The Raven and the Wolf
They [men of Ephraim] captured Oreb and Zeeb, the two princes of Midian; they killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb, while they were pursuing the Midianites. They brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon across the Jordan.
God raised up Gideon to be a deliverer for Israel during the days of the judges. Because of sin God had turned Israel over to the Midianites, who continually attacked the fields and stole or ruined the harvests in order to keep the Israelites in poverty. In many ways, one might compare the Midianites to modern day inflation, which steals from hard working wage earners to prevent them from prospering and to drive them into or keep them in debt.
After God gave Gideon’s army victory over the Midianite camp, many of the Midianites fled to other areas, and Gideon called upon the Israelites of those areas to pursue their enemies and defeat them. Gideon sent messengers to the men of Ephraim to gain control of the watercourses in order to cut off the water supply to fleeing Midianites. In their pursuit, the men of Ephraim captured two key sources of their pain – the very princes of Midian! As enemy authority figures, the only way to truly take authority over the enemy was to cut off their heads, symbolizing a permanent end to their reign and authority.
Digging a bit deeper into names and symbolisms gives us greater insight into this story. Oreb means “raven,” and Zeeb means “wolf” in the Hebrew language. The raven and the wolf work together as a team. The raven has a much higher view point than the wolf and can spot a dead carcass from the air. The raven, however, cannot tear into a dead carcass to get to the meat. Ravens often find the prey and signal to the wolf so the wolf can tear into it, and they both feed upon it. When you hear a raven’s caw, know a wolf could be nearby.
Ephraim means “fruitfulness” or “double fruit” in Hebrew. Fruitfulness defeated the raven and the wolf, which look for something dead or seek to kill that which is vulnerable. God expects us to be fruitful in His kingdom. When we are bearing fruit, we have the ability to avoid or overcome any attacks by the raven and the wolf.
What areas of your life seem dead or vulnerable? Has discouragement or hopelessness dominated your thoughts? Have you stopped praying for a need because you see no change? Do not accept defeat! Determine to be fruitful and cut off the head of your enemy in those areas! God has said that no weapon formed against you shall prosper, so believe it and get back in the game. Don’t allow dead areas of your life to attract predators. Speak life over yourself, and ask God to breathe new life into you. Rise up, oh mighty warrior! You have power over your enemy, and God has promised you the victory!
Have a blessed day!