ODJ: untethered

May 14, 2013 

READ: Judges 6:1-32 

I told you, “I am the Lord your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live.” But you have not listened to Me (v.10).

Nik Wallenda became the first man to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. During this amazing accomplishment, the television network that broadcast the event insisted that Wallenda wear a tether, so even if he had slipped he would not have plummeted to his death. Nik protested, but reluctantly agreed to use the tether. I’m glad he did, especially for the sake of his wife and children—but for some it may have diminished his accomplishment a bit.

Wallenda seemed to realise this, for in his celebratory interview he said, “I had a tether but I didn’t use it.” Actually he did, for the tether still provided valuable insurance. It supplied confidence as he walked through the swirling mist. Would he have been as surefooted if he knew that one false step or gust of wind could have swept him to his death?

It’s great to have a backup plan, but having a tether that guarantees physical safety is the surest path to our spiritual death. The Israelites had a ‘tether’. They worshipped Yahweh, but they also hedged their bets by praying to pagan gods. They assumed that the God who delivered them from Egypt would continue to provide, but they figured it didn’t hurt to have a plan B. 

Poor Gideon didn’t understand why the Israelites were starving. “If the Lord is with us,” he asked the angel of the Lord, “why has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6:13). The angel told Gideon to cut the tether. He needed to destroy his father’s altar to Baal before he fought the Midianites (v.25). And to make sure he got the point, he whittled down Gideon’s army to 300 men (Judges 7:7).No backup plan or tether can compete with Jesus. Trust in Him alone.

—Mike Wittmer

Read Isaiah 46:1-13 to learn the difference between the true God and His inferior competitors.
If God were to stop answering your prayers and providing for your needs, how long wouldit take before you noticed? What is your tether today? How will you remove it?