After Gideon and his 300 men sent the Midianites running, they sent a messenger to the men of Ephraim to come out and help defeat the Midianites. The Ephraimites came out and were able to catch 2 of the main leaders. When they brought them to Gideon they were kind of mad. They told Gideon he should have let them help from the beginning. Gideon basically told them that they ended up doing way more than he did and had been very important in freeing their people. That made them feel better.
But Gideon and his 300 continued pursuing the other Midianite princes (or leaders). After a while they came to the city of Succoth. The men were tired and hungry so they asked the town to feed them. The leaders of Succoth refused. Gideon told them that after he defeated the Midianites he would be back to punish them. But why did they refuse? The Bible doesn’t really say but many think they were afraid that he wouldn’t really defeat the Midianites. They may have been more afraid of what the Midianites would do to them for helping Gideon than they were afraid of what Gideon might do.
So Gideon and his men traveled on and did catch and defeat the other Midianite princes. Then Gideon returned and punished the leaders of Succoth. So we have two groups of people; the Ephraimites who are mad they didn’t get to help more and the people of Succoth who wouldn’t help when they should. What made the difference? The Ephraimites were focused on God and wanted to do all they could on God’s side. The people of Succoth were focused on men and what they might do. The Ephraimites had the right idea. They knew that they needed to be on God’s side no matter what the odds looked like! God is always going to win!! We should always support God’s side, because even when it looks impossible, God’s side wins!!
Play some kind of board/card game. Before you start have everyone vote on who they think will win. Were you right? Remind your kids that with people we may or may not know who will win, but God always does!