"Your Ephod is Your Snare"

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"And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a-whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house." Judges 8:27

If you're not familiar with the story of Gideon, it may be found in chapters six through eight in the Book of Judges in the Old Testament. Basically, Yahweh used a sniveling coward to deliver Israel from its enemies. When Gideon led the Israelites to victory (through the power and guidance of God), they asked him if he and his sons would become their king. Gideon responded, "No, Yahweh will rule over you!" Yet, he added, I would like that you give me all the golden earrings from your prey (the defeated Ishmaelites). Gideon then took the golden earrings and made an ephod (probably some kind of statue or image) that was a snare to Israel and to Gideon's family. This ephod was made from the golden earrings of Israel's enemies, the Ishmaelites (descendants of Ishmael, Abraham's son by the bond woman). This ephod would prove to be bondage to Gideon, his family and Israel.

Gideon had gotten a glimpse of the enemy's treasures and decided that he liked it. He desired the gold and made it into a type of shrine that replaced a portion of God's devotion in Gideon's heart. This lust would become his weakness and what would distress his own family and the nation of Israel.

What I want to ask you is -- what is your ephod? What is the one thing (maybe more than one) that is causing a snare in your family, maybe even in your church fellowship. What is the worldly treasure that you don't want to give up? What is that ephod that is keeping you from fully serving the Lord?

It could be money. It could be some form of entertainment. It could be a woman or a man (someone who is not a believer). You may think that you can't live without this ephod, but it will cause you problems for as long as you keep it. It will rob you of your victory in the Lord.

Every member of Christ needs to ask him/herself what could be standing in the way of total victory in my life? Anything that you are not willing to put down for Christ is an impediment.

"Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:34-38

What ephod(s) are you willing to keep in your life in exchange for your soul? Whatever it is, it will be a snare in your mortal life until you remove it, and it could possibly cost you your soul. It doesn't matter how many past victories you have had in the Lord. It doesn't matter if you've had more victory than Gideon. If you have an ephod in your life, standing between you and serving God, it will cause you problems, your family problems, and possibly your church problems.

It's not easy to remove ephods. We become very fond of them. We enjoy them. We are bedazzled by them. It takes a sincere desire to repent and the help of the Lord to banish the ephods in our lives.

Almighty God our Father, please help all your children to recognize the ephods in our lives and remove them. Help us all through Your Son, Christ Yeshua. Bless Your holy name and may You be magnified and glorified, forever. Amen.

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