“And Gideon made an ephod [a sacred, high priest’s garment] of it, and put it in his city of Ophrah, and all Israel paid homage to it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family.” (Judges 8:27 AMP)
Gideon is an interesting character that demonstrates that God is willing to use the least of the least to accomplish great things. Gideon was from the poorest family in Manasseh and was the least in his father’s house. His father was an idolator. Gideon was fearful and full of unbelief yet the Lord spoke his destiny over his life:
“And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage.” (Judges 6:12 AMP)
We should all remember that God doesn’t look at how we are today, but He always looks at our destiny in Him. It is amazing how God can take the ones who are considered nobodies and the insignificant ones that people think won’t amount to a thing to do mighty works for Him! That was Gideon.
The entire story of Gideon is so rich in Truths that it is easy to get side-tracked from the point of this message. The backdrop of Gideon’s story is that the Israelites went back to their idolatries after the death of the last judge. They always went back to their old ways once God delivered them out of their messes. Isn’t that the way of man though? How many of us have begged God to help in the time of trouble and promised to be faithful only to fall back into our comfortable ways that don’t pursue Him wholeheartedly?
God made the decision to deliver Israel from their enemies, the Midianites who were robbing them and keeping them impoverished. He chose Gideon to be their next judge and deliverer. Even though Gideon was fearful and distrustful of God, He still chose to use him mightily. With three hundred men, that God chose, Gideon defeated the entire Midianite army and slew all their kings. He was the hero. He was on top of the hill. He was the man of the hour. And that is really a dangerous place to be spiritually. It is after a great battle that Satan can knock you down with a snare.
Gideon’s men stripped the gold from the Midianite kings and their camels and gave it to Gideon who then made an Ephod out of pagan gold. The Ephod was the sacred garment of the high priest who alone could go into the Holy of Holies to minister to Yahweh, the Creator God. The high priest was of the lineage of Aaron. No other lineage was permitted to be a priest, much less the high priest. And yet here was Gideon, taking that position by making an ephod from the gold of pagan kings and setting it up for the people in all Israel to pay homage to! It was totally out of order and it set Gideon and his family up for trouble down the road.
What is the take-away here? We all, as Christians, go through battles with Satan. It goes with the territory. If you aren’t being attacked and resisted by the devil, there is something not right because anyone who is impacting the kingdom of darkness is going to be attacked. We need to all check-in with God on our assignments to advance His kingdom and obey His instructions. Many times we come out victorious in a hard-fought battle and are reveling on the mountain top, not realizing that it is a vulnerable place to be and easy to let it go to our head.
Remember Elijah, who slew four hundred prophets of Baal and then ran in terror from Jezebel’s threats. He was ready to die and go home! We have to stay humble especially when we win a victory. Satan can set a snare that can affect us and our family line. What happened to Gideon’s family?
Right after Gideon died, the people forsook God immediately and went back to the Baals. They also didn’t show any kindness to Gideon’s family after his death. Unfortunately for Gideon’s family, he had many wives and concubines, which is not a wise thing to do. He had seventy sons from all these women. One of them, Abimelech, wanted to rule in Gideon’s stead, so for seventy pieces of silver, he went to Ophrah and killed all but one of the seventy sons of Gideon; his own brothers. He left the youngest, Jotham alive. Trouble followed the house of Gideon as seen in the pages of Judges.
We all go through mountain-tops and valleys all the days of our lives and we must remember the snare of the mountain top and stay humble before God. There is no power in us to do anything supernatural, it is ALL Him. Gideon could never have defeated his enemies without God doing it and neither can we. If you are going through a tough battle, let the Lord fight and win for you and be mindful that when you achieve victory, stay humble before God and avoid the snare of Gideon on the mountain-top.
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