May 28, 2015
And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels' neck. Judges 8:21
LET IT GLOW
Our hero Gideon is still in pursuit of the 15,000 Midianites that are left after their battle. Did this man become a man of violence and brutality?
We recognize that God gave Gideon and his 300 men army victory over the other 22,000 men of Midianites (half-brother of the Hebrews through Keturah and Abraham),Amalekites, and eastern people without raising a sword. However, Gideon knew they had to finish the job of destroying these enemies lest they become strong and oppress the Israelites again.
We left off where Gideon sent messengers to the land of Ephraim for help. The Ephraimites killed the 2 princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb, bringing their heads to Gideon.
For a little background: Ephraim was the most prominent of the 12 tribes of Israel. The tabernacle was located in their territory, and Joshua was one of the descendants. Impressed with their own importance, the men of Ephraim complained about not being included in the call to war. (D. Jeremiah)
Gideon had told the Lord that he was of the weakest clan in the tribe of Manasseh and of the least in his father's house (6:15) when the Lord commissioned him to fight in this battle.
To the Ephraimites, Gideon's diplomatic response was: in comparison to them, Gideon had accomplished nothing. The resentment of the Ephraimites subsided then.
Do we involve others when we have a job to do for the Lord? A good leader delegates.
LET IT GROW
By that time, Gideon and his army passed over the Jordan River, famished and fainting, yet pursuing the Midianites. He asked for help twice:
- When they arrived at the city of Succoth, he asked for loaves of bread for his army, but they would not give any to Gideon. Because of their food denial, Gideon threatened those people that he would return and tear their flesh with thorns and briers after capturing Zebah and Zalmunna of the Midianites.
- The same thing resulted at Penuel-no food was given for his men. Falwell says that this was a typical divided attitude of the Israelites at that time. Gideon threatened to return to Penuel and break down their tower.
Gideon and his army continued their pursuit of the 15,000 Midianites, discomfited (terrified) them(terrified) and captured their two kings. On the way back, Gideon met a youth and interrogated him. The youth wrote down the names of 77 princes and elders of Succoth. Gideon beat the men of Succoth as he had promised earlier. Then he tore down the tower at Penuel and killed the men.
Another thing Gideon did was tell his firstborn, Jether, to kill the two kings they captured. The youth did not draw his sword, for he was afraid because he was still a youth. The kings told Gideon to kill them himself, for a man is judged by his strength. And Gideon did just that. It would have been humiliating for the kings had the boy killed them. They would rather die by the sword of an inexperienced swordsman than disgraced by a boy.
Is this the same hero we read about earlier, insecure, needing two fleece assurances from God to go after the Midianites? Falwell describes the situation as blood revenge resting upon Gideon.
We are to leave the revenge to the Lord.
LET IT GO
Forgive others and let God take the revenge on them for you.