God’s Using Every One of Us As We are Able
23 And the men of Israel were called out from Naphtali and from Asher and from all Manasseh, and they pursued after Midian.
24 Gideon sent messengers throughout all the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down against the Midianites and capture the waters against them, as far as Beth-barah, and also the Jordan.” So all the men of Ephraim were called out, and they captured the waters as far as Beth-barah, and also the Jordan. 25 And they captured the two princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they killed at the winepress of Zeeb. Then they pursued Midian, and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon across the Jordan.
8:1 Then the men of Ephraim said to him, “What is this that you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight against Midian?” And they accused him fiercely. 2 And he said to them, “What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the grape harvest of Abiezer? 3 God has given into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. What have I been able to do in comparison with you?” Then their anger against him subsided when he said this.
Oh man! It worked! 300 men with torches in jars and trumpets scared away an army of thousands!
As the fleeing army ran off in a panic, Gideon called out all of those men that had been sent home. Those guys shouldn’t have gone home bummed and depressed that they wouldn’t be used. They had a specific role and it wasn’t on the front lines on Day 1. Their job was to be well-rested and ready as the Midianites retreated through their towns. They ran out and fought on their own streets. The oppressors didn’t know what hit them.
It was God’s genius to deliver Israel with a little mix of miracles, inspired leadership, and every single Israelite that would answer even the simplest call.
I love how the Ephraimites acted at the end. You can just see them standing there with their shovels, clubs, and pitchforks saying “Why didn’t you invite us to the butt-whoopin?” (You know they didn’t speak as eloquently as our translators!) Every single person in Israel had a different role on that day.
Gideon handled it brilliantly. Instead of making excuses, he honored Ephraim. “Now that you’ve had victory, won’t your wine taste better?” Nobody could argue with that, so they relaxed.
We aren’t killing Midianites (thank the Lord!) but as we advance Christ’s Kingdom of Reconciliation and Love, we all have a job. It might not be exciting to sit at home and not be called on, but your time is coming. It might be a thrill to sneak around an army of thousands with nothing but a torch, a jar, and a trumpet, but that job doesn’t make you any more needed in the Kingdom. As we work together to build the Body of Christ, She gets built. Jesus said He’d build His church, and He’s using miracles, inspired leadership, and every one of us to do it.