It would have been easy for Gideon to take credit for the success of his mission. The people certainly saw him as a leader they wanted to follow. But Gideon knew where his power had come from when he said this. “I will not rule over you, nor will my son. The Lord will rule over you!” I respect Gideon for that, don’t you?
I can think of several times in my life when it would have been very easy to take a bow and let the praise just come because of something I had accomplished. While I was the instrument God used, the fact remains that the accomplishment would not have been possible without God. It’s like he loves to be behind the scenes, making us look good. How we respond to God’s goodness speaks of our integrity.
I’ve often struggled with compliments. For some reason, I want to downplay them and move the attention onto something else. Even something as simple as, “I like your outfit.” I’ve been known to say something like, “this old thing.” Or when complimented on my singing voice, I struggle to know what to say because I feel like saying “thank you” would be prideful. I much prefer to give God the credit for that, too.
If you struggle with it, too, I think the best advice for us is to just be gracious and accept the compliment. If God’s power is involved, we should also, like Gideon, give credit where credit is due.
Gideon goes on in our story to ask for the people to share their plunder. At first, we have no idea what is going on and why Gideon is making such a request. 43 pounds of earrings later (that’s a lot of earrings), we find out that Gideon wanted to make a sacred ephod.
As I understand it, that is a priestly garment, in this case made from gold. I’m guessing it was Gideon’s way of paying homage to God for the provision and victory over Midian. Leave it to the Israelites to mess it up and begin to worship an idol, an object rather than God.
Yet we hear that there was peace for another 40 years after this battle. From the sounds of it, Gideon was busy being a father and husband to quite a crew. That wasn’t uncommon in those days I suppose.
We see the cycle God uses in Judges repeating itself again once Gideon had died. Sadly, the people also failed to remember and honor the memory of Gideon and how God used him to restore the peace.
What spoke to you today? Maybe something else in Gideon’s story resonated with you? For me, I never want to forget who is in charge. It is the Lord who rules!
Let’s pray …
Lord, you are mighty and worthy to be praised. Help me to be better at accepting compliments and giving you the honor and glory you deserve. You have made me and gifted me. I want to serve you and others using these gifts. I know you will equip me for the right mission at the right time. May I be ready to move. In Jesus’ name. Amen.