Duet in the Desert
“Then the men of Ephraim said to him, ‘What is this thing you have done to us ’” Judges 8:1. “Then the men of Ephraim…said, ‘Why did you cross over to fight against the sons…without calling us to go with you’” Judges 12:1
Let’s face it…there are some people you just can’t please! Such was the case with the tribe of Ephraim. Centuries before, Jacob gave his grandson Ephraim the birthright over his older brother, Manasseh. Generation after generation the Ephraimites seemed to gain more prosperity than the tribe of Manasseh. The Ephraimites became a people who were self-centered, feeling superior and entitled to certain things, while looking down on others. They were used to the good life and were protected from the peripheral battles on the edge of the land since they were situated in the middle. Instead of being grateful for their position in the territory they griped and complained about the victory Gideon’s army had without them. Even though the victory blessed them, all they could focus on were their own self-centered circumstances.
Walking along life’s path is difficult to say the least. We will lose some things and will gain some these…we will experience some joy and we will suffer some pain. Some seasons will be peppered with peace while others will roar like lions. One thing for sure…the path to peace will never be through a critical and judgmental spirit. When we focus on the things we do not have in this life we lose sight of our beautiful blessings, and where God has positioned us.
If we find that we are in a season of lack we can be sure that God has placed us there to show us some things about ourselves and develop deeper dependency on Him. I know for myself that some of the past times when I have felt the loneliest and most isolated were the times when He whispered liberating revelations into my heart. God is in the business of removing…revealing… restoring and redeeming. We must trust that whatever situation we have been called to is the intentional hand of God moving us to higher ground.
‘Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Anchor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth…’ Hosea 2:14-15