Monday, April 7, 2008

An Inheritance

As a mother of two boys, I want to leave for them an inheritance. I want them to have things that I did not have. I want them to live a better life as a productive member of society than myself or their father. I desire for them to have a godly inheritance. I pray both of them choose to serve the one and only true living God wholeheartedly.

I’ve always admired the story and teachings on Gideon. How God called him a “mighty warrior” yet he was scared to death of what God called him to do. (Judges 6:12) Then by the strength Gideon had and with the Lord with him, the Midianites were defeated. Gideon goes down in history as Israel’s fifth judge. The land experienced peace for 40 years after that. Gideon is listed in the Hall of Faith chapter of Hebrews 11. I wrote a devotional about “What Do You See?” based on this part of Gideon’s life. (Click on the title to read it.)

This past week as I read through Judges I realized I didn’t know the rest of the story. God’s word is written that we may learn from it. (2 Tim. 3:16) After the victory, the Israelites asked Gideon to rule over them. He declined and told them “The Lord will rule over you.” (Judges 8:23) But then he made a request that each one share the plunder with him. From all the gold Gideon received, he made an ephod which he placed in his town. Unfortunately at this point, all of Israel started worship the ephod instead of the Lord. (Judges 8:25-27)

Gideon got back to the business of living his life. He had many wives and 70 sons plus a son of a concubine. Then Gideon died. After Gideon died, Israel returned to Baal worship and forgot the Lord their God. (Judges 8:29-32) Gideon’s son, Abimelech, born from his concubine decided he wanted to rule over the people, which was the position of God. In his quest to be ruler, he raised support in his mother’s home town, Shechem. After being funded by temple of Baal-Berith, he killed 69 of his 70 brothers. Only the youngest, Jotham, of the 70 escaped and spoke a curse over Abimelech. (Judges 9:1-20)

Abimelech ruled for three years and Jotham fled to Beer. The people of Shechem turned against Abimelech. God did this to avenge the blood of those slain. In this battle Abimelech went to capture a tower. The men and women took refuge in it. As he stormed it to set it on fire, a woman dropped a millstone on his head and cracked his skull. Not wanting to go down in history as being killed by a woman, Abimelech asked his armor-bearer to kill him. In my opinion, he was killed by a woman. (Judges 9:22-57)

The lesson I learn from knowing the rest of Gideon’s story is teach my children to follow the ways of the Lord. Gideon failed to do so. He allowed them to worship the ephod he made from the gold. Sin crept back into their lives and multiplied. The son of his concubine brought great grief to the family and the nation. Gideon failed to pass on the godly inheritance as all his children and the nation returned to idol worship.

Proverbs 13:22 AMP

A good man leaves an inheritance [of moral stability and goodness] to his children's children, and the wealth of the sinner [finds its way eventually] into the hands of the righteous, for whom it was laid up.

As parents, the Bible says we’re to leave an inheritance of goodness to our children and even on to their children. I desire and pray this will be ingrained in my boys lives so they may receive the inheritance promised in Jesus Christ that can never be taken away.

1 Peter 1:3-5 NIV

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Oh Lord, I give You praise for this day. I thank You for Your Word that teaches us Your truths. Lord may we learn from the examples You have given us in Your word. Lord, as a mother, I ask You to help us teach our children Your ways. That we will leave them with an inheritance to pass on to their children. Lord, the inheritance that comes through the resurrection of Jesus Christ that will never perish, spoil or fade away. That through faith is shielded by Your power.

Blessings in Christ--

Note: This post comes from what I learned through the yearly chronological Bible reading with Bev. Please visit her site for more info.

9 gracious comments:

Laurel Wreath said...

This is sooo true. This also happened to David. There are many great leaders in the bible that had sons, that turned the other way. It is a fear as Mother (especially of sons, who will one day be leaders of their family). I enjoyed reading your thoughts here.

Irritable Mother said...

Ahhh, I am reading through the Bible chronologically, too. Just started Joshua...I absolutely LOVE the new understanding I am gaining from reading it this way!
Yes. I want to raise my children to fear the LORD and obey Him, too!

HIS daughter said...

Your post today was so thought provoking! I had never heard or read what happened to Gideon afterwards.

How like so many of us who walk with the LORD but because we allow "one little thing" to remain that HE'S asked us to let go of, it starts the roller coaster ride to defeat.

Wonderful lesson. You are a great teacher!

Thanking GOD for women like you who teach other women HIS truth and raise godly children!

Many Blessings,
Teri

Ang baylis said...

Hi, Shonda.
I have to admit this morning that we are getting into a part of the Bible that is really hard for me to understand. It's getting complicated. That's why I just took the part about passing on my faith to my kids. You really have a good understanding and it's obvious you get it! I pray I get it one day, too! You are such an inspiration and a great mom!
Love,
Angie xoxo

Karen H TX said...

What a great post. I have never read "the rest of the story". Thanks also for the link to Bev. I will check it out. I've heard of the "chronological" bible before and have wanted to know the chronology. As you know, I also have sons and my prayer for them is the same, that they be Godly men, leaders of their home and passing on this legacy to their families. For my middle son, that he return to the LORD. He is struggling with his faith. Pray for him please.

MrsProverbs31 said...

It is every woman's dream to leave a legacy of the Truth and yet most women fail. I've been thinking about it lately; asking myself "what legacy do I want to leave for my children?" And I'm reminded that "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."

Thanks for sharing and speaking on something that should be precious to all parents, but only a few practice.

Becoming Me said...

What a beautiful post. I too want to leave an inheritance for my children. An inheritance of love and walking with the Lord.

Starla said...

Great post, I really enjoyed it. I love all those stories in Judges.

annie's eyes said...

Hey, Shonda. I love what you said. A spiritual inheritance, a legacy of Christ, if I only had one prayer, this would be it for my three precious grown children. I so love your heart in this. Let it be that we all can leave a spiritual footprint on this earth, where we led others to Him. Love you, Annette