Highlights In Today's Reading:
Jealousy rises up. Which tribe was offended and why (8:1)? After Gideon's death one son conspires against all his other brothers and has them assassinated. How many of Gideon's sons survive? Vengeance is the Lord's and after three years (9:22) did you notice who God used to remove the wicked son?
Gideon's great faith shines as a star on the pages of Scripture (Heb. 11:32). At the angel's command he destroyed the altar of Baal at his own father's house. With implicit obedience he reduced his army to three hundred men to fight the vast armies of Midian without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude (7:12). Furthermore, when Gideon was urged by all to rule thou over us (8:22), he immediately rejected the tempting proposal saying, the Lord shall rule over you (8:23). Yet Gideon made an ephod (priestly garment) (8:27; Ex. 28:6-12).
The ark, containing the Commandments — the dwelling place of God — was in Shiloh, the only God-appointed center for Israel's worship, and the high priest alone was commissioned to wear the ephod. Although Gideon lived nearby, Shiloh was located in the tribe of Ephraim whose leaders had shown themselves hostile to Gideon. Jacob had placed Ephraim before his elder brother Manasseh. Since Gideon was of the tribe of Manasseh, they were jealous of him as well as of Jephthah. The Ephraimites were known to be arrogant and claimed their "rights." On another occasion the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire (12:1).
Perhaps Gideon, this godly man of faith, thought that since there existed so much hypocrisy in Shiloh, he was justified to make the ephod and establish his own worship center. Though his intentions to worship were good, the act was wrong. He attempted to accomplish a right thing in a wrong way. Not even a godly Gideon — no, not even Moses — was permitted to alter the Word of God.
Concerning the Israelites, in his day, the Lord led Paul to write: Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God (Rom. 10:1-3).
Thought for Today:
Some of our actions may seem like good ideas, but good ideas often do not align with what God says in His Word. Always follow the Word of God (ideas) and be right.
By Gideon, who delivered the Israelites from Midian (Judg. 8:22-23). The Lord Jesus has delivered us out of the hands of our spiritual enemies, and it is fitting that He should rule over us. Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world (Gal. 1:3-4; II Pet. 2:9; Rom. 11:26).
8:1 chide =contend; 8:3 was abated =subsided; 8:7 tear your flesh =thrash your bodies; 8:9 peace =triumph; 8:12 discomfited =routed, defeated; 8:26 collars =pendants; 8:27 ephod =priestly garment; whoring =worshiping; snare =noose-like trap; house =family; 8:28 lifted up their heads =were a force; 8:32 sepulchre =tomb; 9:2 your bone and your flesh =your relative; 9:4 vain and light =worthless and reckless; 9:9 to be promoted =having; 9:14 bramble =thorn bush; 9:17 adventured =risked; 9:20 fire =fiery destruction; 9:25 liers in wait =men in ambush; 9:27 made merry =celebrated; 9:30 was kindled =burned; 9:32 up =arise; 9:35 lying in wait =preparing for ambush; 9:38 mouth =boasting; 9:41 thrust =drove; 9:42 morrow =next day; 9:45 sowed =scattered; 9:49 hold =chamber; 9:50 encamped against =besieged; 9:52 went hard unto =approached; 9:56 rendered =returned.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Henry Rogers • Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd • Government Official: Sen. John Ensign (NV) • Country: Estonia (1.47 million) northeastern Europe • Major languages: Estonian and Russian • Religious freedom • 38.4% Protestant; 20.3% Orthodox; 1% Roman Catholic; 1% Muslim; .3% Jewish; 39% non-Religious/Other • Prayer Suggestion: If the words of God abide in you, whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive (John 15:7).
Optional Reading: John 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:44