Judges 8: 22-32 – Ego
22 Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian.
23 And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you.
24 And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)
25 And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey.
26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels’ necks.
27 And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.
28 Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.
29 And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house.
30 And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.
31 And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech.
32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
Now we see another bad attitude, that of having a big ego, or being full of oneself. Gideon had that problem. Although Gideon did decline to be the king, we see that his life style reflected otherwise. We see that Gideon decided to live like the ungodly kings around Israel. He had 70 sons (we don’t know how many daughters) and, as the Bible puts it, “many wives”. Clearly, Gideon was living the life of a king, and a pompous king at that! However, it gets worse!
Although he started off humbly declining to become Israel’s king, he ended up making an ‘ephod’ (it’s what the man in the picture is wearing) and letting people worship it! According to the Law that the Israelites followed (which God gave them), he had no authority to do this because he was not a priest or from the priestly family. Gideon, however, went ahead with his plan.
Probably the saddest thing about this story is that Gideon is the effect that his actions had on others. It says that the people rather than they worshiping God worshiped his ephod. Although everything was right on the outside (v. 28), the people were once again turned away from worshiping God, all because Gideon did it his was rather than God’s way.
Life Step: Think about it…
How are having an inflated ego and not wanting to do things God’s way connected?
What kind of things give us a higher view of ourselves than we should have?
What can we do to help us not to become egotistical?