While reading my way through the Bible, I stumbled upon one of my favorite accounts about Gideon. Instead of a usual reading this time, his careful attention to sacrifices stood out to me. Even though I've been reading over and over again about people offering sacrifices to the Lord, suddenly I thought, "Wow. Those things took a LOT of time."
"Gideon went in, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meant in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak."
It's so tempting for me to read right over these type of passages. The writer could have just written, "And then Gideon went in and prepared an offering to sacrifice before the Lord." But the writer doesn't say that. Instead, there is a nice little detailed description about the exact offering given.
But besides what he put into the offering, just think about how long it took him to do so. It wasn't a ten-minute devotion, or a lofty half hour prayer. It probably wasn't even an hour of worship. I bet it took this guy the better part of his afternoon.
I tend to pat myself on the back for just getting up and spending maybe twenty minutes with God every day... and here these people are, back then in the OT, sacrificing not only their food and livelihoods, but also their time and energy. And I mean, lots of time and energy.
Later on in the chapter (and I recommend re-reading this account in Judges 6 if you have time), God asks him to tear down an Asherah pole. Gideon takes (read this) ten men and spends basically all night tearing it down, and then rebuilding an altar to the Lord.
I feel like I have lots to learn from this Gideon fellow.