And Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah. And all Israel whored after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family.
But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
In the time of Gideon, the people had fallen so far away from the Lord that Gideon was threatened by his neighbors for destroying the altar of Baal and cutting down the Asherah pole. No longer did the people fear the God of Israel.
God showed amazing grace to Gideon – stooping to fulfill Gideon’s requests for signs and compensating for Gideon’s fear. Gideon was so tainted by his culture that his faith was diluted and weak at best.
In spite of himself, Gideon was used by God to defeat the Midianites and the people enjoyed rest from oppression for 40 years. Truly, Gideon showed great heroism…but in the end, Gideon gave in to pride and led the people away from true worship of their God.
With each subsequent judge, the people fell further and further away from the standards of the Mosaic law – and became even more addicted to “whoring” after other gods.
Judges should serve as a warning to us… How diluted is our faith because of the culture in which we live? Do we compromise our beliefs to avoid conflict or hardship? We will be held accountable for our actions and choices.
Listen to the parable of the sower in Luke 8 and ask yourself… What kind of soil am I? Only by God’s grace can we be the good soil that upon “hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.”
God, I ask for the privilege to hear your word and the grace to obey it. Please, open my eyes to see how the culture dilutes my faith. And grant me the patience to persevere and the discipline to worship you alone.