2010-04-19 - Parental Lessons from Joash
The Good, the Bad, and the Godly ~ Part 12
"They asked each other, 'Who did this?' When they carefully investigated, they were told, 'Gideon son of Joash did it.' The men 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.'"(Judges 6:29-31)
Gideon was threshing wheat, when he came face to face with an angel. Here he was doing manual labor, and an angel tells him that he is a mighty warrior, and that God is with him. Gideon asked the angel, if God was with him, then why was his country, Israel, being attacked by the Midianites? Gideon was told his strength would save Israel, and that the Lord would be present. Gideon had reservations. He would rather stay with the weak tribe, then be a mighty warrior. At times, change can be intimidating, even if the difference is better for us in the long run.
God was very patient with Gideon. He reassured him He would be with Gideon, and that Israel would have the victory. Gideon still needed reassurance, and asked God if he had favor in His eyes. God said yes. Gideon still wanted a sign; okay, perhaps he was an over cautious guy. He brought a sacrifice to God, to make sure it was His voice Gideon was hearing. It was. How else do you explain fire coming from a rock, and engulfing the sacrifice?
Gideon felt God leading him to tear down his dad's altar to Baal, god of thunder. In its place, Gideon was to build an altar to God. He did the task, but did the demolition at night, for fear of his family and community. In the morning, when people saw Baal's altar demolished, it didn't take them long to come up with Gideon as a culprit. The people demanded he die. Fortunately Joash came to his son's defense, and told the people if Baal was a god, he would not need defending from mortals.
Gideon had the protection of two fathers, the Lord and Joash. Joash stuck up for his son. Joash did not ask Gideon why he defamed his property. He did not act disappointed or judgmental. His focus was saving his son's life. Because of Joash's reaction and comments, the people backed down, and Gideon's life was spared.
Lord, If You want me to fix a situation, show me how. Like Gideon, give me the strength. At times, I am not one hundred percent convinced You will do what You said You would, but help me have faith. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.