Read: Judges 8.25-28 (NRSV)
There was a widower who dearly loved and missed his wife. They had been married for over forty years, and it was over twenty since she died. They had no children to pass their treasures and so he offered his wife’s engagement ring and wedding ring to a newly engaged couple who could barely afford to get married, much less be married. The young couple were so appreciative and listened intently to the stories of the elder man’s wife and their life together. With many thanks, they received the rings and left the man in tears of joy. The couple went straight to the pawn show and sold the rings to cover a down payment on a honeymoon. The man never found out, but he often spoke of hoping to see the young bride wear his wife’s rings for over their forty-plus years.
The People of God trusted Gideon to lead them as their warrior-judge. He was mighty and strong and was able to bring wealth to the people. To honor God, Gideon thought it was a good idea to use the golden spoils to make a monument to God in the middle of town. Gideon thus formed an image of gold in the middle of Ophrah and it was nothing but trouble for him, his family, and the whole town. Gideon was trying to use gifts for God, but the people worshiping him instead. There was rest in the land for forty years with their neighbors, but the tensions were between the flock and God.
Have you ever tried to do a good deed or share an act of kindness to only receive a complaint or have the person misunderstand your intentions? God experiences that all the time. Part of this journey is to see our lives from God’s perspective and see how God has gifted, blessed, and carried us for his service and praise, and we have used his gifts for our glory.
Action Plan: Take a piece of old jewelry and find out what its value is by weight. Is it simply an asset to be worn or sold? Or is it a gift that points to someone’s love for you? Consider how that sentimental value can be carried in retelling the experiences and relationships and the material value can further God’s work through us. Gifts don’t have to be golden to be treasured. But if God has entrusted us with a wage, a talent, or gift of any kind, being to use it to praise God today.
Prayer: Lord, use my life and gifts you have given me for your people today. Amen.