Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday - Judges 8 - Gideon's Peace

As we have already learned, each judge brought a measure of peace in Israel. In Gideon's case, the peace lasted for 40 years. Surely there were various factors that contributed to the maintenance of that peace. Foremost among those reasons was the blessings of God upon the people, and that because of their former repentance and continual submission to Him. Still, one must consider how other things affected both God and the nation. Telling is the fact that, the death of each judge signaled the end of justice and peace for a time. Judges 8:33 says this precisely regarding the death of Gideon. So, we should conclude that there were specific qualities attached to the life of Gideon which affected the whole nation.

In Gideon's case, we can point to 2 primary qualities which God blessed him with: wisdom and humility. His God-given wisdom is seen in how he handled the anger, frustration and jealousy of Ephraim. He calmed them by magnifying their feats above his own (Judges 8:2). His humility can be seen in his refusal of an offer to essentially become the first king of Israel (Judges 8:23). There is one other situation that illustrates the personality and character of Gideon though: the way he handled the captive kings, Zebah and Zalmunna... as well the cowardly men of Succoth and Penuel. His integrity, determination and diligence were demonstrated when he finished the job he had started. What he spoke with his mouth, he was thoroughly willing to execute with his hand. Of course, that is a vital trait of good leadership. No wonder God continually blessed him. He may have lacked in pedigree, confidence or ability, but he didn't fail where it counted most: he was dependable.

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