Gideon was used by God to defeat the Midianites and restore peace to Israel. He is remembered as the reluctant leader that had a great victory with 300 soldiers. His story however is tarnished by how he finished the race of his life.
In Judges 8, Gideon conquers the two kings of the Midianites, Zebah and Zalmunna. Judges 8:22-23 records how the Israelites wanted to make Gideon King. To his credit, he refused this offer and redirected the people back to their real ruler, the Lord. Although Gideon refused kingship he began living an extravagant life style of wealth with many wives and children. Gideon then used his wealth and influence to build an altar to foreign gods that caused God’s people to prostitute themselves. This altar also became a snare to Gideon’s family.
The Scottish Presbyterian pastor Andrew Bonar said, “Let us be as watchful after the victory as before the battle.”
It is painful to see leaders that God used in a great way finish poorly. This is a wake up call for all of us, who follow Christ in a leadership position, to make sure that we finish well.
During our staff meeting this week, Pastor Hank encouraged the staff to stay humble and stay clean. This is a great prescription for finishing strong.
Gideon let his wealth, success, and popularity lead him to pride. When we go the way of pride we get into dangerous territory. Only when we remain humble, realizing that we need God to fight our battles can we walk close to Him and avoid pride. We also need to realize that we are nothing apart from God. This will help us stay close to God and finish strong. Stay humble.
Gideon began living an extravagant lifestyle with riches and many wives. He turned to the gods of the Canaanites and forsook the Lord. He became so confident in himself that he stopped placing his faith in God. Gideon’s service as a Judge and mighty warrior was marred by pride and unholy living. This resulted in a “dirty” finish to his life.
As a child of God, you must stay clean before God. Where there is sin, confess it. Where there is harmful habits you cannot break, get help. Holiness is to be the pursuit of every believer. Stay Clean.