“Why did God allow polygamy in the Old Testament?” I’ve heard that question many times. The truth is, it has always been sin, but at that time it was an acceptable sin by most people’s standards. What sin have you allowed to become acceptable?
In Gideon had fallen into the sin of polygamy. Though it was tolerated in that society, it was never God’s intent. It always led to trouble and often outright evil as it did here in chapter 9.
We are introduced to Abimelech his son by another relationship (Gideon didn’t even marry this woman). Sin always spirals downward unless repented of and forsaken. Abimelech, not only conspired to become king of Shechem, but set out to kill all of his brothers—70 of them. He succeeded in killing all but one who hid from him.
What is God saying to us through this story? What principles can we learn? Possibly about the dangers of compromise?
If we trace this story back to , we see Gideon went from his great victory to making an ephod and setting it up in his hometown. An ephod generally referred to a sacred garment worn by a priest.
Matthew Henry says this may have included some kind of oracle to divine God’s will. The end of verse 27 says, “But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family.” Continue reading