Thursday, July 05, 2012

Thought of the Day !!

This morning I reread the story of Gideon from the book of Judges (Chapters 6-8).  It's the story of how God used a man who was the least from the his tribe, which was the smallest, to conquer the great Midianite armies.  God seems to have a way of making heroes out of the most unexpected people.  King David began his life as a shepherd boy.  Paul was a persecutor of Christians before becoming the great evangelist.  Even Jesus started out in a lowly manger in cave full of animals.

This is the story of how God used Gideon and 300 men to conquer an army of thousands.  Afterwards, there must have been great rejoicing.  The people even wanted to make Gideon their king.  Gideon did the right thing in turning them down.  He told them that the LORD would rule over them. 

Gideon did, however have one request.

     However, I do have one request—that each of you give me an earring from the plunder you collected from your fallen enemies." (The enemies, being Ishmaelites, all wore gold earrings.)
     "Gladly!" they replied. They spread out a cloak, and each one threw in a gold earring he had gathered from the plunder. The weight of the gold earrings was forty-three pounds, not including the royal ornaments and pendants, the purple clothing worn by the kings of Midian, or the chains around the necks of their camels.
Gideon made a sacred ephod from the gold and put it in Ophrah, his hometown. But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family.
                                                           Judges 8:24-27 (NLT)

An ephod was a linen garment worn by priests over their chests.  This one evidently was adorned with gold.  It was most likely made with good intentions.  Gideon probably wanted it to be a reminder of what God had done for them.  But soon this good thing became something that the people placed before God. 

Often times we can have good things in our lives that we cherish.  There is nothing wrong with this.  I actually believe it is a good thing.  But just like the Israelites, we must be careful not to worship even the best things in our lives, placing such a great value on them that we forget what God's intentions for them might be. For example, God might have given you a child that you love beyond all comprehension...a very good thing.  Of course if your attention to this child becomes so much that you lose focus on God, you have begun worshiping him/her.  In churches the worship style can become so important that people feel it would be a sin to change and not do things the way that "we've always done them", forgetting that worship is not about them but about God and how God can reach all people. 

The same can go with just about anything; jobs, lifestyles, possessions, etc.  We must realize that everything we have and do is a gift from God and must take it's place behind God's will.  You can enjoy the blessings of this life without worshiping them.  So be blessed and enjoy.

In the love of Christ,


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