When I was caregiver for my father-in-law I made sure that others were aware of all that I was accomplishing on his behalf. Even as I type that sentence it makes me sick to my stomach but we are all called to lives of spiritual transparency for the benefit of others. People constantly praised me for the ‘sacrificial season’ in which I found myself … one ring tossed upon another… this compliment…that praise… gold upon gold that formed a garment of pride and approval. In our passage this morning it is important to know that seventeen hundred shekels is equivalent to 43 pounds. Gideon’s ephod was so heavy that he had to drape it over something as opposed to wearing it. It became a snare as it developed into an object of worship. An ephod was a garment that clothed the high priest for the purpose of hearing from God. Gideon’s pride separated him from the very thing that would have ensured God’s ear. Gideon might have refused the kingship earlier, but built thrones to himself regardless.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Not To Us!
“And he said, ‘I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring’…and each man threw a ring … The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels… Gideon made the gold into an ephod… and it became a snare to Gideon and his family” Judges 8:24-27.
When we assume the position of glory that is meant for God alone we are creating ephods to drape around our lives. We stack the praise and approval of others layer upon layer until we can no longer move around. The heaviness of maintaining our own thrones becomes a snare in our life and the lives of those we love. What is meant for God becomes what we take from God. ‘Gideon verbally rejected the title, but lived in a way that revealed he had assumed the position. It’s easy to say the Lord is our King, but our actions will tell the real story.’ Gideon, p. 168.
This morning we must examine whether our actions reflect God’s heart or our fleshly desires. We must analyze whether we are more concerned with our comfort or His glory. When those around us are tossing rings in our direction we must be sure that our actions match our words. ‘Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory’ Psalm 115:1.
Instead of clothing ourselves in self-made ephods we must clothe ourselves in Christ. ‘Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.’ Romans 13:14.