Read Judges 8 -- 9
In Today's Reading:
Vengeance is Mine . . . says the Lord (Romans 12:19; see also Deuteronomy 32:35) and vengeance now is heaped upon those who had caused Israel to sin at Peor (Numbers 31:16), we find the bramble bush who feels he should rule (Judges 9:15) and a tragic revolt takes place.
Verse for Today:
The men of Ephraim said to him, Why have you served us thus, that you did not call us, when you went to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply (Judges 8:1).
The Ephraimites criticize Gideon; kings of Midian slain; Gideon foolishly makes an ephod; his death; Gideon's son Abimelech murders 70 of his brothers; Abimelech's "accidental" death.
God chose Gideon, a peasant from the small half-tribe of Manasseh within Canaan, to defeat the Midianites (Judges 6:15). No one from the larger tribe of Ephraim was chosen by God to be in Gideon's army of 300 men -- possibly because of their arrogant spirit of self-importance.
After the major battle had been won and the fleeing Midianites were being pursued, the Ephraimites criticized Gideon because he had not consulted with them. The secret of Gideon's greatness was revealed when, in humility, he replied: What have I done now in comparison with you? . . . God has delivered into your hands the princes of Median, Oreb and Zeeb (8:2-3). Then he reminded the proud complainers that praise for all achievements belongs to God.
True humility is the result of recognizing our dependence upon the Lord. The humble person will not dwell on thoughts of jealousy or envy for he realizes he is nothing apart from Christ (Philippians 4:13; 1 Peter 4:11).
The will of God is to accomplish by people who know that the abilities or talents they possess are gifts from Him. Without His blessing upon our lives, nothing of eternal value will ever be accomplished.
I am the Vine, you are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing (John 15:5).
A Thought from Proverbs: Word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (25:11).
By Gideon, who delivered the Israelites from Midian (Judges 8:22). The Lord Jesus has delivered us out of the hands of our spiritual enemies, and it is fitting that He should rule over us. God . . . has highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:9-11).
8:1 chide = rebuked, quarrel; 8:3 abated = subsided, ended; 8:27 ephod = a breastplate; went . . . a whoring = means they made an idol of the ephod; 8:31 concubine = a servant wife; 9:14 bramble = thornbush.
Government Official: Sen. John Ensign (NV) · Pray for one another · Country:Zimbabwe (11 million) in south-central Africa · Major languages: English and Shona · Limited religious freedom · 43% Protestant; 38% animism, mediums, and spirit-possession cults; 16% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord when you are oppressed (Psalms 102:8-13).
Optional Reading: John 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:16