“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:13 NIV
Why is this happening? It’s one of the hardest questions that we try to decipher in our lives. God is good, but the things that we are experiencing do not appear to be good. Death, division, and disheartenment are so prevalent with no apparent solution being offered. May we receive hope from the life of Gideon, that God is still in charge
The Text- Gideon begins a conversation with the messenger of the Lord. “Why has all this happened to us?” For the last seven years there has been oppression by the Midianites. People are fearful, hungry and divided. From his perspective, Israel has lost favored status.
Gideon has been a student of God’s miraculous wonders in the past. He has spent time talking with the “older” folks who have carried on the tradition of rehearsing God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt. From Gideon’s perspective, if God is the same, where is the evidence now of God’s power and presence. This line of questioning, reveals a hunger for God to be interactive with the Israelites in the present time.
What is missing from Gideon’s questioning is the personal acceptance of the Israelites for “doing evil in the sight of the Lord”. The connection of God’s favor and choosing to disobey God’s commands is not immediately equated.
The cycle of disobedience, repentance, and deliverance is the recurring story line in the book of Judges. Why does it take the Israelites so long to make the connection between disobedient results and favor from obedience?
The questions – God can handle the toughest questions that you may have. Take time to listen to His response. Some bad things happen because we live in a fallen world where sin is prevalent. Some bad things happen because we failed to obey the road signs, both God and our own signs. God will let us eat the fruit of the sowing of bad seeds in our lives. This principle of sowing and reaping is true for Christians and non-Christians. Either way, God can give you His perspective on the events that you are struggling with and lead you to hope in the conversation.
The Ancestors stories – It is good to associate with people who have walked closely with the Lord in miraculous ways. The first place this occurs is by reading the Bible often. Because of books and podcasts, we can listen to many men and women in the faith share stories of God’s continuous miraculous ways. If God can use these ordinary people, it creates a hunger that God can use you also, just like He did for Gideon.
Oppressive patterns – God allows recurring negative events to capture our attention of our disobedience to His commands. This is true for the micro scale of a family or a community and on the macro scale of state or nation. The division in our nation at the present is representative of the division among the church. The breakdown of the family unit is directly related to our unchecked and unbridled promiscuity, sex trafficking, and pornography. We need the prophets of God to connect the dots of the pain in our land and families to disobedience to God’s order for life.
Repentance precedes revival. Let us pray and ask God to send revival, but it starts with repentance. Let us not be slow in repenting. Let us be like the publican in Jesus’ story who beat his breast and cried out for God’s forgiveness, rather than the Pharisee who was glad that he was not as bad as that other man.
Have conversations with God about the pain in your family, city, or nation. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal and uncover the next steps that He wants you to take. Then do it.
Blessings Love y’all