In the book of Judges we have the story of Gideon's pursuit of the routed army of the Midianites, clear across the fords of the Jordan. In the heat and excitement of the campaign, for some reason the Ephraimites who dwelt on the other side of the Jordan had not been called. They had taken only a minor part in the campaign. When Gideon returned from his great victory, instead of saluting him for delivering Israel out of the hands of the Midianites, the men of Ephraim chided him sharply, and said, "Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites?" (Judg. 8:1.) Fortunately, Gideon was a man of self-control, and knew the wisdom of, "A soft answer turneth away wrath" (Prov. 15:1); so he said to the men of Ephraim, "What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abi-ezer?" In other words, "The part that you have played in this campaign is just as important as the part that I have played."
How true that bit of Old Testament history is to present life! How modern it is! In every campaign, and especially in the life of the Church, there are always men of Ephraim who have to be pacified, who take unwarranted offense, whose feelings are hurt, whose pride is offended, when no offense is meant.