The Lord’s command to Gideon was that he was to destroy the false worship center built to Baal on his father’s property. He was to build a true altar of worship to the Lord on the very same location and offer a burnt sacrifice to the Lord. The bull he was instructed to offer was to be seven years old, that is, mature and fully grown. The purpose of this burnt sacrifice was to provide atonement or reconciliation with God. In it God provided the only way to approach Him in order to become reconciled and acceptable to God. A person secured atonement or reconciliation with God through the substitute sacrifice. The sacrifice was to be totally consumed by fire, symbolic that the sacrifice paid the full ransom to free the believer from sin and death; the sacrifice bore the full punishment of God’s justice and judgment that was due the sinner. Keep in mind that the burnt offering was a type of Christ, a picture of Christ, dying as the substitute sacrifice for us.
No doubt, God instructed Gideon to offer a burnt sacrifice to demonstrate a renewed reconciliation and recommitment to God. Whatever the case, Gideon was given a most difficult assignment, that of destroying the false worship center of his father and neighbors. Gideon knew what any person in that position would know, if he obeyed the Lord, he would be risking his life. For tearing down a worship center and constructing an altar of worship to one’s own God upon the same sight was the ultimate indignity against Gideon’s father and neighbors. He could expect only the most severe consequences, perhaps even mob rage and violence. This fact clearly demonstrated the strong courage and dedication of Gideon.
Are there any altars in your life that God has commanded you to tear down?
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