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. 

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Judges 7:2 Your Strength VS God’s

Scene on a lake

The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Judges 7:2 

When a person does something, he usually automatically thinks that he did it himself, with no other help. People often forget those that had helped them get to where they are at and believe that they did it in their own strength and power.

The Israelites had been under control of the Midianites for a time. After crying out to God, He decided to raise up Gideon to destroy the Midianites. Gideon had brought together a large army, that was large enough to fight back at the Midianites. God immediately said that he had too many men to fight. If they fought and won, the Israelites would think that they did it themselves without the help of God. They would then go back to following false idols rather than God.

Although people forget about other people who have helped them get to where they are, there are very few who remember God’s help in the situation. Since God is unseen, they often do not give Him the credit He deserves.

Ultimately there is nothing that a person can do without the help of God. A person cannot even breath or move without God’s favor. A person cannot even be born without the hand of God in it.

It is easy to think that self did it, when God is unseen, but God is still there. Every believer must keep His focus on God and God’s abilities, not the abilities of self. Everything that a believer can do, is done only because God gave that ability.

He must not allow pride to come in thinking that he did it all by himself.

There will come times when you appear to accomplish some great task. Be careful to give God the credit for what was done, rather than take it on yourself. God is the One who is to be in control of your whole life, not you.

When others honor you with a great work done, turn the honor over to God and tell others that it is by His grace and power you did what you did. Do not allow pride to destroy you or turn you away from trusting God with everything in your life.

Let God be the One in control with the power.

I pray today that you will know the power of God in your life; that you will not try to do things without God; that you will allow God to work through you, using you; and that you will allow God to remove all pride in your life. 

Judges 8:23-24 Going Back To Idols

No sooner had Gideon died then the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their God and did not remember the LORD their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. Judges 8:23-24

Under God’s direction, with three hundred men, Gideon had defeated the Midianites and set the Israelites free again. While he was alive the people served and followed God. As soon as Gideon had died the people started worshipping idols again and rejected God.

When a person is around another believer it is easy to follow God. The other person keeps him accountable to following God. However, when that person is not around, it is common to see the person stop following God.

This happens as children are raised in a Christian home, but when they leave home to go off to college, they reject God, because their parents are not there to point them to God.

Every Sunday, there are many people who go to church and appear to be serving God very well. When Monday comes they are a completely different person. They serve self and this world and reject God. They quickly go back to idols.

It is the peer pressure of those around them. They act according to the ways of who is around them. Israel did the same thing. When Gideon was around, they followed God. When he was gone, they did as the nations around them did, worshipping Baal.

In your life, you should be focused on following God. This should happen regardless of who is following Him or who is not following Him. It should happen regardless of who is around you.

Do not allow the world to be an influence on you, be the influence in this world. Do not go back to the idols of this world, but serve and worship God each and everyday.

Do not allow yourself to go back to your old ways, but live for God.

Are you worshipping God alone?

Or have you returned to some idols?

I pray today that you will focus your life on worshipping God alone; that you will not be led to worship idols; that God will strengthen you to reject all idols in your life; and that you will live for God alone.

 

Judges 6:15 Who, Me?

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Judges 6:15

The Israelites had turned away from God and started worshipping false idols. God gave them into the hands of the Midianites, who oppressed them severely. After a time they cried out to God for help.

God sent an angel to Gideon to tell him that he was the one to deliver the people from the Midianites. Gideon questions God saying that his clan was the weakest and that in his class and family, he was the least.

There are times in life when God will ask someone to do something very grand. It may be something he has never done before and is a larger undertaking than he has ever done. The first question many people have is who…me?

Most people do not see themselves as doing anything really great for God or in this world. They may have tried various things and have failed, so they give up dreaming big. They do not see as God sees things. They do not believe in the power and abilities of God. They see themselves as weak little failures that cannot do anything for God.

As a believer, these types of thoughts should never enter your mind or heart. In Jesus you are more than a conqueror. Jesus gave you all His power, and He has absolute authority and all power on this earth. If Jesus can take a few fish and feed thousands, or calm a stormy sea, or part the waters, or raise the dead, don’t you think that He can do great things through you?

David was just a little shepherd boy, when God called him to be a king. Gideon was just a man trying to make a living, when God called him to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites.

What is God calling you to do?

How are you answering Him? Yes, send me. Or are you saying, “who, me”?

Allow God to use you in great ways today and everyday. Be open to what He wants to do in and through you.

I pray today that you will hear God’s calling for your life; that you will trust God in what He wants you to do; that you will rely on God’s strength and direction; and that God will use you to bring many to Jesus in this world.