Read through Judges 8:22 – 27 (here @ Bible Gateway). There is an interesting lesson here. Gideon was asked to lead Israel. He was a hero. He had earned the people’s allegiance. But when asked he refused. Instead he asked for one gold earring from each. That resulted in Gideon having about 70 pounds of gold. In todays dollars that works out to be about 1.7 million.
Gideon brings the gold back and makes a 70-pound ephod which is the part of the priestly garment that is over the robe. He places it in his home town and it becomes an idol that Israel and Gideon worship.
There is a lesson here.
Success and devotion to the Lord does not insure finishing well. Things we do to honor Him may become, like it did for Gideon, a snare for us. We can become focused on those things rather than the Lord. For instance:
- Worship – Our worship, or how we do it, becomes the focus, not the Lord.
- Bible – The knowledge of or about the Scriptures becomes the end not the means of knowing Him.
- Religion – We work hard as pleasing what we think is God rather than living in His grace.
- Service – Our service to Him, be it missions, teaching, serving, whatever our gift or what He has equipped us to do becomes the end, our focus and not Him.
There are probably other ways we can get off track, those are just a few. Gideon’s means of remembering his defeat of Midian became his god. We have to guard daily against making what we do well for Him a similar thing for us.