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Judges 8:22-35

Talks for Growing Christians

Gideon's Temptations of Power and Wealth

Judges 8:22-35

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Lesson Number 14

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Mature believers are not immune to temptation.
  2. Mature believers are not immune to failure.

Practical Application

  1. Beware of golden earrings!
  2. Beware of golden ephods.

Questions

  1. After Gideon's victory over the Midianites, the people asked him to be their king. Why did Gideon refuse?
  2. What did Gideon ask the Israelites for?
  3. What did Gideon do with this "gift?"
  4. Was this appropriate?
  5. What was the evidence that Gideon, though refusing the kingship, lived like a king?

Answers

  1. Because he knew that God's intention was not for the Israelites to have a king like the other nations. God was their King.
  2. Part of the plunder that had been taken from the Midianites. He asked for the golden earrings.
  3. He made an ephod out of the gold given to him. An ephod was one of the outer garments worn by the high priest under the breast plate.
  4. No. Only priests were to be involved with ephods; they were not to be made of gold, and they were to be kept only in the tabernacle.
  5. He created a harem for himself with many wives. He named one of his sons Abimelech, which means, "My father, a king."

Discuss/Consider

  1. Gideon had faithfully led God's people against the enemy. He had persevered in the face of disappointments, but he gave in to temptation. This happened after a great victory, as it so often does. Why? After a victory, people are apt to become overconfident, thinking they can do things in their own strength. Have you found this to be true in your life? Have you wondered why you gave in to temptation?
  2. Gideon resisted the temptation to be king, but he yielded to other temptations. Notice the areas in which he was tempted, and yielded -money, power, sex. Too many mature believers have fallen in these areas. How do you handle temptations?

Challenge

  1. Gideon said that he didn't want much, just a little. When we yield just a little, a door opens. Beware of golden earrings, just a little thing.
  2. Gideon would have been the last one to believe that his golden ephod would become an idol in Israel and a snare to himself and his household. But it happened. Gideon had departed from the word of God, and in so doing he brought disaster in his community and in his household. Beware of golden ephods in your life. Stay firmly in the word of God.

Key Verses

  • "Gideon said, 'I will not rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you." Judges 8:23
  • "Gideon said, 'I would like to make a request of you...your golden earrings." Judges 8:24
  • "Then Gideon made an ephod and set it up in his city. And all Israel played the harlot with it. It became a snare to Gideon and to his house." Judges 8:27
  • "Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare." 1 Tim 6:9

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