The primary responsibility of a change agent is to upset the status quo. A lot of times, bad practices are no more than superstitions that have become embedded in the culture. It worked once and so it became a lucky charm or a secret ritual that everyone followed and eventually relied on to get a certain outcome. I think the most superstitious people I have seen are athletes, especially in professional sports.
I don’t know much about pagan worship, but I believe it is mostly superstitions and rituals that have become a way of life and can be compared to going to church every week and expecting to become a better person because you do it consistently. Idol worshippers are very religious people, they don’t really care what they have to do as long as their worship brings about the desired result.
Gideon’s first assignment as God’s change agent was to “Take they 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. And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down” (Judges 6:25-26). This would definitely be perceived as an act of rebellion against his father and an offence to all the Baal worshippers in the area. Gideon knew his life would be in danger if he did what the LORD asked him to.
“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 father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night:” (Judges 6:27). Gideon was not a brave man or should I say a bold man. It took courage to do what the LORD asked him to, but he wasn’t ready to throw caution to the wind and publicly antagonize the enemies of God.
Gideon most likely feared his father’s household because they were numerous and strong. Gideon’s father may have been a leader in the town of Ophrah and because of his wealth was an example to others of how to get ahead in life. It’s possible that Joash was only faking his worship of Baal in order to gain an advantage with the Midianites. When the men of the city demanded that Joash turn his son over to them so that they could kill him, Joash responded, “if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar” (Judges 6:31).