Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his fathers household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night (Judges 6:27).
Serving God is tough work, but someone has to do it. In this situation Gideon was responding to the Lords instruction (v.25). Gideon was to throw down the altar of Baal, cut down the religious wooden grove beside it, and build an altar unto the Lord in the formers place where a bullock was to be offered. All this was done, but due to Gideons fear, it was done at night. The outcome of the affair did not seem to hinge on how Gideon accomplished the request. Everyone learned who led the raid, and the men of the city called for Gideons death. Joash, in a skilled defense, pled his case and Gideon was released. So what are we to think about how Gideon did the job?
Herein lies the believers freedom. Each of us is challenged, on occasion, with commitments to serve the Lord. The instructions are simple and unspecificconfront evil wherever we see it. There could be a right way versus a wrong way to do it, in which case we should consider that problem in fulfilling the commitment. Still, each of us feels comfortable handling difficult circumstances in different ways. Gideons fear led him to act by night rather than day. Was this cowardly? Probably not. He knew the consequence of the act.
What Gideon did is discussed in I Peter 2:15,16. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Let us serve God according to our need in carrying out His service; let us stay on the task and not wander, thus to use a cloak to justify the extraneous things we do. KBC