Verses 1-21: Gideon fulfills God’s will for the destruction of the Midianites, but not without conflict and resistance from others. Gideon has to appease the people of Ephraim early in the chapter and he has to contend with Succoth and Penuel when they doubt him.
Through doing the will of the Lord, defeating the Midianites, and punishment, Gideon gathers respect and obedience. Zebah and Zalmunna, two Midianite leaders, are killed by Gideon’s hand because his son was too fearful.
Verses 22-35: Gideon creates an ephod out of the earrings gathered as plunder from the victory. This ephod ends up becoming something that is worshipped and thus indicates that Israel’s return to God would be short-lived.
The ephod is indeed a precursor. After Gideon’s death, the people of Israel go back to worshipping false gods. Even though Gideon’s efforts and legacy were great, the effects of His leadership were not lasting because the people did not truly change their ways in any lasting manner.
Are we ever like the Israelites in this chapter? Witness to blessings and the glory of God, yet fickle and disloyal?
Tonight let us remember to hold fast to God and righteousness even when it’s not what we’re used to.