Talks for Growing Christians
Gideon Passes a Test of Faith
Lesson Number 9
- God tests a believer's faith close to home.
- God tests a believer's faith close to the heart.
- Let's be more than iconoclasts.
- Let's find a way to obey.
- Before Gideon could go out and defeat the Midianites in the strength of the Lord, he had to be tested. What was the test, and what was its purpose?
- Who was Baal? What was he supposed to do?
- Describe an altar to Baal. Who was Ashteroth?
- Why did the men of the city want to kill Gideon?
- What was Gideon's father's response to this act of Gideon's?
- Define the word, "idol."
- Define the word, "iconoclast."
- The test was to tear down the altar of Baal that his father had built, and to replace it with an altar to the Lord. Its purpose was to test Gideon's faith.
- Baal was the prominent pagan god of the land. He supposedly controlled the weather, and thus the fertility and productivity of the land.
- The altar was constructed of large stone, sometimes measuring 15 ft. across and 5 ft. high. The wooden image of Ashteroth represented the female counterpart of Baal.
- Gideon had torn down the altar to Baal, which was used by all the town.
- He stood up for Gideon, saying, "If Baal is a god, he can defend himself."
- An idol is anything that takes the place of God in a believer's life.
- An iconoclast is one who destroys religious images or icons.
- Before Gideon could go out and prove his faith by fighting, he had to prove his faith at home. This involved being a faithful witness before his own family and before his own community. Was this easy for Gideon? How has your faith been tested close to home? Has it been easy for you?
- If God is not first in a believer's heart, to a certain extent that believer is involved in idolatry. Is there something ahead of God on your priority list? Every idol must go if the believer is to be successful in spiritual warfare. Baals must be torn down and replaced by an altar to God.
- Gideon was more than an iconoclast. He not only tore down the alter to Baal, but he replaced it with an altar to the Lord. Are you only an iconoclast, having rid your life of idols? Or are you building up altars to the Lord, filling your life with the things of God? Try this test: How is 1) your prayer life? 2) your depth of Bible study? 3) your thought life? We are to cast down everything that exalts itself above God. See 2 Corinthians 10:5, Colossians 3:2, and Romans 12:2.
- When Gideon realized the improbability of tearing down the altar of Baal in broad daylight, he did it at night. He found a way to obey. Are you finding ways to obey in sharing your faith with others? Are you afraid? Be like Gideon - find a way to obey.
- "Tear down the altar of Baal and build an altar to the Lord." Judges 6:25-26 "Keep yourselves from idols." 1 John 5:21