Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gideon's Jealous Brothers

By Mary Vee
Judges 8

Gideon's Thoughts

The battle ended. 

We'd conquered the Midianites but some of their soldiers had fled beyond our reach.

While we rested by the Jordan river my brothers from the tribe of Ephraim took over the conquest with fresh energy. They overpowered the enemy who stole all the watering places and took prisoner Oreb and Zeeb, two Midianite princes. Without their help, the Midianites could have regrouped and come back to attack.

After their victory, my brothers from Ephraim returned to the Jordan river. Instead of smiles and proud shoulders pressed back, they frowned, some sighed like they had been hurt--not their bodies, but their heart. Something made them sad.

I ran to my brothers to greet them. Their leader stepped forward. He didn't greet me with a hug, in fact, he stayed a few steps away. That's when I knew he and the others from Ephraim had been hurt--by me. What did I do?

I waited for him to speak. His eyes moved side to side and he lowered his head. He didn't need or want to be asked to speak. He needed my patience. 

I didn't look at anyone else, only him. I didn't sit or say a word to my brother, I'd only hoped he'd noticed I would wait for him to speak his heart.

A long moment later he took a deep breath and showed me his angry eyes. "Why didn't you call us to help when you went to fight the Midianites? We would have come." He shook his head and took a deep breath. He pinched his lips together, probably to hold back hurting words.

I wanted to hug him, but he wasn't ready. He would have pushed me away. I stayed where I'd stood and gently spoke, "Who am I, dear brother in comparison to you? What I have done is nothing."

He raised his head and studied my face. His shoulders and fist relaxed. I took a step closer and set my hand on his shoulder. "Don't you see what God did?  He delivered the Midianite princes into your hands. Not mine. What was I able to do compared to you? God chose you to seal the victory."

All my brothers from Ephraim stepped closer, their eyes wide. "Us? God chose us?"

I smiled and laughed. "Yes, my brothers. God gave the final victory to you."

The leader came close and hugged me. We, brothers from Naphtali, Asher, Manasseh and Ephraim celebrated our freedom the rest of the night, praising God and thanking him for our family.

1. Who was angry?
2. Why were they angry?
3. What did Gideon do?
4. What had God done for the brothers from Ephraim?
5. How do you think God included this story in the Bible?

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