The Chain Reaction of Sin
There were only fifteen judges chosen by God to deliver his people. They hold a special place in the history of Israel. They did great things by the power of God. Their leadership often guided Israel away from sin. However, their leadership was not always perfect. A poor action by a leader can affect generations. Such effects have been seen by rulers around the world. The people often take upon themselves the attitudes and behaviors of their leader and once sin is born the tide of consequences are rarely turned.
Gideon, despite following the direction of God in the deliverance of Israel, also led them into sin. Following the triumph over the Midianite kings, Gideon took the spoils of war and fashioned an ephod in his city Ophrah. An ephod is a shoulder garment worn by a priest. The 8th chapter of Judges declares Gideon’s Ephod was a snare to his house and it caused Israel to go a “whoring” after it. This phrase is in reference to the relationship between God and his people. God was as a husband and Israel as his bride. Israel chose to worship the ephod as they did the golden calf when Moses was on Mt. Sinai. God declared then that Israel should have no other Gods besides Him (Exodus 20). The action of Israel in the time of Gideon was that of adultery against God. Certainly, this was not the original intent of Gideon, but he was the cause of it.
When Adam sinned, it affected an entire world (Genesis 3). When Korah sinned his actions led to the death of approximately 15,000 Israelites (Numbers 16). In Judges 17-18, household idols formed by a man named Micah would ultimately be taken and worshipped by the tribe of Dan. Their sinful idol worship would continue until Israel went into captivity. Many New Testament books speak of sins coming into the Church and spreading. Sin is infectious and frequently does not stop with one person. It certainly did not with Gideon.
Many of us can look back on our lives and wish to take away sinful actions which caused pain and stress upon ourselves and others. Let us walk carefully in the way of the Lord and seek to do His Will with every step.