After his commission and calling, God gave a specific command to Gideon. He must tear down the Altar of Baal and the pole of Asherah that his father owned. Such a radical order signifies total sacrifice on the part of Gideon. Imagine, this is not just any altar. The altar is a center of religious worship that his family and his clan owned.
So how did Gideon accomplish this? Simple, he took ten of his servants and tore it down in the night instead of a day time. The author of Judges specifically wrote that he did this because “he was afraid of his family and the townspeople” (Judg. 6:27). In the morning, anger filled the entire town as they witnessed how the altar of Baal and the pole of Asherah had been desecrated! Strangely, Gideon did not stand up and explain what he had done. He did not rebuke the townpeople for their lack of faith in God. He did not even dare to face them all by himself. Instead of taking responsibility for his action and calling the people to reformation, Gideon stays silent and hides behind his father. In fact, it is Joash who rebuke the people and deal with them wisely and gently. The opening act of Gideon reveals that this judge is someone who is riddled with insecurities.
Nevertheless, Gideon still received the Spirit of the Lord. It was this event that somehow gave him the courage to “blew a trumpet” and summoning all Israelites to battle. This act of bravery seems to suggest personality growth. The shy and hesitant warrior has been invigorated by the indomitable spirit of God.
But did the Spirit of God transform his personality? No! Even after he receives the Spirit of God, Gideon is unsure of his victory. He asks for a sign from God, and God entertains his request. Not once, not twice, but three times. On the first and second signs, God adjusted His revelation with Gideon’s request (Judg. 6:36-40). Despite seeing what happened to the dew and the fleece, Gideon remains doubtful and insecure. The fact that God only provided him with 300 warriors made him more anxious. Then God told Gideon to sneak out into the Midianites Camp. During infiltration, Gideon heard how two Midianites soldiers talking about a strange dream and how this dream serves as a bad omen of what is to come. It was only then, Gideon became convinced.
Isn’t it a little bit ironic? Despite being filled with the Spirit of God, Gideon remains insecure and full of self-doubt. The Spirit of God has the power to enable us to achieve great things, but It cannot overcome our insecurity and self-doubt.
The good news is, God never forsaken Gideon. He continues to affirm who he is and convinces him through various means so that Gideon will be confident of His promise to him. God never gave up on Gideon.
Are you dealing with insecurity and self-doubt? If God chose Gideon regardless of his weaknesses, He also has the same plan for you.