Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the LORD. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.”  But the LORD said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.”  Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and called it, The LORD Is Peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.
 That night the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it  and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.”  So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night.
This is a really crazy-bold thing that God is asking Gideon to do!
Gideon’s faith is sure. He has declared that he believes this is a messenger from God and he even made an alter to the Lord there. He named it Yahweh-Shalom. That is like naming it “God gave us victory” or “God restored everything” because what they DON’T have right now is peace.
Gideon built that entire altar, made his declaration of faith, and then that was it. No further instructions. No further plan.
Until later that day, at night – even, the Lord gives him another bold command. He is to take the two bulls that his father was preparing and keeping for a sacrifice, tear down his dad’s altar and idol that the bulls were to be sacrificed to, and sacrifice them to Yahweh somewhere else! Yahweh was the one true God, the God of Israel that led them out of Egypt, and Gideon’s dad was worshiping Asherah. Some translations say “Asherah poles” but the archeological community can’t decide if they were actual poles or not. They have found poles in the region that were monuments to a goddess of fertility, but there are still different theories.
What we do know is clear, Gideon has just stolen his dad’s idols and sacrifice, and he’s about to turn the whole place toward the True God of Israel in a public way. Doing it by night would be a little secret, but a new altar up on the wall, a desecrated pagan temple, and TWO dead bulls would not go unnoticed.
Sometimes God calls people to do radical things. Sometimes God calls people to do things in secret. Either way, He is kind to us. He didn’t ask Gideon to tear down his dad’s religion on first contact. He walked with Gideon and helped him to grow in his faith. He knew what Gideon needed and the absolutely perfect way for Gideon to walk out God’s plan for his life. We have nothing to fear from the God of Peace, but we can be sure that as we grow in faith with Him, we may grow in the adventure with Him too.