Judges 8:1-3 – But what about us…
1 And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply.
2 And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?
3 God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that.
This chapter is all about people who had some bad attitudes. It’s kind of ironic, really. God just saved Israel, and then everyone starts getting off track. Here, Gideon has some men from the tribe of Ephraim start complaining that they wanted to have been more involved with chasing away the Midianites. Gideon tactfully reminds them that they played a huge role in capturing two Midianite princes! They really played an important role in the battle!
We should not be complaining people. If you look at the men of Ephraim, they really did not have a reason to complain, they were just wishing they had been more involved than they were, and Gideon reminded them that they had been involved and that helped the situation. When we feel like the men of Ephraim did, the best course of action to take is to do something about it. That means we try to get involved. If we do, and we end up more involved, then problem solved. If we realize, like Ephraim, that we are already involved and playing an important role in whatever it is, then are complaints are not based in truth, just our own imaginations. So, when you want to complain about something, first try fixing it!
Also, I think it is important to notice that although we should not follow their example in complaining, or how they spoke sharply to Gideon, the men of Ephraim did do something right; they complained to the person they had a problem with. When we have a problem with someone, it is important that we go to the person, not just going around to anyone who would listen. Don’t complain, and if you have a problem with someone, just go to them.
Life Step: Think about it…
What kinds of things do people tend to complain about?
How might getting involved in the solution, or realizing they are involved, fix that complaining?
What happens when we complain to others instead of going to the person we have a problem with?