“But Gideon told them, ‘I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.” Judges 8:23.
“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.” Judges 8:27.
What in the world in going on here!
Gideon has just finished a remarkable military campaign under God’s guidance. He has wiped out Israel’s tormentors with an army of a few water lappers.
It was all quite amazing by any standard. You certainly couldn’t credit Gideon for what had happened because his army was so small. God was “obviously” in the details.
BUT the Israelites didn’t see it that way. They saw Gideon as the reason for the military successes. They wanted him to become their leader.
Credit Gideon: he would have none of it. He insisted that they let God rule them.
This is when it gets weird, however. Gideon, four verses later, asks for spoils from the victories and the people gladly donate. You’re thinking at this point that Gideon will return home and live well with the donations. Wrong. Gideon, for reasons that are hard to figure, chooses to build an idol that the Israelites are quick to worship.
Recall in the New Testament where people started to worship the apostles. The apostles were mortified by it and made it quite clear that they were just “ordinary” people being used by God. Gideon doesn’t go there. He goes along with people worshiping the idol he created and it leads to problems for Gideon and his family.
It is appalling, at first glance, what Gideon did. Shouldn’t he have known better? Shouldn’t he, of all people, have known that God had made the victories possible?
You have to wonder what happened in between, “The Lord will rule over you,” and his decision, four verses later, to create something other than God to be worshiped.
However, if you think about it, we often do the same thing. How often do we do the unthinkable? How often do we disregard history and logic to fall into sin?
The most vulnerable times are often after things go well. We get caught up in “us.” We lose sight and contact with the real source of the good that has come our way.
I must never forget God. There are no substitutes. He will not tolerate competition.
“Lord, You are my God. I trust You. I cling to You. I need You in all seasons. Forgive me for my waywardness. I need You every second. Thank You for Your Love to me. I give You this day. Enable me, I pray, to rightly represent You in it. I love You, Father.”
Gideon is like us………a fool at times. When we detach from God the skies the limit in what folly we will slide into.