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February | February 04, 2016
Thursday, February 04, 2016
Another lesson to learn from the experience of Gideon found in Judges 7-8 is that success does not immunize you from criticism. How you handle criticism can make success sweet or bitter-sweet. When Gideon initially prepared to attack the Midianite army God led him to shrink the number of soldiers to an elite 300. God used them to initiate the attack where God created the mayhem that resulted in Midianite soldiers slaughtering each other. As a small contingent tried escaping, Gideon and the elite core with him pursued them. Along the way others were called to join in the pursuit. Soldiers from Ephraim routed a contingent of the Midianite troupes, including two of their leaders. When they caught up with Gideon they asked him, Why have you treated us like this? Why didnt you call us when you went to fight Midian? And they criticized him sharply. Note that Gideon didnt defend himself, or proudly tell them that God chose and directed him to do what he did. Rather, he answered them, What have I accomplished compared to you?...God gave
the Midianite leaders into your hands. What was I able to do compared to you? At this, their resentment against him subsided (Judges 8:1-3). Gideon demonstrated the power of Proverbs 15:1, A gentle answer turns away wrath. And to add spice to his response, he applauded their exploits above his own. Their critical spirit was subdued, and later they joined other Israelites in honoring Gideon by offering him to rule over them! This illustrates Proverbs 11:25, A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.