Judges 8 … Consider Him, Our Ruler Unseen

Originally posted: 10/11/2019

We were created for relationship, created to serve our King. Yet, as the book of Judges so clearly portrays, we perpetually seek after counterfeits. But even when steeped in sin, we crave Him, we crave Him, Our Ruler Unseen.

Yet sin mars our discernment and we exchange His Rule in our lives for something tangible. Something we can touch and see, no matter the cost.

And in their sin, the people first begged Gideon to rule over them.

Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, both you and your son, also your son’s son, for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian.” 23 But Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the LORD shall rule over you,” (8:22-23).

And while Gideon turned their attention back to the only One fit to Rule, even the valiant warrior, Gideon, seemed to need something to see and touch, to the detriment of the entire nation.

Yet Gideon said to them, “I would request of you, that each of you give me an earring from his spoil.”… 26 The weight of the gold earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold… 27 Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah, and all Israel played the harlot with it there, so that it became a snare to Gideon and his household, (8:24-27).

And as soon as Gideon died, there they go again, seeking a new ruler and counterfeit covenant, one that can be seen and touched; for the name of this idol, Baal-berith, actually means “god of the covenant.”

Then it came about, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the sons of Israel again played the harlot with the Baals, and made Baal-berith their god. 34 Thus the sons of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies on every side; (8:33-34).

Consider Him, Our Ruler Unseen

  • Our Ruler is Unseen, yet the heavens declare His glorious work.
    • The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
      And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
      Day to day pours forth speech,
      And night to night reveals knowledge,
      (Psalm 19:1-2).
  • Our Ruler is Unseen, yet He is revealed in His perfect Word as more desirous than anything tangible.
    • The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
      The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
      The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
      The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
      The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
      The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
      10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
      Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb,
      (Psalm 19:7-10).
  • Our Ruler Unseen is the faithful Covenant-Keeping God.
    •  “Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you, (Ezekiel 16:60).

How do we respond to Him, Our Ruler Unseen?

Our Ruler Unseen has revealed Himself in His Son Jesus Christ, the Living Word and True fulfillment of His covenant. By faith in Jesus Christ, the Risen Savior, we see and hear Him, Our Ruler Unseen.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him, (John 1:14-18).

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (Hebrews 1:1-3).

He saved us to restore the intended relationship we were created to have with the Father in purity, love and obedience. May we never play the harlot to pursue the tangible counterfeits here in this life.

Often we may assume we are safe, for we have no tangible carved images we pursue as our god. But it is critical to realize the actual essence of idolatry: anything counter to His commands, anything to which we cling to over intimate fellowship with Him, anything competing against His Rule and Will for our lives, whether in thought, word or deed, is idolatry.

Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry...But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another… (Colossians 3:5, 8).

Today, may we examine our lives as we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the areas of our lives engaged in counterfeit pursuit, that we may escape its snare.

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry, (1 Corinthians 10:14).

The day is coming when our faith will become sight and His own will see Him. Until then, may we grow in His intention for us, in purity, love and obedience. May we ever trust Him for our todays and our future, as we live by faith and obedience to Him, Our Ruler Unseen.

and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls, (1 Peter 1:8-9).

Let’s Grow Together!

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