David Lee Brown
Sin Leads to Destruction
“And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.” (Judges 6:1)
The book of Judges is a tapestry of success and failure for the Israelites. They failed to obey God’s command to wipe out all of the inhabitants of Canaan and were judged over and over because of it. That would include the Midianites taking over for 7 years, and the amazing miracle of Gideon’s defeat over the Midianites. God used Gideon to answer the prayer of the Israelites who were being oppressed, and their land ravaged by the Midianites, Amalekites and the children of the east. God and Gideon, using only 300 men, defeated a multitude. “And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.” (Judges 7:12) After the initial routing of the army, then reinforcements from Israel assisted in wiping out the army that fled from Gideon and his 300 men.
The people wanted to proclaim Gideon king, but he declined the offer and became a judge over Israel instead, but he didn’t decline the booty from the fallen Midianites and Amalekites. He asked for and the people gave him 1,700 shekels of gold, making him instantly rich. The gold he coveted was 1,700 gold shekels which would be about $850,000 US dollars today. Being rich is not a sin, but coveting riches and some of the things you can do with riches can be sinful. Gideon accumulated many wives and fathered 70 children. Just because you covet and can afford many wives doesn’t mean you should gather them unto yourself. We are to have one wife for one husband. That’s what the Bible says. Even though Gideon sinned, God gave Gideon a long life and peaceful death due to his obedience in defending Israel.
Gideon had a concubine from the city Shechem and she gave birth to Abimelech, Gideon’s son. Abimelech wanted to inherit all of what Gideon had, so Abimelech hired some men and they went and killed all of his brothers except the youngest brother that hid from all the bloody savagery. So, Gideon’s lineage was reduced to two sons by a proud, covetous, murderous son. Sin begets sin; covetousness led to murder. Gideon’s son Abimelech, due to his own sinful nature, became a murderer who butchered his brothers. This was not Gideon’s fault; Abimelech sinned of his own free will. What I’m saying is that no one is immune to sin. Our goal must be to limit sin as much as humanly possible, because sin leads to more sin.
Even great men and women fail to live up to God’s ideal, so be diligent in your quest to be as Christ-like as possible. It’s a lifelong quest and a long journey, but it’s well worth the effort.