Please read Judges 7, Judges, 8, and Judges 9:1-21.
When Gideon made the ephod that the people were seduced by, it made me think of the golden calf – both the calf and the ephod were made from golden earrings (I’m not suggesting a connection, just reminded me).
“Gideon made the gold into a sacred ephod and put it on display in his hometown, Ophrah. All Israel prostituted itself there. Gideon and his family, too, were seduced by it” (Judges 8:27 MSG)
I wonder if Gideon knew he made a mistake in the attack on the Midianite kings and was trying to create some type of the presence of God for himself. An ephod is the clothing that the priests wore… was he trying to win back favor in the wrong way, then let the ephod itself become some sort of idol? The people of Israel had chance after chance after chance to return to God and STAY.
It’s sad that Gideon could experience the Lord in such a mighty way and still be seduced by an idol. God help all of us stay strong.