“Why has this happened?” (Judges 6:13).
That was the question that Gideon asked the angelic messenger. Why? Why has God allowed the Midianites to ransack Israel? Why have God’s chosen people been left alone, homeless, penniless and afraid?
Here’s a little background. Gideon lived about 200 years after Joshua led the nation into the Promised Land. And as you recall, Israel was a wayward bunch. It didn’t take long for them to forget about crossing the Jordan River on dry land, the crumbling walls of Jericho, or God’s other great victories against their enemies.
After Joshua died, “another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works he had done for Israel. The Israelites did what was evil in the LORD’s sight” (Judges 2:10-11, CSB).
God, the Holy and Righteous God, the All-Knowing and All-Powerful God, used the pagan people of Midian to administer His judgment and discipline.
“The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord handed them over to Midian seven years, and they oppressed Israel. Because of Midian, the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds” (Judges 6:1-2, CSB).
That’s when the angel showed up with a dispatch from the Almighty! God’s messenger found Gideon humiliated, terrified, and hiding from the enemy. That’s when Gideon asked the question, “Why?”
Maybe that’s the question you’re asking. Why? Why am I facing cancer treatments? Why am I widowed and alone? Why are my finances in a mess? Why am I estranged from my kids? Why is “that” temptation too much for me, too enticing, too strong, too much for me to face? I feel defeated, depressed and desperate.
It’s a good question, but sometimes there’s not a good answer.
We need to remember that “the secret things belong to the LORD our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29, ESV). God declares, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, ESV).
Gideon asked the angel, “Why?” Notice the answer. “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the grasp of Midian. I am sending you!” (Judges 6:14, CSB).
The angel didn’t launch into a theological dissertation. He said, “Get busy! In the power and strength that God provides, work toward mitigating the misery.”
That’s good advice, isn’t it? Instead of asking, why, we need to humble ourselves, and do what God tells us to do, in a way that will bring glory to the Lord, our God!
We need to trust Him. He’s bigger than every struggle, every heartache, every enemy!