Judges 8:27 Worshipping The Blessing

Golden ephod

Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there and it became a snare to Gideon and his family. Judges 8:26 

Getting a gift or blessing from someone or a group for something that was done extra is always a good thing. It shows a person that he is honored and his extra work is recognized.

Companies and organizations around the world will often have times of honoring those who do the work. They recognize people who have gone above and beyond their job or position. The honor can be one of many things, such as a plaque, gift of money, a gift card, a picture, name in a newsletter, an extra vacation, and nearly anything the mind can think of.

There is nothing wrong with getting honored with a gift. However, there are some people who worship that gift.

After Gideon had defeated the Midianites, the people had given him some of the gold from the plunder they had taken. This gold was melted down and made into an ephod. Immediately the people and Gideon started to worship that ephod. It was as though the ephod had saved them from the Midianites.

Not only do people in the world tend to worship the blessing that was given, there are people in the church who have done the same thing. They may not say it is God, but they talk about the honor given as though it is the best thing in all of life. They keep it clean and posted where everyone can see it, and they make sure that people see it.

This is taking the honor of what God has done away from Him. It is focusing on what self did. The blessing ends up being worshipped more than God.

Take a look at your own life. What honors have you received over the years? How do you respond to those honors?

Be careful to keep you eyes and focus upon God. When people talk about the honor or blessing, point them back to God as the one who helped you do what you did.

Do not allow the honor or the blessing take the throne of your life or anyone else’s life. Do not allow it to become a snare pulling you away from God.

Everyone deserves some honor, but keep it in the right perspective–God made it possible.

I pray today that you will recognize God’s work through you; that you will give God the honor due to Him; that you will not worship things or positions in your life; and that you will worship only God. 

Exodus 28:11-12 Remembering Others

“Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a gem cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in filigree settings and fasten them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. Aaron is to bear the names on his shoulders as a memorial before the LORD.” Exodus 28:11-12

One of the pieces that Aaron was to wear was the ephod. This was two pieces of stone that had the names of all of the sons of Israel (formerly Jacob). These sons were now the various tribes of the nation of Israel. The names of each of the sons were to be engraved on the stones. Then this ephod was worn on his shoulder as a memorial before God.

Wearing this ephod had to have been somewhat heavy. It was made of stone and had to be large enough to engrave twelve names on it with gems in each name.

Aaron was to bear the weight of the people as he went before God. He would be told all of their sins and faults and have to present them before God. It was a heavy burden for him to have to bear.

This was what had to occur until Jesus came. When Jesus died and rose again, He was the one who now bears the names of the people before God. He is the one who takes responsibility for the actions of the people. He pays the price for all wrong doing.

Although you cannot pay the price for someone else, you can hold them up before God. You can keep on your shoulders the needs of others. When you go to God in prayer you will then remember all of the needs of others around you. At that time you can present them to God on behalf of others.

Often people put their own needs first and forget about others. Aaron was not allowed to do that. Today you are called a priest after Jesus. You are now a part of the holy priesthood of Jesus.

Are you willing to put on the ephod for others?

Are you willing to bear their names before God, to bring their needs before God?

Or are you only looking out for yourself?

I pray today that you will seek God’s help for others; that you will bear their needs to God in prayer; that you will not be only self-seeking in your prayers to God; and that God will meet the needs of many lives through you.