Judges 8:22-27 – Gideon Refuses to Become King

Christian MölkJudges Leave a Comment

Jdg 8:22-23

  1. The longing for a king was already great among the people of Israel in Gideon’s time.
    1. Only hundreds of years later, Israel gets Saul as its first king (1 Sam 8ff).
  2. Gideon refuses to be king of Israel.
    1. It was right for Gideon not to want to be king, because God was the king of Israel (1 Sam 8:7, 1 Sam 12:12).
    2. Gideon is humble in his words, but unfortunately not so humble in his actions.
      1. Gideon says he doesn’t want to be king, but acts like a king anyway.
  3. I think it’s a very human behaviour to want to have a “king” over you.
    1. In the Christian community, Jesus is our king.
    2. Pastors and other leaders exist to lead, help and serve believers in their relationship with God, but never to “rule” over.

Jdg 8:24-25

  1. The Midianites had gold earrings and now Gideon gets them all.
    1. The people were more than happy to give this fortune to Gideon; after all, he had delivered his country from annihilation.
    2. However, this treasure lifted Gideon above the people, he became richer than all the others. Gideon said he didn’t want to be king, but now he acts like a king.

Jdg 8:27

  1. An “ephod” was a shirt worn by the priests.
  2. Gideon made an ephod of gold and placed it in his hometown of Ophrah, which unfortunately caused the people to come and worship at the ephod.
    1. It is difficult to know why Gideon did this, but at this time Israel did not have Jerusalem as its capital, but the tabernacle, and the religious center was in the city of Shiloh, which was in Ephraim (Judges 18:31, Judges 21:19).
    2. It is not impossible that Gideon was angry with the men of Ephraim and therefore wanted to out-compete Shiloh in favor of his own city of Ophrah.
    3. The ephod became a snare for Gideon and the people and it seems that the ephod became more important than God himself.
  3. Often in religious contexts, we want to express our faith in fine paintings, impressive church buildings, or as in this case, a beautiful gold foot.
    1. The goal of these fine works of art is to bring glory to God, but too often these works of art take us away from God.
    2. Because of these beautiful works of art, we lose focus on what is important and central.
    3. Often God comes to us in simplicity.
      1. Gideon was a poor, simple and insignificant man (Judges 6:15).
      2. King David was a little shepherd boy (1 Sam 16:10-11).
      3. Jesus was born into a simple family and was not even given a place in the shelter (Luke 2:7).
      4. God commanded that the Ten Commandments be carved into tablets of stone (Exodus 31:18), even though the Israelites could undeniably carve fine gold statues (Exodus 32:4).
    4. When we meet God, we often want to reciprocate this love by doing something nice for God, but God has never really asked us to do that.
      1. What God wants is that we love God with all our heart and our fellow man as ourselves.
      2. God wants us to praise and worship him and to care for our fellow human beings.
      3. The nicer the church we build, the more the focus will be on the church instead of Jesus.
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