A Snare Or A Stepping Stone?

Jon Burgess


“Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.” Judges‬ ‭8:27‬


I truly believe this was the last thing Gideon wanted. It's clear from his response in vs 23 that he wanted the Lord to rule and that he was not power hungry or political. If anything, he wanted to hear God more clearly and quickly and so created an ephod to go along with the altar God had asked him to build previously. Many commentators believe the original wording to indicate that Gideon's family and all of Israel turned this ephod into an idol once Gideon passed away. Gideon had good intentions. Then again, the path to hell is paved with good intentions. With this one decision Gideon essentially undermined all that he had just accomplished in conquering God's enemies and turning Israel back to God. What should have been a triumph for Israel and Gideon's family became a trap. What should have been a stepping stone to spiritual revival became a snare. That costliest decisions are the ones that follow the greatest victories.


This verse grabbed ahold of me and wouldn't let go this morning. I wanted to journal on some of the other amazing verses from today's reading, but Holy Spirit kept bringing me back to this. God wants my boys to have a life time of victory and intimacy in Him long after I'm gone. Somehow, Gideon had learned to hear and obey God's voice but had not taught his family. So, as the ephod was a tool for Gideon to discern God's voice it became an idol for his family and a source of pride and false worship. My boys are watching me and learning from the good and the bad. How do I act after a massive weekend like Easter? Was it a victory? Absolutely. So, does Dad take the credit or give the glory to God. Does Dad give his best to win the public fight and lose the private ones at home? How can I do better at handing my boys a stepping stone towards God rather then a snare that keeps them from God? Journaling together, praying together, sharing my ephod, or ways that I hear God with them, would be great ways to prevent what happened to Gideon's family from happening to mine.


Lord, you and I have a short hand in communication we have built over the years of this journey of faith. We have a way to talk and share life that I must pass on to my boys. The costliest decisions are the ones that follow the greatest victories. I pray that I would prioritize time with my boys so they would know the struggles that follow a victory and how You lead me through them. I want my victories and my defeats to be a stepping stone for them towards knowing You. I want them to learn to how to hear your voice the way my parents taught me. I pray that when they are tempted towards idolatry it wouldn't snare them it would drive them towards You! Let my hunger for You become their hunger for You!

Devotions for March 30

Judges 8
Psalms 42
1 Corinthians 15

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