Destroying the Pagan Altar

The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church...grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil.&quo … More

Gideon’s father had set up an idol to Baal in a grove of trees on their land like the heathen nations around them. It is one thing to meet God in secrecy at the winepress and quite another thing for Gideon to take a stand for the Lord with his own family and in public. That very night God tested Gideon’s dedication by asking him to tear down his fathers’ heathen altar and to build an altar to Jehovah (vv. 25-26). In addition to this he was to sacrifice his fathers’ special bullock (probably reserved for Baal) on the new altar.

Gideon’s task to tear down the altar was no small task as this pagan shrine was huge. Also it had great importance in the society of that day. Gideon obeyed the Lord, but he did not do it in the broad light of day because of his fear of what the inhabitants of the city and even the members of his own household might do to him (v. 27). Gideon chose ten of his servants to help him, and they did everything God had said. The fact that his fears were well founded is evidenced in the next few verses.

As you might expect, when the local Baal - worshipers discovered the deed the next morning they were furious and immediately started looking for the person who was responsible for destroying their altar of Baal (v. 28). And they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And when they searched and asked, they were told, Gideon son of Joash has done this thing (v. 29).


Christian testimony has to begin at home. Often it may be necessary for me to show my faith by some open witness to my family and friends. No matter how humble my service may be as a more mature believer I can not tolerate a pet idol in my own heart. I need to ask myself often if there anything that stands between me and God?

Judges 6:25-29 (English Standard Version)

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