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Gideon Defeats Midian and Judges Israel

Scripture Passage: 
Judges 8:1-35

INTRODUCTION: Gideon wins the war against the Midianites, righteously refuses to be king, and judges Israel for forty years. Yet, in making the ephod, he sets Israel up for their next plunge into idolatry and rebellion.

  1. THE COMPLAINTS OF EPHRAIM (Judges 8:1-3)
    1. They Complain about the War with Midian (Judges 8:1).
      1. The men of Ephraim are upset that they were not called upon to fight with Gideon against the Midianites.
      2. They chide with Gideon sharply.
    2. Gideon Praises Ephraim for Their Accomplishments (Judges 8:2-3).
      1. He demonstrates his humility (Judges 8:2-3).
        1. “What have I done now in comparison of you?” (Judges 8:2)
        2. “What was I able to do in comparison of you?” (Judges 8:3)
      2. He praises Ephraim’s work in the capture of Oreb and Zeeb (Judges 8:3).
    3. Their Anger Is Abated toward Gideon (Judges 8:3; Proverbs 15:1).
  2. THE WICKEDNESS OF SUCCOTH AND PENUEL (Judges 8:4-9)
    1. Trouble with Succoth (Judges 8:4-7)
      1. Gideon and his men are weary (Judges 8:4-5).
        1. They cross over Jordan to pursue the kings of Midian (Judges 8:4-5).
        2. They ask the men of Succoth for loaves of bread (Judges 8:5).
      2. Trouble brews between Gideon and Succoth (Judges 8:6-7).
        1. The princes of Succoth refuse to give bread to Gideon and his men (Judges 8:6).
        2. Gideon promises destruction for Succoth as soon as he is done with the kings of Midian (Judges 8:7).
    2. Trouble with Penuel (Judges 8:8-9)
      1. Gideon goes to Penuel requesting bread for his men (Judges 8:8).
      2. The men of Penuel answer the same as the men of Succoth (Judges 8:8).
      3. Gideon promises the men of Penuel that he will return and break down their tower (Judges 8:9).
  3. THE CAPTURE OF ZEBAH AND ZALMUNNA (Judges 8:10-12)
    1. The Army of Midian Is in Trouble (Judges 8:10).
      1. The Midianites are hiding out in Karkor.
      2. The number of soldiers remaining is about fifteen thousand.
      3. The host of Midian has lost one hundred and twenty thousand already.
    2. Gideon Moves In on the Midianites (Judges 8:11-12).
      1. Gideon destroys the host of Midian (Judges 8:11).
      2. Gideon captures the kings of Midian (Judges 8:12).
  4. THE PUNISHMENT OF SUCCOTH AND PENUEL (Judges 8:13-17)
    1. Gideon Acquires Intelligence Concerning Succoth (Judges 8:13-14).
      1. Gideon returns from the battle before sunup (Judges 8:13).
      2. Gideon gathers information on seventy-seven officers of Succoth (Judges 8:14).
    2. Gideon Returns to Succoth (Judges 8:15-16).
      1. Gideon comes unto the men of Succoth (Judges 8:15).
      2. He shows them that he has captured Zebah and Zalmunna (Judges 8:15).
      3. He takes the thorns and briers to the elders of the city and “teaches” the men of Succoth (Judges 8:16).
    3. Gideon Returns to Penuel (Judges 8:17).
      1. He beats down the tower of Penuel.
      2. He slays the men of the city.
  5. THE EXECUTION OF ZEBAH AND ZALMUNNA (Judges 8:18-21)
    1. The Trial of the Kings of Midian (Judges 8:18-19)
      1. Gideon asks of those that had been slain at Tabor (Judges 8:18).
      2. Gideon informs the kings of Midian that those men were his brethren (Judges 8:19).
      3. Gideon passes down the judgment (Judges 8:19; Genesis 9:5-6; Deuteronomy 19:21).
    2. Judgment Is Passed upon the Kings (Judges 8:20-21).
      1. Gideon’s son is called upon to execute judgment (Judges 8:20).
        1. Gideon commands his firstborn to slay the kings.
        2. Gideon’s son cannot execute for fear.
      2. Gideon slays the kings of Midian himself (Judges 8:21).
  6. THE JUDGING OF ISRAEL BY GIDEON (Judges 8:22-31)
    1. The Men of Israel Honour Gideon (Judges 8:22-23).
      1. They ask Gideon to rule over them as a king (Judges 8:22).
      2. Gideon refuses to rule over them, but says that the Lord shall rule over them (Judges 8:23).
    2. Gideon Has One Request of the People (Judges 8:24-27).
      1. He calls for the earrings of the prey to make an ephod (Judges 8:24-26).
      2. The ephod is a snare for all (Judges 8:27).
        1. All Israel goes a whoring after the ephod.
        2. It becomes a snare unto Gideon, and unto his house.
    3. The Legacy of Gideon (Judges 8:28-31)
      1. Gideon judges Israel for forty years (Judges 8:28).
      2. Gideon has seventy sons of many wives (Judges 8:29-31).
  7. THE STATE OF ISRAEL AFTER GIDEON (Judges 8:32-35)
    1. The Death of Gideon (Judges 8:32)
      1. He dies in a good old age.
      2. He is buried in the sepulcher of his father in Ophrah.
    2. The Rebellion of Israel (Judges 8:33-35)
      1. They return to idolatry (Judges 8:33)
        1. They go a whoring after Baalim.
        2. They make Baal-berith their god.
      2. They forget the Lord (Judges 8:34).
      3. They forget Gideon (Judges 8:35).

CONCLUSION: Gideon’s victory was complete and his time as judge peaceful and glorious. But, in making the ephod, he planted the seed for a further perversion of God’s truth. We must be careful that we are not setting the scene for rebellion against God after we are gone. One seed sometimes bears much fruit. What kind of seed are you planting?

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 26:13

The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.