Remember that Gideon’s other name is Jerub-Baal. He is a descendant of Abiezer, of the family of Manasseh. His kinsmen are the Ephraimites, which helps us to understand their family rivalry when the Ephraimites are critical of him in chapter 8.
It is to Gideon’s credit that he refuses to be Israel’s king. God is their king. On the other hand, Gideon acts very much like a king – and a priest. He makes himself a gold priest’s robe. He gathers to himself gold from his subjects and rules over them. He takes to himself many wives – enough to have 70 children – and if that were not enough, he also takes at least one concubine. When he dies, he leaves behind a ruling dynasty (which comes into play in chapter 9). In other words, he does the very thing he says he doesn’t want to do.
“What have you done for me lately” seems to be the cry of Israel. Gideon rescued her from great oppression, but after the rescue, she did not appreciate his rule. The same was true with God. During rescue, Israel was obedient and appreciative. But as the years wore on, the monotony of normal life led her to rebel against God and seek newer things. It always led her astray, and it does to us. Perhaps our greatest challenge is not with prosperity or poverty, but with the boredom that comes from day to day sameness. Satan knows it, and is always throwing something our way to attract our attention.