Revolution Begins with Reform at the Home Office

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October 12, 2021

Judges 6:20-24 (NIV)

25 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. 26 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.”

CONSIDER THIS

Reviewing our Words of Encouragement from the story of Gideon so far:

  1. God chooses the unlikely to accomplish the impossible.
  2. A change of life only begins with a change of heart. 

Today we come to yet a third encouraging word– or at least it is a word that requires encouragement to undertake. Yet before that, let’s once again revisit our working definition of biblical encouragement. 

To “encourage” in the biblical sense of the term, is to stand in the stead and agency of Jesus, participating in the work of the Holy Spirit, to minister grace to human beings at the level of their inner person, communicating, conveying, and imparting life, love, courage, comfort, consolation, joy, peace, hope, faith, and other dispensations and manifestations of the Kingdom of Heaven as the moment invites or requires.

Now to the challenging encouragement from today’s text:

3. Revolution begins with reform at the home office. 

Tear down your father’s altar to Baal

Whatever Gideon was hoping he might hear from God, I can assure you it was not this. It reminds me of that time as a kid when my best friend took it on himself to throw away an entire carton of his father’s cigarettes. 

Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.

Here’s how I imagine Gideon’s inner response went, “Come on Lord. We made peace. Remember our altar moments? You and me are back now. Things are good. Cozy even. Can we just work on having some better devotional times together. Why do you have to take it here so all of a sudden. This is not what I signed on for.” 

And that’s the problem isn’t it? We want God to comfort us in our problematic life. We want him to bring the cozy into our chaos, to hold our hand, to make it better. In this frame, faith becomes more escape than engagement. We must remember verse four and what drove us to our knees to begin with:

They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. 

Even worse is verse two which reminds us how we allowed ourselves to deal with such oppression:

Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds.

There is only one reason the people of God find themselves exiled in their own home. It’s because their home has become compromised through allegiances and alliances with other gods, with false teaching, with counterfeit gospels and idolatrous ideologies. The problem is not “out there” in the culture. That’s the symptom. The problem is “in here.” After all, it is the very first commandment:

You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3

Revolution begins with reform in the home office. 

Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.

This takes enormous courage. There is perhaps no more essential encouragement that we have need to receive and to give to others. 

Revolution begins with reform in the home office. 

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God. 1 Peter 4:17a. 

THE PRAYER

Father, let the revolution of awakening begin with reform in my heart and at my home office. Where have I compromised my allegiance to your sovereignty by some alliance with a lesser god, some other solution that promises comfort or prosperity. Is it money or some other addiction that has trapped me and made me an exile in my own home?  So I continue to pray, Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to search me and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. In Jesus name, Amen. 

THE QUESTION

Where are your altars to Baal? Remember, they are easier to spot in your neighbor’s house. Never start there. Always begin with your heart and your home. “Then you will see clearly . . . ” 

P.S.

Ok Preachers and Pastors and Candlestick makers in our midst—If you haven’t gotten your plans for Advent together yet, I’ve got a deal for you. Check it out here. 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

1 COMMENT

  1. I perceive that this lesson would lead us to take on a prophetic role. No prophet/reformer will be well received in his hometown. Just look how well Jesus was received in Nazareth. No body wants to hear that the easy/comfortable forms of Christianity they’ve been practicing is in conflict with Scripture. I believe this role truly requires the Spiritual Gift of prophecy to be effective. But I’m in total agreement that to experience an awakening will require a multitude of prophets.

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