Friday after the Third Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Judges 6:25-40 (NKJV)
25 Now it came to pass the same night that the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it; 26 and build an altar to the LORD your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.”
27 So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the LORD had said to him. But because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night. 28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, there was the altar of Baal, torn down; and the wooden image that was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was being offered on the altar which had been built. 29 So they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And when they had inquired and asked, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.” 30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has torn down the altar of Baal, and because he has cut down the wooden image that was beside it.” 31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Would you plead for Baal? Would you save him? Let the one who would plead for him be put to death by morning! If he is a god, let him plead for himself, because his altar has been torn down!”
32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, “Let Baal plead against him, because he has torn down his altar.” 33 Then all the Midianites and Amalekites, the people of the East, gathered together; and they crossed over and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. 35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came up to meet them. 36 So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said—37 look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.”
38 And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.”
40 And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.
On the night after the Lord visited Gideon and strengthened Him with the Promise, God directed Gideon to remove the idolatry of his father, Joash, by tearing down the altar of Baal. Afterwards, Gideon was to build an altar to the LORD God and sacrifice a seven-year-old bull, showing forth the end of the seven years of oppression. By means of this sign the Israelites were to know that their punishment had come to an end and that God had accepted the sacrifice.
Jesus made our sacrifice and atoned for the sins of the world. The announcement, “It is finished,” bears witness to the Father’s acceptance. Hanging on a cross, Christ was, in fact, cursed, so that we would be set free from an eternal oppression.
In unbelief, the men of the city cry out to Joash asking for Gideon’s death, as did the Jewish leaders who handed Jesus over to Pontius Pilate. Unlike Pilate who gave in to their requests, Joash turns it all over to Baal saying, “Let Baal plead against him, because he has torn down his altar.” Although Baal can do nothing, the cry of the chief priests, “He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” are answered on Easter morning. Romans 1:4, Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”
Like the dew of the fleece, Jesus is the only blessed One from Heaven, while we are dry and dead in sin. Yet through His Redemption, we are drenched with heavenly blessings and Jesus alone receive the curse of the Cross.