“And Gideon’s concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech…and it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god…neither showed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, namely Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.”
Judges 8: 31-35, King James Version
“Actions and Intentions” Part V
Good Intentions, Willful Actions, Destructive Results
“(She) who is false to present duty breaks a thread in the loom, and will find the flaw when (she) may have forgotten its cause.”
Henry Ward Beecher
What kind of pattern am I weaving by the actions in my life?
“Obedience must be the struggle and desire of our life. Obedience, not hard and forced, but ready, loving and spontaneous; the doing of duty, not merely that the duty may be done, but that the soul in doing it may become capable of receiving and uttering God.”
“I count all that part of my life lost which I spent not in communion with God, or in doing good.”
My grandmother loved to knit and she was extremely proficient at it. Our entire family still has afghans and sweaters crafted by my grandma’s precious hands.
Of course, finding so much joy in this hobby, grandma believed her granddaughters would take to knitting just like fish to water. Unfortunately, she was mistaken.
I’ll never forget one lesson I had with Grandma. She watched and instructed me as I tried my best to knit a small square of multi-hued green yarn. Back and forth went the needles. Somewhere along the way, however, I messed up and dropped a stitch and before I knew it, even my inexperienced eye told me something was wrong. What only compounded the problem was that I had the mistaken idea a small error didn’t matter!
When I finished my little square, I proudly presented it to my grandmother and as her keen eye surveyed my attempt, she took the small loose string and pulled very gently on it. To my utter shock, the entire square unraveled in just a few seconds.
Grandma then pointed out that when you are knitting, mistakes can’t be left uncorrected for before you know it, one little flaw will destroy the entire project.
Guess what? Our lives are the same. As the quote from Henry Ward Beecher so correctly states: “(She) who is false to present duty breaks a thread in the loom.” And one broken thread can ruin the entire weaving.
This is the lesson we need to learn from the life of Gideon. He was called by God to be a man of valour. God saw the potential and the possibilities in Gideon’s life just as He does in your life and mine. God called and assigned Gideon a bold task to which he responded with obedience. His actions were directed by God and he didn’t hesitate to do as God asked. Even after a stunning victory against the Midianites, when it would have been easy for Gideon to get all puffed-up, especially after the children of Israel called for him to be their ruler – here again – Gideon reminded the people their success was because God was their ruler.
However, back home in Ophrah, Gideon’s good intentions of making an ephod, symbolic of God’s spiritual rulership of His children, led to actions by all the people – causing the ephod to be a snare as the Israelites worshipped it rather than God.
After this first step in taking what was God’s authority and saying, “I’ll do it my way,” Gideon took step number two by saying, “I can run my household like the world around me. I can marry as many women as I want.” That’s exactly what he did.
But, Gideon didn’t stop by taking “many wives.” Judges 8:31 tells us he also had a concubine in Shechem. It is quite likely this woman was a Canaanite. And God had plainly instructed His children not to intermarry with the people of Canaan.
One step, two steps, three steps – and before Gideon knew it, he was blatantly disobeying God. We are told in Judges 8: 33-35, that after Gideon died, the people forgot God, disobeyed God, stopped worshipping God and showed no kindness to Gideon’s family. In our next five lessons, we’ll study even more about the results that Gideon’s disobedient behavior had on subsequent generations.
The life of Gideon illustrates clearly how with one step at a time in the wrong direction our legacy of valour can be turned into a legacy of vanity that brings down those we intended to bring freedom to.
Gideon’s life should teach us that every stitch counts in life as well as when you’re a young girl trying to learn to knit.
“(She) liveth long who liveth well!
All other life is short and vain;
(She) liveth longest who can tell of living
Most for heavenly gain.”
Let the glow of Thy great love through my whole being shine.”
I am a stumbling beginner,
unused to trusting,
afraid to trust.
Please help me.
I’m also pigheaded –
I’m stubborn and want my own way!
Please forgive me and overcome that in me.
But You know that, don’t You?
And You’re still prepared to take
me on and work with me.
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Available in all bookstores and on Amazon.com
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.