Friday, May 31
No. . . But
Today's reading: Judges 8:22-35
After Gideon saves Israel, the men of Israel approach him and ask Gideon to rule over them. Gideon's answer is the right one: "I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the LORD will rule over you" (vs. 8:23). But then, on the heels of this amazing, God-given victory, Gideon asks each person to give him the earrings from the spoil of the battle. This results in Gideon raking in 1,700 shekels of gold, which he then makes into an ephod (a garment worn by priests) that he places in his home city. Gideon's actions were foolish, as evidenced by what we see in verse 27.
"And all Israel whored after [the ephod] there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family."
While this portion of Gideon's story saddens me, it also serves as a good reminder of our susceptibility to stumble after a spiritual victory or high point. God didn't direct Gideon to collect gold from the spoils or make an ephod for himself. These decisions were made by Gideon drawing on his human thinking. And his poor decisions in this situation ended up having a devastating impact on Gideon's family and the nation of Israel for years to come.
What does this passage show about the need to guard our thinking and actions, especially when we've just experienced a spiritual high point or victory? What does this account reveal about the importance of seeking God's direction in all of our decision making? Tami
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