Judges 8:27 “Stay Focused”
Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.
Gideon was a judge. The judges were used by God to repeatedly save a sinful nation of Israel. The story happened again and again. The Israeli nation was saved by God; the Israeli nation immediately started sinning again! God would use a judge, or a prophet to save them. Over and over it went. In this case, God had just used Gideon to defeat Israel’s enemies. But, God didn’t let Gideon use the 30,000 troops he had rallied. Instead, God wanted to ensure that everyone knew who won the battle, so He sent 29,700 troops home! Gideon used 300 troops to win a battle over thousands of enemies by listening to God and doing what He said. God wanted there to be no doubt in “who” won the battle. So, immediately after Gideon has just won this miracle of a battle, and the people of Israel are once again thankful, Gideon asks for a little “bling.” As a reward, Gideon asks the people for some gold earrings from the spoils of wars. The Israelites gave Gideon a bunch! So, fresh off a big battle with God making miracles before Gideon’s eyes, what does Gideon do? He melts the gold into an ephod “idol” and the Israelites worshiped it. Can you hear God, “Are you people friggin’ kidding me?!?!?”
So what’s the lesson here? “Human nature left to itself gravitates to evil!” Despite the best intentions, if we humans don’t stay focused like a laser on the good actions and godly focus, you’ll blink and be back to sinful ways. It’s a challenge throughout the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, thus, the need for Jesus’ grace in our lives, talk about a big time break. Let’s not take our good fortune for granted. Try your best to remember what matters by managing your daily habits to keep God first in everything you do. Don’t let human nature win!
A personal message...
“These devotions were written to my four children, Christian, Mike, Allison and Alex. By the kids allowing these to be shared publicly, our hope is that the devotions will make a positive and eternal difference in the lives of other young people as they mature. Enjoy. Rick Isaacson”