(September 5, 2015)
Gideon found himself in a very awkward position. He had taken an oath that he would slay Noah. Shortly after, he found himself in the position where he could accomplish his oath. Yet at that very time, the advancing armies of the Lamanites were coming into the land and threatening the destruction of his people.
Gideon was left with a choice – does he follow through on his oath (something so important in ancient cultures that the violation of this rule often leads to death) or does he put the safety of his people before his own personal righteousness?
Interestingly enough, though we see what decision he made in this chapter I don’t think that we can clearly see what the right decision was. After all, Noah clearly did little to bring about the salvation of his people. Would they have been better off had Noah been slain before he could lead the men away? Or would that have left the corrupt priests in charge or perhaps even brought about the complete destruction of the people? I don’t know, but it is an intriguing question because the issue of personal righteousness or helping others comes up far more than it ought to (even though it seems like it shouldn’t come up at all) and while it is easy to say that our focus should be on personal righteousness it is not clear that this is always the best choice.