The Pride of Ephraim
Gideon was a man who sought peace; he sought to avoid controversy among God's people. The tribe of Ephraim felt snubbed because Gideon had not called for their help in the initial battle against Midian so they complained bitterly, and forcefully challenged his having bypassed them. Why would this tribe launch a complaint against Gideon for not giving them a part in the initial fight? Ephraim was a large, important tribe; they were a proud people who had earlier responded when the call to arms was issued by Ehud and Barak. But the Midianites had been oppressing the Israelites for seven long years. If the tribe of Ephraim was sincere, why had they themselves not earlier taken the lead and called all Israel to drive the Midianites out of the promised land? Whatever the case, note the humble, soft answer of Gideon. He boosted their ego, seeking peace with the tribe of Ephraim and trying to avoid controversy. He praised them for their accomplishment in the mop-up operation and in capturing the two commanders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. Their conquest of the two commanders was a far greater achievement than the initial victory won by his small band of 300 soldiers. Gideon's humble, soft answer avoided controversy and secured peace between him and the tribe of Ephraim. Their resentment against him subsided; they were no longer angry or upset.
We are to seek peace with all men, seek to avoid controversy among people, especially among God's people. The spirit of peace is to be cultivated among believers. And peace is to be maintained as much as is possible. When differences, divisions, and strife arise, we are to do all we can to make peace.
|Date||Sep 20, 2009|
|Bible Text||Judges 8:1-21|