April 28 - Victory Celebration
We all prefer the thrill of victory over the agony of defeat. When the Lord gives us victory, we want to cherish it, go into the mode of celebration, enjoy the moment and bask in its glory. Little do we know that it is exactly the post victory time that the devil is devising his backlash on the army of God. Victory actually is an occasion for us to re-strategize for the next onslaught of the enemy rather than a time to sit back and relax.
Gideon made a few wrong decisions, causing him to lose his rule as a judge, his seventy sons and his loyalty to the Lord. The result was confusion and idolatry in the land of Israel. It all began with his wish to build a monument to commemorate the victory with the charms worn by the enemies. Wearing of charms was common in those days to fend off the curses of the enemy forces. Charms were used as a means of protection as if their lives depended on them. The Israelites never needed any charms because their God was able to protect them. The children of God do not need anything extra to feel secure, so the using of these charms, coveting the gold and the silver on them was a serious sin of idolatry.
So with the crescent ornaments that were on the necks of the camels of Zebah and Zalmunna, the golden earrings from their spoil that were worn by the Ishmaelites, the pendants and the purple garments, Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his hometown of Ophrah. It was like building a presidential library in a former US president’s hometown, to remember the rule of the leader. In this case, Gideon pointed the people’s attention to himself, not to God. All Israel whored after it and fell into idolatry. Instead of an article of remembrance, it became a snare to Gideon and his family.
The next thing we read about was the rise of Abimelech upon the death of Gideon. During that time, the people were already in idolatry, worshipping the Baals and made Baal-berith their god. They did not care about the Lord or the family of Gideon. The sin of Gideon began to come upon his own family as Abimelech killed all seventy of Gideon’s sons except Jotham. In a short time, the victory had turned into total defeat and the enemy had control over them once again. This victory did not benefit the next generation at all!
It is so vital for us to finish well. One victory is only winning one battle, there is still a war for us to fight. Our war with our enemy would not stop until Jesus comes back and we have to be vigilant at all times. Are you enjoying some successes and victories at this moment in your life? Do not relax but it is the time to regroup. Ask the Lord where the backlash is coming from and be prepared!
Ps 61:1-4 Judg 8:18-9:21 Luke 23:44-24:12 Prov 14:9-10