Judges 12:1-7 – But what about us… (Part II)
1 And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire.
2 And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands.
3 And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the Lord delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me?
4 Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the Manassites.
5 And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay;
6 Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.
7 And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.
If you remember way back to Judges 8 and Gideon, this scenario seems oddly familiar. Once again, the Ephraimites complain against their leader, now Jephthah. The Ephraimites, just like before, complain that they were not included in the battle. Jephthah reminds them that he had gone to the for help while his people were still oppressed (before anything that looked good was going on) and they did nothing about it. That was the reason they were not involved in the battle, because they refused to help. Unlike with Gideon, however, this time the Ephraimites end up in a war against Jephthah after they threatened to burn down his house!
The Ephraimites’ problem was that they thought too highly of themselves. They felt like they should be included in anything good happening even if they had chosen not to be involved when things were not looking good for the Israelites. Sometimes, we get the same inflated view of ourselves. We feel like we ought to be included in more things or allowed more responsibilities, but we have to earn those kinds of things. The Ephraimites had a chance to be involved when it was not glamorous, when the people were being oppressed. The Ephraimites, however, choose not to do anything. We need to be committed when things do not seem glamorous. If we are faithful with the little things, God will give us more to be faithful with.
Life Step: Think about it…
Read Luke 16:10. How does it relate to this lesson?
What are the little things that you can be faithful with?