8.1-3 the anger of Ephraim. When the Ephraimites met Gideon they were angry with Gideon for not including them in the original battle. This is injured ambition. Ephraim wanted the exalted position of having won the victory. Gideon shows humility. He acknowledges their great contribution as more valuable than his own. God also mentions this great victory in Is 10.26.

8.4-21 The residents of various towns mentioned here were reluctant to help Gideon. This is because they feared retribution from Midian if Gideon’s victory proved inconclusive. The reaction of Gideon is similar to that of Jesus many centuries later. Jesus said he that is not with me is against me, Mt 12.30. The resulting judgment on those who will not align themselves with a righteous cause is again a New Testament principal. The concluding part of Jesus great sermon in Matthew 25 deals with this concept. God takes it personal. He says, ye did it unto me. A large part of our eternal judgment is meted out by whose side we chose to be on. Middle ground is no option in God’s world.

8.22-27 Gideon’s ephod. This is an unusual part of the narrative. Gideon refuses to be exalted in the eyes of the people and tries to direct their religious loyalty toward an object of God. So much about this is noble and praiseworthy. The people take this well intentioned object and worship it, rather than God himself. This proclivity of man redounds throughout history. The worship of an image of things made by man has entrapped millions of people. This is the foundation of most man made religion and was the purpose of the commandment to not make any graven image. God saw the heart of man and put a commandment to protect man from himself. Gideon’s ephod became the opposite of it’s intended purpose and led people into idolatry.

8.28-35 As the sun sets on the season of Gideon, 40 years of peace ensue. The life of the greatest Abiezrite in Israel’s history is concluded. His influence was powerful, for as soon as he died, all Israel turns again to idolatry. The power of a leader is seen here. One man kept hundreds of thousands from idolatry. Israel not only forgets God, but also forgets Gideon the great judge from the family of Abiezer. Such is the nature of fallen humanity.

Thanks for reading today….