Ephraim complained vigorously against Gideon because he didn't include them in the fight against Midian. Gideon stopped their anger when he said their contribution in defeating Oreb and Zeeb was superior to what he did (Judges 8:1-3). Affirming others promotes understanding and unified relationships, the beginning of successful community development. What does God require of you? Micah 6:8 details three items: social justice, lovingkindness and walk humbly with God.
After Gideon and his 300 men came to Jordan weary and hungry, the men of Succoth refused to give bread to them. Gideon said he would "thrash your bodies with thorns and briers” after defeating Zebah and Zalmunna. He made a similar request to men of Penuel and they also refused. Gideon said he would tear down their tower (Judges 8:4-9). He required the action of social justice so people learned the difference between right and wrong.
Gideon defeated 15,000 men remaining of Zebah and Zalmunna's army. He disciplined men of Succoth with thorns and briars and tore down the tower of Penuel. Gideon also confronted the two Midianite kings saying, "If you let had let them (my brothers) live, I would not kill you" (Judges 8:10-21). He required the attitude of lovingkindness to mix with social justice in looking out of the interests of others.
Walk Humbly with God
Because Israel was delighted Gideon delivered them from Midian, they wanted to be ruled by him. Gideon said, “I will not rule over you, the Lord will rule over you” (Judges 8:22-23). In order to implement social justice and lovingkindness, one must walk humbly with God.
Unfortunately, Gideon made a gold ephod from the spoils of victory, which became a snare to Gideon and his household when Israel worshiped false gods. In spite of Gideon's sin, the land was undisturbed for 40 years (Judges 8:24-28).
Gideon had 70 sons, many wives and concubines. When Gideon died, Israel again worshiped Baals, and made Baal-berith their god. Israel failed to practice social justice, lovingkindness and walk humbly with God because they did not remember the Lord their God, who delivered them from their enemies, nor did they show kindness to Gideon's household (Judges 8:29-35).
When people exchange truth for a lie in the form of man, God gives them over to materialism and immorality in serving the creature rather than the Creator (Rom. 1:23-25).
What lies are you believing? How have you served the creature through materialism and immorality? Ask God through the power of the Holy Spirit to practice justice. lovingkindness and walk humbly with God.