And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said to him, Take your father's young bullock…
May not we all learn from what is here recorded not to shrink from boldly and promptly assailing and seeking to uproot all moral evils, which have already become chronic, or threaten ere long to become so. Half measures, in regard to such matters as those to which we refer, never succeed. The more thoroughly the iron will of a Cromwell combines with the sterling spirituality of a John the better fitted is the reformer for his difficult and delicate task. It will never do for one in his circumstances to act in a spirit of compromise, where truth and principle demand the prompt, vigorous, and unsparing application of the sledge-hammer and the axe. But if firmness and decision are indispensable in dealing with public abuses, whether in Church or State, they are no less indispensable in dealing with the corruption of our own hearts and any evil habits which we may have contracted. It is peculiarly necessary that we set ourselves resolutely and vigorously to the work of self-reformation — a work which, while it must always take the precedence of every other kind of rectification, can never succeed if attempted in our own strength. Cheered and sustained by the Divine promise, so freely and largely given to those who are sincere in their desire to reform their own hearts and lives, let every one apply the pruning-knife with nerve and determination to the overgrowth of what is false in principle or vicious in practice, and lop it off without remorse (Mark 9:43-48). Another lesson to be derived from Gideon's conduct on this occasion is the duty of obeying the commands of God with unquestioning promptitude. Too rash and impetuous we may be, but we can never be too prompt. Instructive as the example of Gideon is, still more so is that of his Master and our Exemplar who, when the bitter cup of retribution due to us was put into His hand and He was satisfied that it was indeed the will of His Father that He should drink it, drank it to the very dregs.
(W. W. Duncan, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:
WEB: It happened the same night, that Yahweh said to him, "Take your father's bull, even the second bull seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is by it;