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In Case You Missed It -- Judges 8, Psalm 140

After Gideon defeats Zebah and Zalmunna, Israel is bent on folly, calling upon Gideon to be their king without seeking guidance from YHWH. Thankfully Gideon refuses this uncalled-for coronation; unfortunately, however, he forms other plans which exploit his newfound status. Gideon already has possession of camel’s jewelry belonging to Zebah and Zalmunna, but desiring more jewelry, he asks the victorious soldiers for one earring per person. Gideon uses this bounty to make an ephod like the one made for Aaron and Aaron’s sons. The original ephod was meant for the priests only. One purpose God had for original ephod was to give prophetic messages to Israel. In one go, Gideon and Israel seek to establish the authority of king, priest, and prophet without discerning God’s authority. Unsurprisingly Gideon’s ephod is formed in fashion reminiscent of the golden calf, and it becomes a graven image for these people to replace true worship of God with idolatry. God gives Israel peace during Gideon’s life, but the reader can already anticipate another round of intense bondage for Israel due to their foolishness. In the land of promise, God’s chosen people became wicked like the Canaanites around them, just like He predicted. Judges really does repeatedly invite us to ask the question: will there be a savior to deliver Israel from the evil of the nations? When God finally gives Israel an ultimate savior, it will be one with God’s vested authority as Prophet, Priest, and King.

Jeremiah Vaught