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Daily Reading: Judges 8

Scripture Focus: And Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah. And all Israel whored after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family. (Judges 8:27)

Devotional Thought: Gideon was a great warrior, judge, and leader who God used to deliver his people from the oppression of Midian. He had understandably become something of a hero among the Israelite people. They said to him, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also, for you have saved from the hand of Midian” (v. 22). Even then, Gideon refused this honor, knowing that the Israelites had elevated him to the Lord’s position of authority. However, Gideon made a fatal mistake. He requested that they make an ephod (which was a priestly garment) out of gold. He then displayed it in his city - to give honor and glory to him and his family, not to the Lord. “And all Israel whored after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family” (v. 27).

It is sad to see this great man of God go from faithful and humble to prideful and self-righteous. The men of Israel appealed to his sense of pride, and Gideon created a snare, not only for himself, but for his entire family and all of Israel. It seems incredible to us. Are we guilty of the same sin that led to Gideon’s downfall? How often do we enter into service to God with good intentions, but then let praise and accolades fall onto us, instead of onto the God who equips us for every good work? How often do we steal the glory that rightly belongs to our Creator? Let us learn a lesson from the story of Gideon. Let us heed the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”


Prayer: Lord, we want you and you alone to receive the glory for our good works. We know as believers that any talents or skills we have are from you. Any blessings are gifts from our Father. Help us to remember this, and boast only in the cross. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 54.1-7

1 O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might. 2 O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth.

3 For strangers have risen against me; ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before themselves. Selah

4 Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. 5 He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them.

6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good. 7 For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

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