Good morning, and welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
Trisha, my blogger friend at Joy of Reading, and I decided on calling this post “His Encouragement” because our real source of peace, strength, and security can only come from Jesus Christ. He, and He alone, is our constant! We pray and hope that these Thursday posts become a real encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!
Today’s Thursday Encouragement comes from:
Judges 6:13 (ESV)
And Gideon said to him, “Please my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hands of Midian.”
I’ve been struggling with my Bible studies lately. Doing the studies hasn’t been a problem. I love spending quality time with God. No, I’ve been struggling with the men and women in the Bible. For some reason, they are bugging me … tremendously.
I’ve read through the Bible in its entirety many times now, and I’ve never felt like this before. But this time, I am annoyed with the Israelites in the Wilderness. I am annoyed with them as Joshua attempts to settle them in the Promise Land. And, man, am I annoyed with them in the Judges period.
Here’s the pattern I am noticing — God saves in amazing and miraculous ways, the Israelites do something bad, God punishes them, they complain, complain, complain, and then they go do really bad things that God says, “Please don’t do.” Then, the Israelites are upset when things go really bad. They call on the Lord. He saves them in an amazing and miraculous way, and REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT.
While reading Gideon’s story again, a question popped into my head — have the Israelites ever truly worshiped, honored, or loved God?
In Egypt, the Israelites lived as the Egyptians did. They understood that to worship a god meant they needed a go-between. That’s why they had idols. Idols act as a go-between. They didn’t actually think the idol was a god, they believed it was a conduit to the god. If this is the mindset of the Israelites as this awesome, amazing, omniscient God was taking them out of Egypt, then it puts the golden calf moment into a different perspective. Moses had gone up on a mountain to talk to God. The Israelites didn’t know when or if Moses would ever come back. Since he was their go-between, the Israelites assumed their connection to God was lost. So they made a new one — the golden calf. You all know how that turned out!
So what does any of this have to do with Gideon? In Judges 6:13, Gideon asks God, “Why have You forsaken us?” But in verses 25-27, God commands Gideon to go to his father’s house and take down the altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah. This moment hit me like a ton of bricks. Wait! What?! Gideon and his family served Baal?! The answer is YES. I can’t verify this because I wasn’t there, but I have a feeling that the Israelites used the idols of Baal thinking it was a conduit to God. I’m wondering if the Israelites EVER worshiped God. I think they thought they were, but I don’t think they ever really, truly worshiped the ONE and ONLY True God. This broke my heart a little.
Then, I thought of myself. Am I truly worshiping God? Do I have idols that I use as a go-between? Do I substitute something for Jesus? When I worship God am I doing it on His terms, or mine?
I definitely have to give these questions a bit more thought, and I really need to pray to Jesus about all of this. I do feel like God is trying to get my attention, I’m just not sure what I’m doing wrong or how I can fix it. But I want to fix whatever it is, and I think that is the first step to really honoring God.
I’m not sure if this is a very encouraging post today, but it does offer some really good food for thought. I am SO grateful I do serve Yahweh because He is the God of many, many chances. It encourages me to know that God is there for me in the good times, the “meh” times, and the times I totally fail. As stated in 1 Samuel 2:2, “There is NONE holy like the Lord: for there is NONE besides You; there is NO rock like our God.” There truly is no rock like our God!
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN!
WHAT BIBLICAL VERSE IS ENCOURAGING YOU TODAY?
Check out more Thursday Encouragement from my fellow blogger friends:
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Becca @ The Becca Files
Gina @ Stories by Gina
Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes