A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
There will be times when others are angry at us. We can’t avoid this but we can choose how we respond to their anger. We can either give a soft answer, which will turn their wrath away, or we can respond with a harsh word, which will increase their anger. Two of the judges of Israel, Gideon and Jephthah, encountered the wrath of others in nearly identical circumstances but responded differently.
Gideon was a farmer. When he first appears in the Biblical account he is beating out wheat in a winepress to keep it hidden from the Midianite invaders of the land. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and told him he had been chosen to destroy the Midianites. He reluctantly accepted the assignment and after a successful war against the Midianites he encountered opposition from one of the other tribes of Israel, Ephraim. Read the rest of this entry
Rudyard Kipling wrote a story called “The Man Who Would be King.” It is about two Englishmen who took control of a small state in Afghanistan and set up a kingdom there. You can read the story here.
The Bible tells of a man who would not be king. He was offered the kingship of Israel and turned it down. In view of what happened afterward I think he was wrong to do this.
The man’s name was Gideon. You can read his story in Judges 6-8. God called Gideon to deliver Israel from the Midianites. With only 300 men he was able to overcome a Midianite army of 135,000. The people of Israel were so grateful they offered to make him their ruler. Read the rest of this entry
After Gideon raised an army to battle the Midianites the first thing God did was reduce the size of it so they wouldn’t think that they had won a victory by their own power. The first step in this reduction was to send home all those who are afraid. This eliminated 22,000 of the soldiers and left only 10,000.