Book of Judges Chapter Eight
(Part Three)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Judges is that God blesses obedience and punishes disobedience. Today, we hope to continue our discussion of Gideon’s conquests.

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Read Judges 8:27-35

2. Gideon’s Conquests (continuation). The people gladly gave a portion of their plunder to Gideon. Gideon made an object (i.e., Ephod – something like a fancy clergy robe today) that became an idol and snare to the people.

Gideon went back to his hometown with his wives, concubine, and 70 sons. He died at a good old age. Soon after he died, the people went right back into worshipping false gods, were not kind to Gideon’s family, and did not remember the Lord.

Applications –

- Idolatry. Notice in vs. 27 that the goods received by Gideon was used for idolatry. First, you can have money without it become an idol. In fact, if a disciple of Christ works smart and exercises wise stewardship he/she can have a significant amount of money.

Second, we should make sure that money doesn’t become an idol. We can tell what is an idol, by comparing what we do for it with what we do for God.

Think about when it is time to be in prayer with your church family, but you are more concerned with watch television, washing your car, or going bowling.

Think about when it is time to give to God, but you give more to your outfit than you give to the Lord. Let’s work on keeping money in its place.Money should be used as a servant, but never let it become our master.

- The Midianites. Notice in vs. 28 that the Midianites were destroyed. In like manner, all who are not aligned with God will be destroyed at some point. Therefore, we should make sure that we are aligned with God, by making sure that we are saved and striving to live by His word.

And we should not fret about evil doers (e.g., in our families, churches, communities, on our jobs, etc.). Just as God destroyed the Midianites, God is able to deal with the evil doers in our lives. Let’s work on being aligned with God and trusting Him to handle evil doers in our lives.

- Peaceful circumstances. Notice in vs. 28 that there was peace, in spite of the sin in vs. 27. We should be very careful about how we interpret our circumstances.

There are too many who think that since things seem to be so well in their lives that God is not really upset with the sin in their lives.

All peace times are not signs of God’s pleasure. And all war times are not signs of God’s displeasure with His people. We should strive to understand and live by God’s word.

At the core of God’s word are the issues of making sure that we are saved through faith in Christ and striving to love God and others, as we love ourselves.

It is better to be in a war on God’s side than to be in a time of temporary peace but sinning against God. Let’s make sure that we live in line with God’s will, instead of misinterpret our circumstances.

- When to follow and when not to follow. Notice in vss. 29-32 that Gideon had multiple wives, concubines, and 70 sons. This is a description, not a prescription. The text in Judges is describing what was the case. It is not telling us to follow Gideon’s example.

It is important to know when and when not to follow the examples of those before us. Analyzing the examples that we see through the lens of the biblical principles is a great start. Let’s work on knowing when and when not to follow a person’s example.

- Old age. Notice in vs. 32 that Gideon make it to old age. First, it is a blessing to be able to get old. There are so many people who are dying or getting killed at a young age.

Second, because God may allow us to get old, we should take care of our health, so we can enjoy old age. Healthy eating and exercising habits should be high priorities. Third, the older we get, the better prepared we should be with our death affairs.

We should make sure that we have our life insurance or burial funds, will, and living will issues in place. Most importantly, we should make sure that we have accepted Jesus as our savior by faith. Let’s work on appreciating and preparing for old age.

- When the leader is gone. Notice in vss. 33-35 that soon after Gideon died, the people went right back into living in sin. They prostituted themselves to false gods. They did not remember God who rescued them. And they were not kind to Gideon’s family.

First, as disorienting as the death of a good leader may be, we should make sure that our faithfulness is based on our living God, not simply the leader. Our allegiance is displayed by how we live after the leader dies or leaves.

Second, God takes is very seriously when we drift from serving Him to serve other gods. The text here in Judges talks about “prostituting themselves to false gods.”

God has been too good to us for us to insult and anger Him, by prostituting ourselves to false gods like materialism, self-centeredness, and others.

Third, there is no telling how people will treat the family of the previous leader, after the leader dies. Thus, leaders should make preparation for their families that are not based on the kindness of people.

People tend to have short memories, unless the memory serves their interest. Let’s work on avoiding the sin of drifting from God, when the leader is gone.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient, instead of disobedient. God has much for those who obey His will.

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