The opening remembrance of this chapter is a dispute between Jephthah and Ephraim. Ephraim was slighted because they weren’t called to battle alongside Jephthah and Gilead. Now, of course, Jephthah remembers things differently, saying he called to them but Ephraim never came. The dispute escalated and 42,000 Ephraimites died in the battle that resulted.
There is an African proverb that goes, “When elephants fight the grass gets trampled.”
My hunch is that the 42,000 who died had little to no vested interest in the originating squabble. They are simply the causality of their leaders wounded pride.
Talking through issues, particularly when you have culpability, is never an enjoyable time. Being humble and facing your faults, while at the same time being gracious to the other person(s), is hard for me and yet, I believe that is Jesus call to His followers, especially when the situation is between Believers.
I was recently involved in a situation of miss communication. We are still working things through. It is hard work. However, in the end my hope and sense is that God gets as much or even more glory as the issue is worked through by sisters and brothers. Check out the letter to Philemon… the Gospel works!!!
Today God is pressing me to return to the situation I mentioned and make sure things have been worked through. How about you? Is the Lord bringing to mind a broken relationship that is in need of repair? If so, listen to His voice and do what you need to do…
Oh, Lord, help me with my friend. Guide my words and bridle my tongue so that only truth-filled words, God-honoring words pass through my lips. Allow me to face my faults honestly and humbly and that You, Lord, receive all the honor and glory that will result from this repaired relationship.
And, Lord, if by chance we cannot repair, allow me to do everything in my power to be an agent of peace and reconciliation. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.