“I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell” Judges 6:10
Suggested Scripture reading Judges 6:1-10
The bridge was about four meters wide. It spanned the canal that delivered water to the rice fields that surrounded the village. As the missionary’s car crossed this bridge each day he would notice the little shrine at the end. It was set up to honor the Shinto god of the bridge. It was a small doghouse sized shelter that contained the stone bust of a deity. He had a small bib tied around his neck. Every day a fresh bowl of fruit was placed in front of him by the people of the village as a gratitude offering for his giving safety crossing the bridge. As a Christian it was difficult for the missionary to understand why an educated 21st century mind would still fear and reverence a stone image. In reality many in the village did not know if there was a god there or not but were fearful because they might be wrong. As a result, every day the bowl was filled and the shrine kept neat and clean.
In Judges 6 the people of Israel were facing a similar challenge. God had commanded the people to not get involved with the Canaanites. His people had not been obedient. They had engaged in pagan idolatry and God’s blessing had departed. Now, because of their sin, they were being oppressed by the Midianites. The Lord came to Gideon to announce that he would deliver the Israelites from this oppression. He had delivered them from bondage in Egypt in the past and now he was going to rescue them from the Midianites. If He could do the former surely the latter would pose no problem. The problem, however, was they had feared, or reverenced the gods of the Amorites and now were suffering.
You may not worship the gods of the Amorites or even the Shinto gods, but idolatry still creeps into our 21st century lives. We fear or reverence the gods of our own flesh, greed and pride. The Apostle John told us in I John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” They will certainly gain a hold over us just as the ancient Midianites did over the Jews. When we worship at the pagan altars of this world we forfeit the power and blessings of God on our lives. Put away the gods of this world. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs. 3:5) God is telling us, “Fear not the gods of this world,” for He said,
I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of this world.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
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