Do Not Leave A Negative Legacy

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Judges 8:32 (NIV)
Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Judges 8:32 (MSG)
Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age. He was buried in the tomb of his father Joash at Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
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“Gideon the son of Joash died at a good advanced age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.” -AMPLIFIED

Gideon’s physical life ends at this point; here in this verse in Judges 8. The consequences of his life and how those choices affected others around him continues through chapter 9 and 10 though. The writer of Judges tells us that Gideon died at an advanced age. He had lived a long life. In fact, we are told this, “So Midian was subdued and humbled before the sons of Israel, and they no longer lifted up their heads [in pride]. And the land was at rest for forty years in the days of Gideon.” -Judges 8:28 (AMP)

If only the story ended there, but it did not. The writer tells us this about Gideon after his military service was over. “Jerubbaal (Gideon) the son of Joash went and lived in his own house. Now Gideon had seventy sons born to him, because he had many wives. And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelech.” -Judges 8:29-31 (AMP)

Gideon appears to have had the same problem that Solomon had; too many wives. It is thought by many that he had so many wives was a testimony of his great wealth, but in fact many wives adds up to a whole lot of problems. Hatred and murder plagued Gideon’s family; all because of his polygamous situation. To make matters worse, one of these wives was not from the children of Israel. Gideon had intermarried with a woman from Shechem which was against the Law of the God.

J. Vernon McGee shares these thoughts about this passage that sums up Gideon’s life; “Gideon had many wives and a concubine besides. He had a total of seventy-one sons. That is a real blot on this man’s life. Now someone will say, as they did about Solomon, “How could God use a man like this and why did He use him?” Well, Gideon took these many wives and had all these children after the battle. And the fact of the matter is that God used him in spite of this. God did not approve of what he did. The record makes it clear that his actions brought tragedy to the nation of Israel. The next chapter brings that out. God had forbidden intermarriage outside the nation. He had forbidden the Israelites to have more than one wife. God did not create several Eves for Adam. He created only one. God did not remove all of Adam’s ribs. God took out only one rib. Abraham, you remember, took a concubine, that little Egyptian maid named Hagar and, believe me, it caused trouble. God never sanctioned it.” -Thru the Bible

Gideon’s legacy to his children and to Israel became a negative legacy. His actions following his great victory, through God, lead to a whole lot of negative consequences. One must be careful that their life is a continuing sacrifice before the Lord and not think that once you have done something great for God that your service to Him is now complete.

The repercussions to Gideon’s choices. We can see this is the closing words of chapter 8 of Judges. “Gideon was hardly cool in the tomb when the People of Israel had gotten off track and were prostituting themselves to Baal—they made Baal-of-the-Covenant their god. The People of Israel forgot all about God, their God, who had saved them from all their enemies who had hemmed them in. And they didn’t keep faith with the family of Jerub-Baal (Gideon), honoring all the good he had done for Israel.” -Judges 8:33-35 (MSG)

We will also find that Gideon’s son, Abimelech, the son birthed to his wife from Shechem, ended up killing 70 of his brothers and then setting himself up as judge. He was an evil man, unprincipled, and very ambitious. We will look more into his legacy in the coming days.

Needless to say, for all the good that Gideon did in obeying the Lord, fighting the Midianites, and leading the Israelites to victory his life after all of that appears to negate all the good that he did. It is important that we live our lives continually for the Lord; not just when we feel like it or it is convenient. . Be careful that you too are not leaving a negative legacy; leaving negative consequences for those you love.

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