The Bible in 90 Days
Day 18: Judges 3:28-15:12 || Read the CEB online
“Gideon had seventy sons of his own because he had many wives. His secondary wife who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech. Gideon, Joash’s son, died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.” (Judges 8:30-32)
There’s so much we could talk about in the book of Judges, but I’ve got to save some things for the sermon Sunday! Let’s focus on Gideon for just a moment. He’s a hero, right? Well, he shows some promise, certainly, at the beginning of the story. God uses him as a military and political leader to save the Israelites, just as God raises up other leaders throughout the cycles of judges we’re reading. But…he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, let’s be honest. He argues with God about how many men he needs to defend the Twelve Tribes. That should be our first clue. After his victory (in which his arrogance and pride manifests itself several times), he makes more mistakes.
Not only does Gideon (also named Jerubbaal) ask for a whole lot of money and marry many women (this doesn’t ever go well), he also leads the Israelites away from God’s intention by setting himself up as a priest. Right after his death, everyone stops worshipping God. And–although he declines to be named king–he names his son Abimelech, which means in Hebrew: “Son of the king.” Abimelech turns out to be pretty rotten too. So much promise from Gideon, and it went largely unfulfilled. This happens to many of our Biblical heroes–even David and Solomon.
What does it take to live your whole life faithfully?
Why do we forget about how potential heroes like Gideon fall away?
Share your thoughts in the comments below,
and don’t forget to pray for Doug, Jared, & Haley as the head to Haiti early tomorrow morning!