Monday, January 19, 2009
The Christian and Idols
"All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping (the idol) there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family" (Judges 8:27). Gideon was mightily used of God to defeat the Midianites in battle. The Midianites were oppressing Israel and God choose Gideon to lead the army against them. You will most likely remember the 30,000men being too large a number to fight against the 120,000 soldiers of of Midianites. God whittled the number down to 300, then with each man went into battle carrying a jar, a trumpet and a torch. At the given time they broke the jar, blew the horn and held up the lit torch. God used this to bring confusion to the Midianite army, they turned on each other, and Israel won the battle. If the story had ended there, all would have been well. But at the moment of Israel's triumph, Gideon stumbled. We are often most vulnerable at the moment of victory. He told the people, "I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder." The Israelites took the gold from the bodies of the enemy dead and Gideon melted it and fashioned it into an idol. The Bible calls this idol an ephod, a word that refers to a ceremonial breastplate? Gideon probably depicted the Lord God as a warrior with an ephod of gold. But God does not allow Himself to be represented by an idol. Aaron made the same mistake when Moses was on the mountain, He melted down the gold brought out of Egypt and made a calf from it. The idea was God could come down and ride on the calf. This act brought the wrath of God down upon His people. They ground up the calf and were made to drink the power made thereby. This idol, made under Gideons direction, was an offense against God and a trap for the people. After Gideon's death, the Israelites again worshiped the pagan god Baal. They forgot the Lord God who rescued them from their enemies. Do you have an idol in your life? An idol can be anything that takes the place of God. Could be a possession, a position, a person, a false god, or yourself. Please ask the Lord to show you anything that takes His place in your life, then get rid of it. If you don't rid yourself of idols they will become a stumbling block to you and your children. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.