Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.
The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us-you, your son and your grandson-because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.”
But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you.” And he said, “I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.” (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.)
They answered, “We’ll be glad to give them.” So they spread out a garment, and each of them threw a ring from his plunder onto it. The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels, not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels’ necks. Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.
Thus Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace forty years.
Jerub-Baal son of Joash went back home to live. He had seventy sons of his own, for he had many wives. His concubine, who lived in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelek. Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god and did not remember the LORD their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. They also failed to show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) in spite of all the good things he had done for them.
– Judges 8:22-35
God used Gideon to deliver the Israelites from their oppressors. Even though his faith was weak and wobbly at times, and God needed to give him special encouragement repeatedly, he was God’s chosen instrument of deliverance.
Gideon was not perfect. After delivering the nation from its enemies he made a serious mistake. He used some of the spoils of war to make an ephod, a sacred garment used in worship.
Perhaps Gideon intended for it to be a memorial to commemorate God’s supernatural victory over their enemies, but it soon became an object of idol worship.
Instead of taking action to correct the abuse, evidently Gideon tolerated it, which led to even greater sin. When Gideon died, the Israelites again quickly dove headlong into idolatry.
The Big Question
In spite of his frailties (his shaky faith, his fear of others, and fear of failure), Gideon is listed in the faith “Hall of Fame” in Hebrews 11:32.
How do you identify with Gideon?
Do you see any of his characteristics reflected in your story?
What life lessons do you take from Gideon’s story?
Conclude in prayer and silence, reflecting on what you’ve learned.