This is some epic story-telling! God thins the deck and uses only 300 men to go up against the Midianites. He doesn’t want any wiggle room for the Israelites to take credit; they merely stand back and watch the army of Midian panic and retreat in response to their presence. Of course, despite God’s huge victory, there are still some complainers:
”Then the people of Ephraim asked Gideon, ‘Why have you treated us this way?’ Why didn’t you send for us when you first went out to fight the Midianites?’ And they argued heatedly with Gideon.” 8:1
Feeling left out that they didn’t get to battle, these guys whine to Gideon about getting stuck with clean up duty. Gideon soothes their ego by assuring them that their task, in hindsight, is even greater than his own.
But sometimes, it’s not. Sometimes your task is just less glorious, less productive and not on the front lines. But it is still a God-appointed task and still important work.
Are you content in the work God has you? Or do your resent the spot you’re in? Are you whining to someone, asking them for more visible leadership, even when God has just accomplished something great right in front of you?
God wants, and deserves, to be the hero of the story. He includes us in his work and often we find ways to complain about not being center stage. Our pride is hungry for recognition. Instead, feed it truth. If the leaders of Ephraim had stepped back and recognized what God had done in battle, maybe they would’ve felt honored to be involved at all (and thankful to be alive), instead of greedy for more noticeable involvement. Perspective is a great truth-teller.
Check your heart today and ask God to keep you humble as you work alongside him.