Now on the same night the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s bull and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it; and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner, and take a second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.” [Judges 6:25-26]
This is something I overlooked when reading the story of Gideon, until someone pointed it out. When I read it, my understanding was Gideon was instructed to destroy the altar of Baal and the wooden idol, and after that, he was to build an altar to the LORD and offer a burnt offering. It sounded like a restoration to proper worship. Matthew Henry wrote in his commentary that “Gideon must not think it enough not to worship at that altar; he must throw it down, and offer sacrifice on another. It was needful he should make peace with God, before he made war on Midian.”
What I failed to notice was the 2 bulls involved, or rather what the LORD knew.
The instruction reveals that the LORD was aware that
- there were at least 2 bulls Gideon’s father had
- one of the bulls was 7 years old
- which bull was suitable to be a burnt offering
- Gideon would need 2 bulls to complete the assignment
If my understanding is correct and acceptable, this shows that the LORD knows what we have (ie our assets, properties, talents, and so on) and which of these can be put to use for His work.