How could Gideon set up an idol at the end of his life? You can read about it in Judges 8:22-35. He had won a great victory. I want to jump to the account of Paul’s thorn. 2 Corinthians 12:7 in the ESV says, “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.”
I was used to the way I memorized this verse as a child. I was startled when it was brought to my attention. Ask yourself this question: Could my trial be a purposeful thorn to keep me from being conceited? It puts another spin on it for me. It helped me offer a sacrifice of genuine praise.
Our victories are from God. They honor Him and lift His name up through praise and thanksgiving. We can only imagine how much satan hates our victories. He will do whatever he can to derail us through them ~ through conceit.
After Gideon’s death, one son said this about him. Abimelech had killed all of Gideon’s sons except one who escaped. In Judges 9:17 he said, “For my father fought for you, risked his life, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian.”
Here is our instruction. When the Lord gives us a great victory, we need to humble ourselves. A humble heart will be empowered through grace to resist the pull from satan’s snares to entrap us through conceit.