Bible Pathways - Mar. 25, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Jealousy rises up. After Gideon's death, which tribe was offended and why (8:1)? Did you notice who God used to stop Gideon's wicked son who conspired against his other brothers to have them assassinated.
Gideon was chosen from the tribe of Manasseh by Jehovah to deliver Israel from the Midianite oppression. The Ephraimites had long been characterized by a spirit of complaining and self-importance; consequently, God could not use them (Deuteronomy 33:17). The Tabernacle, for a long time, was placed in Shiloh, which belonged to the tribe of Ephraim?
Gideon is a refreshing contrast as he stood before the people like a giant in the midst of the murmuring majority. The men of Ephraim said unto him, why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply (8:1).
The humility of Gideon was apparent when at once he conceded the place of honor to them by saying: What have I done now in comparison to you? (8:2). He was ready to underrate himself and yield to their attitude of superiority. He used a proverbial expression: Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage (the full crop) of Abiezar? (8:2), and concluded by saying: God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian (8:3). He was faithful to God in reminding these proud complainers that the glory of all achievements of that memorable day really belong to God who hath delivered into your hands the princes.
When Gideon blew the trumpet to summon volunteers to fight the Lord's battle, there is no record of one response from the tribe of Ephraim. The "superior tribe" stayed at home till the victory was won, and then they found fault with Gideon. One would have expected them to come to Gideon with apologies and regret that they had not volunteered for battle. In finding fault with Gideon they were really complaining against God, who had chosen and guided Gideon in all his maneuvers. Their ambition appeared to have been a desire for exalting themselves and gratifying their pride.
In his pride and jealousy, King Saul attempted to kill David, God's anointed next king. Pride forced Adam out of paradise and, as the beginning of all sin, it forced proud Lucifer out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14).
Christians are urged: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3).
Thought for Today:
Often those who display their pride have a deceptive sense of self-importance. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
By Gideon, who delivered the Israelites from Midian (Judges 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 Peter 2:9; Romans 11:26).
8:1 chide =b> quarrel; 8:3 abated =b> ended, subsided; 8:27 ephod =b> a sacred priestly garment; went . . . a whoring =b> they made an idol out of the ephod and worshiped it; 8:31concubine =b> a servant wife; 9:14 bramble =b> thornbush.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by James E. Scott • Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd • Government Official: Sen. John Ensign (NV) • Country: Hungary (10.1 million) in east-central Europe • Major language: Hungarian • New freedom has opened the door to evangelism and Bible distribution • 61.7% Roman Catholic; 24.4% Protestant; 12.5% non-Religious/Other; .8% Jewish; .3% Orthodox; .2% Marginal; .1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Continually watch and pray so that you won't yield to temptation in a moment of weakness (Matthew 26:41).
Optional Reading: John 16
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:22