Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 89

Friday, March 30, 2012

Welcome to Day 89 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Judges 8; Psalms 42; 1 Corinthians 15 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?

S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer

S cripture

Judges 8, Gideon finished off the Midianites, declines ruling over Israel… then foolishly sets up an ephod for his people to worship. (Following in his father’s footsteps in the sin of idolatry.) He dies at the end of the chapter.

Amazing the courage with which he fought… btw. Going from hiding in a winepress to killing men on the battlefield, straight up.

Psalm 42, One of my favorite Psalms… A great Psalm to read when one is down. The Psalmist reminds himself to put his hope in God. Questions why his soul is downcast…

v 11 “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

1 Corinthians 15:12 “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless… and so is your faith.” (Emphasis is mine.)

v 58, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always

give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,

because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

O bservation

Very few people life a flawless life of faith. It’s usually a mixture of triumphs and tragedies. Gideon went from hiding to leading a victory over the Midianite army… He makes a great statement when declining the offer to lead Israel, Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you.”

And then he set up an ephod to worship. Sad… Seriously makes me scratch my head.

There but for the grace of God go I.

A pplication

I am reminded almost daily of the marathon we run as believers. Easy to run all out for a hundred meters… not so easy to run the distance, day after day after day after day…

I wonder what idols could become a snare to me… to my family?

As Paul said, “Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord.”

P rayer

I need your strength to run this race over the long haul… Give me wisdom to avoid idols that could be a snare. To always give myself fully to your work.




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4 thoughts on “Day 89

  1. Lisa Green on said:

    Today’s reading made me think of this verse: 2 Tim 2:13 If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.

    Gideon dies- people revert to pagan ways.
    Paul tells people to hold fast to what he taught- resurrection is real.

    I Cor 15:58 Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord because you know your labor is not in vain.

    Every experience God gives us, every person he puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only he can see. Corrie Ten Boom

  2. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Judges 8: 27 (Msg)
    “Gideon made the hold into a sacred ephod and put it on display in his hometown, Ophrah. All Israel prostituted itself there. Gideon and his family, too, were seduced by it.”

    When I read this, I quickly said “What?!” out loud. How can this be? He just was a mighty warrior, directed by God. Then I read it over again. And I felt the Lord say-“what are you seduced by, Nicole?” It is a daily walk with the Lord. Staying on guard, to stay out of trouble. Out of sin.

    Lord, I want my eyes focused on your eyes. Give me your eyes, your heart, your ears, your love.

    Psalm 42:1-2 (Msg)
    “A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek,
    I want to drink God, deep draughts of God.”
    I’m thirsty for God-alive.”

    “When my soul is in the dumps,
    I rehearse everything I know of you.”

    I want to drink you, Lord. A deep swallow of you and your goodness. I am so thirsty for you. Parched. In need of you to rain over me. You are my God, alive and fully present. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for the joy and peace that you bring to my life.

  3. 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 NIV

    What happened? At first, I was trying to figure out how Gideon could stoop to idolatry. I checked with the bible commentaries on this and most of them agree that he had all good intentions and didn’t intend for people to worship the ephod. The Israelites, however, were always looking for something else, turning away from God to something earthly in nature to worship.

    There is actually some controversy about the cross for Christians as some consider it to be an idol itself. There are claims that Constantine brought it in as a pagan symbol along with other practices. There are many conspiracy theories that run pretty deep and many people take them quite seriously. Whatever the motive was, Jesus is still our Lord and Savior. Whether he was crucified on a cross, tree, or pole, he WAS crucified, died, buried, and then arose from death. The symbol of the cross has been adopted to remind this.

    I think it’s important to look beyond the cross, symbolism, ritualism, etc. and focus on developing a relationship with Jesus. It doesn’t matter how many times we recite a creed, as long as we truly believe it. When we pray the Lord’s prayer, it should be as if it’s the first time. It is more important that we live a life that demonstrates the Love of Christ than it is to wear a cross. If we have KLOVE bumper sticker, how does it represent Jesus if we drive like a maniac and cut people off? Symbols are powerful things in our minds. Let’s make sure that we represent the symbols of Christianity in manner worthy of Jesus.

  4. Gary Trice on said:

    Thought it was interesting…. First the need to have tenacity to run the distance and then the quote to stand firm. Having run 51 half marathons and 1 full it is a balance to run while representing Him. Running while Standing firm in His word. Cheers. Gary

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