Today’s Reading: Judges 7-9:21
Proverbs 14:12 NIV
12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death.
Today we read about the victory of Gideon over the Midianites. It is a famous battle of only 300 men with their torches hidden in clay pots who become victorious with a blast of a horn. Well, truth be told, God purposefully told Gideon to only use 300 men so that they would know that He was the one that provided the victory.
Gideon decided to obey the Lord and follow His instructions. Gideon and his army were very successful and the people has Gideon and his sons to rule over them. Things went very well for the next 40 years. There was peace in the land.
But as we will continue to see, the people fall into old sinful habits, they rebel against the will, direction and teaching of the Lord and the wheels begin to come off the cart.
Judges 8:33-35 NIV
33 As soon as Gideon died, the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping the images of Baal, making Baal-berith their god. 34 They forgot the Lord their God, who had rescued them from all their enemies surrounding them. 35 Nor did they show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-baal (that is, Gideon), despite all the good he had done for Israel.
One of the sons of Gideon’s concubine, Abimelech, decides that he wants to be king. Instead of seeking the Lord’s will, Abimelech and the people decide it is a good idea. They are no longer in daily communion with God and therefore do not realize that it is not in the Lord’s will that they have a king. They especially do not realize that not only are they not to have a king, but they are not to have Abimelech as a king.
The people take money offered to an idol god Baal and give it to Abimelech, he proudly accepts the offering. His first act as king is to kill all but one of his brothers, the sons of Gideon.
Decisions made without the Lord’s advice can go very wrong. It is too easy for us to go our own way. To think that we know best and that we can solve these lofty issues without seeking the Lord’s counsel. Unfortunately, when we take the reigns of our life into our own hands it often leads to disaster. Abimelech had no right and no leading from the Lord to become ruler. The people had no right and no leading from the Lord to make or accept Abimelech as ruler. The people will suffer without the Lord’s guiding hand.
Proverbs 3:5 – 6 NIV
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.