Wednesday, February 14, 2007

When Victory Becomes an Idol

In Judges chapter 8 we read of the great victory which God gave Gideon over the Midian army. It really is an amazing account as 300 men decimate a thousand. But there is this seemingly unimportant parenthesis to the discussion of Gideon's victory in verses 24-27. Here we read that Israel wants Gideon to become their king, a position the judge respectably turns down. But he follows up his refusal to be king with this odd request that they give him all the spoils of the war in order that he might make a magnificent ephod (high priest's garb). See if you notice something very disturbing about what the text says, however. It reads:

(Judges 8:26-27) 26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, besides the crescent ornaments and the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and besides the collars that were around the necks of their camels. 27 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.

What was a victory soon becomes a trajedy. What was Gideon thinking? How could he see this victory and turn around to create such an idol? Perhaps he didn't intend for it become an idol, perhaps this was a seemingly innocuous deed. But Israel corrupts it and it becomes a "snare" for Gideon's family. This happens time and time again in Israel's history. We read in 2 Kings 18:4 how the bronze serpent that Moses had lifted up in the desert has become an idol.

It is so tempting for us to turn what God does in our lives into idols. It is especially tempting for me now as I think of the wonderful child that God has given to Krista and I. How tempting it would be for us to turn and love this child more than God. To love the gift over the giver, the victory over the true victor. When God does a good work in our lives we should enjoy it, but we should glorify God for it and not turn His granted victories into occassions to sin against Him.

The victory over the Midianites became an idol and a snare to Gideon's family, is there something in your life that is displacing God? Check yourselves, friends, and beware that victory does not become god.


Post a Comment

<< Home