每日诗歌: 昂首無懼 (http://jgospel.net/faith/hymns/天韻詩歌-昂首無懼.c67765.aspx)
Judges 8 [Read]
Judges 9 [Read]
Luke 8:22-56 [Read]
It does not take much to corrupt a person. As we saw in yesterday’s OT reading, chap. 6-7 probably contain the most words from the LORD in Judges. To answer the cry of his people, God raised Gideon to deliver the Israelites out of the hands of Midianites. Gideon was humble and cautious, and he asked for signs from the LORD. He was also obedient to the LORD by destroying idols built by his father. He seemed to have done all the right things.
God commanded Gideon to lead the Israelites to the battle. The episode in chap 7 showed that God meant to defeat the Midianites by his mighty power, so he wanted as few men as possible lest the Israelites would boast (7:2). Soon the battle began and the enemies were defeated, and Gideon continued to pursue them across the Jordan into the area of Succoth and Peniel, which was assigned to the tribe of Gad. They refused to help and that made Gideon furious, and he paid them back after catching the two escaping kings of Midianites. Battles finished.
However, subtle things happened along the way. First, he told his people to cry out the names of the LORD and himself (7:18). This was right after God expressed his will of not wanting to let anyone boast about the victory, and Gideon was putting his name along with God. Second, his vengeance against his own brothers in the tribe of Gad was over the proper limit. Not helping him did not seem to deserve that severe a punishment (8:16-17). Finally, Gideon’s response to the Israelites after the battle seemed appropriate (8:23). However, the follow-up action of making a golden ephod most certainly violated the Mosaic Laws. On top of all these, God turned silent again after chap 7. Indeed, it does not take much to corrupt a person.
One of the easiest traps for man to fall into is stealing God’s glory. Even Jesus was tempted by Satan on that, but he did not commit sin. I find I have to be vigilant all the time for this temptation. Even when we give glory to God on the surface, our heart could be saying something different. May the Lord give us strength to resist such temptation and always give the glory to the one it is due.
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