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Private Lives, Public Consequences

Read Judges 8:22-35

Then Gideon son of Joash returned home. He had seventy sons born to him, for he had many wives. He also had a concubine in Shechem, who gave birth to a son, whom he named Abimelech.
(Judges 8:29-31)


Gideon already had numerous wives. His relationship with a concubine reflects a pattern of disregard for marriage. With her, Gideon bore a son who tore apart his family and brought tragedy upon the nation (see Judges 9). The consequences of Gideon’s private life did perhaps more damage for the nation than whatever public good he had done.

No matter who you are, moral flaws can cause lasting problems, even if we think they’re “private.” Our private sins can leave public consequences, even if we’ve been faithful in other parts of life.

We need to be constantly watchful against temptation and root out sin wherever it appears. Sometimes Satan’s most devastating attacks come in the quiet that follows great victory.


Are you obedient to God in some areas of life but not in others? Are you indifferent about some sin because of the good things you do elsewhere? Even though we split up our lives into different dimensions, God sees you as a whole person. He is not fooled into thinking we can keep ourselves safe and segmented. God wants you, all of you. What parts of yourself aren’t yet given up to him?

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