MESSAGES FROM GIDEON - Part 8
Ah yes, old habits die hard. This was true for Gideon and Israel as well.
"The Israelites said to Gideon, "Rule over us--you, your son and your grandson--because you have saved us out of the hand of Midian." But Gideon told them, "I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you." And he said, "I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder." (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.) They answered, "We'll be glad to give them." So they spread out a garment, and each man threw a ring from his plunder onto it. The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels, not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels' necks. Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family." (8:22-27)
Take Away: Don't let negative history repeat with you! Here, in this example above, the Golden Calf Syndrome (Exodus 32:1-35) struck Gideon, his family, and all of Israel and "it became a snare to them". Anytime you are tempted to return to the old, comfortable, but unsuccessful ways of living, rebuke them and pray to God for His help in continuing in His ways.
In addition, be watchful, especially after a victory in life, of what you value. Gideon turned down the opportunity to continue in the leadership role that God had blessed him with earlier.
"The Israelites said to Gideon, "Rule over us--you, your son and your grandson--because you have saved us out of the hand of Midian." But Gideon told them, "I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you."
Instead of continuing to be a great Ruler for God, Gideon's focus was corrupted. His eyes got off the Provider and got on the Plunder. Gideon's focus was so much on the gold earrings that he made it into an idol where not only did it become "a snare" to him and his family, but because he placed it "in Ophrah, his town" the whole of Israel became snared or "prostituted" to it by "worshiping it there".
So, hear the message from Gideon - Keep in God's plan and presence. Your life and focus will be right where it needs to be when you deflect away the old habits, hang-ups, and history of your life and keep moving with God.