(Judges 8:27, 33-35 NLT) 27 Gideon made a sacred ephod from the gold and put it in Ophrah, his hometown. But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family. … 33 As soon as Gideon died, the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping the images of Baal, making Baal-berith their god. 34 They forgot the LORD their God, who had rescued them from all their enemies surrounding them. 35 Nor did they show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-baal (that is, Gideon), despite all the good he had done for Israel.
Most people who have spent much time studying Scripture are aware of Gideon’s exploits. God called him out of obscurity to lead one of the most amazing battles in history. He led 300 soldiers against the Midianites and fought until they were completely defeated.
We often forget that life goes on when the highlight reel stops playing. I have been privileged to witness many amazing “God interventions” in my lifetime. We testify of God’s power and recount the specific details of the victory. Sometimes frustration follows favor. It is important to make proper choices after the big win!
When Israel defeated the Midianites they immediately tried to convince Gideon to rule over them. He refused the position but went on to suggest they should pay him in gold earrings for his service. He melted down the gold and crafted a sacred ephod that was to be displayed in Ophrah, his hometown. This “idol” caused the Israelites to begin worshipping false gods that ultimately would establish a tendency to “forget the Lord their God.” Two things happened which produced a negative outcome for Gideon.
- It became a trap for Gideon. He should have never established his own reward for the service provided. After all, the God who helped him win the battle could have just as easily provided all he would need for the remainder of his life.
- It added nothing to his legacy. Verse 35 says, “Nor did they show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-baal (that is, Gideon), despite all the good he had done for Israel.” The creation of the idol was meant to memorialize the victory, and the family through which it came. Instead, as quickly as he died, they forgot Gideon and the good that he did.
I’m not sure that God intended the end result of Gideon. He was forgotten by the people he saved, 70 of his sons were killed by Abimelech, the son of Gideon’s concubine. Much frustration was caused by choices he made after the favor.
The big idea here, at least for me, is the importance of balance. I remember very vividly the day the Lord spoke to me about healing my body from the affect of diabetes. With joy, I received the word and the healing. However, I also sensed God was giving me a “reset moment.” God reset my blood sugar levels; my response was to modify my diet and lifestyle so as to not allow the condition to regain control of my body.
Have you received favor? Protect it! Walk in it with wisdom! Refrain from choices that will rob you of the favor, and reestablish frustration in your soul. You can do it with God’s help.
PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for the favor I have received from your hand. Provide the wisdom I need to remain in it. In Jesus name! Amen.