Enter a new interesting individual, Gideon, who “drew his sword, and swore in his wrath that he would slay…[K]ing [Noah].” As Gideon sought to fulfil that oath, we find King Noah fleeing before him to the top of the big tower in town. At the top, King Noah noticed the Lamanites were unexpectedly en route to attack the city. The King plead with Gideon to spare his life because of it, for “they will destroy my people” (v. 7). We are led to believe that Gideon was very aware that the King didn’t care at all about his people, but only about his own skin, as his later actions will prove. “Nevertheless,” we read in verse 8, “Gideon did spare his life.”
Gideon shows great presence of mind and humility in this. Gideon had sworn to kill this wicked king, and felt a moral obligation to keep his word. Yet, weighing the good of the people against his own good, he postponed his desire and spared the king’s life, acting for the good of the people. Think how different life would be if we all had this same presence of mind to put the needs of all of us above our own needs. It is a strengthening perspective that carries with it the power of unity.