READ: Judges 8
1 – Jealous of Gideon’s success, the tribe of Ephraim angrily accuses him of not giving them an opportunity to fight. Rather than becoming defensive, however, Gideon responds by praising their victory. His humility brings a peaceful resolution.
5 – Zebah and Zalumnna are apparently kings of two different Midianite tribes.
6 – Kings of Succoth respond to Gideon’s request for help by mocking him – a decision which proves very foolish!
23 – Gideon desires that God have all the credit for victory and, therefore, refuses to be Israel’s king.
27 – The ephod was a holy priestly garment, but at sometimes it is associated with pagan idol worship.
30 – seventy sons – a sign of power and prosperity
THINK: On a scale of one to ten, where would you rate humility as a desirable life skill? Would you agree that for the average American (that’s most of us) humility is almost counter-cultural? From a very young age, most of us grow up believing that humility is not only a sign of weakness, but a sign of extreme incompetence and stupidity! We are told to demand our rights, to “toot our own horns”, to exhibit a “don’t mess with me” attitude and to not take anything from anybody! Never back down! That’s us! But how different would our world look if we decided to defer to others, to consider others better than ourselves, and to give the glory for all our success to God? That’s one lesson we can learn from Gideon. Instead of arguing with the people of Ephraim, he models Proverbs advice: “A gentle answer turns away wrath…” Gideon doesn’t return anger for anger or get into a one-upmanship contest. “My victory doesn’t compare to yours,” he tells them. Later, when victory over the Midian is complete, the Israelites beg Gideon to be their King – an offer he refuses. While Gideon’s humility may seem easy on the ancient pages of the Old Testament, it wasn’t. We are prideful people and most of us our tempted to want to be better than everyone else…..Let’s start a humility revolution!
ASK: Are there areas in my life where I can adopt an attitude of humility? What relationships might improve if I considered the other person as more worthy than myself?