to verify God’s call. He wasn’t a warrior, yet God was calling him to lead troops into battle. He wasn’t very strong, but God was calling him to a position of power. He was afraid and God called him to face his fears on the front line of battle. Gideon had many reasons to doubt that it was really God calling him. But he did not run away. He asked God to give him signs to make sure it was God and the LORD gave him all the proof he needed. Then, it was time to act.
That same night the LORD said to him, "Take the second bull from your father's herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father's altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering." So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. (Judges 6:25-27 NIV)
Gideon knew that the work God was calling him to do would be unpopular. I don’t mean unpopular as in standing on a street corner trying to evangelize people. I mean unpopular as in, “They will take you out back and stone you to death.” Gideon was afraid of their reaction, but was faithful to the LORD. God did not disappoint.
In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal's altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar! They asked each other, "Who did this?" When they carefully investigated, they were told, "Gideon son of Joash did it." The people of the town demanded of Joash, "Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal's altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it." But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, "Are you going to plead Baal's cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar." So because Gideon broke down Baal's altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal that day, saying, "Let Baal contend with him." (Judges 6:28-32 NIV)
Gideon survived their wrath that day. God protected him. This would begin a pattern that Gideon would follow. God calls him to a mission. Gideon asks God to confirm that it is Him. The LORD provides proof. Gideon acts. I encourage you to read the rest of the story in Judges 6:33-8:28. It is encouraging to see God working through a normal person like you and me.
How about you? Do you hear God when He calls? Do you ask God to confirm the calling? When the LORD provides proof, do you act?