“And it was in the night that Yahweh said to him, ‘Take the ox which is your father’s and a bull, the second one being seven-years old. And destroy the altar to Ba’al which is your father’s and the cut down the Asherah which is beside it. Then build an altar to Yahweh on the top of that row of stones. Take the second bull and make a burnt offering go up with the wood of the Asherah which you cut down.”
Following worship comes the cleaning of house. Interestingly, it seems that his own father is the one to whom the altar to Ba’al belongs, suggesting that perhaps his father was functioning as a priest to the people of his village. Given that Joash (Gideon’s father) was of the Tribe of Manasseh, not a Levite, once again it seems that man is doing what man wants to do, not what God has determined to be right — such seems to be the story of mankind.
In the end, though, God will not share his glory with anyone or anything and he will not have that glory confused with the worship of worldly and pagan things. Thus, before God works through Gideon, God requires Gideon to purge his father’s household, and by extension, his community, of the pagan altars and to establish right worship for those who would follow Him.
As I look around the churches in our culture today I am largely convinced that before God will do a work of reformation and revival in our world, a lot of altars to Ba’al and Asherahs need to be brought down and destroyed. Worship that is man-centered and celebrity centered needs to be turned into rubble. Worship that is idolatrous needs to be burned along with the songs that have more in common with humanistic worldviews than with Biblical teachings. And we need to turn all of our thoughts toward God as directed by His Word. Then, when the church is in humble repentance at the fire of man-made things, man-made priorities, and man-made ideas about God, then, I believe we will see the hand of God begin to work in our nation.