I am sure that every Christian has sometime in their life issued a question of challenge to God. By failing to understand our spiritual citizenship, we entertain a volley of thoughts that questions the actions or non-actions of God in our lives. Usually, the introductory word “if”opens the door of carnal reasoning. Following closely behind “if” is the seed word of doubt called “why”. These two words set in motion our confusion and misunderstanding of spiritual principles.
Gideon was facing a life-ending challenge from the Midianites. He could not understand why God was allowing His people to suffer. So Gideon brings an accusation that challenges the very relationship between God and His people. He states, to the angelic messenger, “If the Lord is with us, then why has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6:13) There are times in our lives that some even wonder if God is really conscious of our situations. If we believe He is with us, why then do we face life challenging situations? Gideon shot an arrow at God claiming that if He really was with them, why were things playing out the way they were? Continuing to shoot accusations at God, he cries out, “Where are all the miracles that we have heard about for generations?” (v.13) Not seeing any manifestations of God’s power, he lets go with a flaming arrow claiming that God had forsaken them and delivered them to their enemies. (v.13) If we are honest, we will all identify with certain aspects of Gideon. Maybe there was a premature death of a loved one or a life challenging illness of someone close to us. We read of natural catastrophes that took the lives of strong Christians. We read of Believers who died in transportation accidents. We know the Bible states that it rains on the just and the unjust, but should not God’s “chosen” have some special immunity?
In response to Gideon’s frustration, the angel simply ignores his venting and tells him to go in his might and save Israel. (v.14) Initially, the messenger of God found Gideon near a winepress where he was hiding food from the Midianites. Upon engaging him, he addressed him with the salutation, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valour.” (v.12) Gideon was so nearsighted that he failed to see beyond the crisis to the solution. He was operating in the flesh, and instead of realizing that the Midianites were the ones with the problem, he began to question whether God was aware of the danger that faced them. Not once did the angel address Gideon’s accusations. Gideon questioned the reality of facing down the Midianites with a plethora of excuses. God simply told him, “Surely, I will be with you.” (v.16)
The Bible teaches that we are in the world, but not of the world. Being a Believer does not guarantee immunity from the consequential affects of a worldly existence. There is no doubt that God intervenes in certain situations, but it is equally obvious that His overshadowing protection is not always evident. There are many scenarios that display God’s selective intervention for Believers. The question that presents itself is what constitutes God’s protection for some of His people and not for others? The reason Gideon and the Israelites suffered near anilization was they had not obeyed God’s Word. (v.10) Many of the challenges to our faith stem from Biblical disobedience. When we sow fleshly seed, we will reap carnal results. How can we expect God to immune us from negative results when we have not obeyed His Word? There are many other reasons for not experiencing God’s intervention, but this is not the time to examine other causes.
There is no answer to the closed umbrella of God’s care when the true Believer experiences tragedies in their lives. It is not a time to introduce the “ifs” and “whys” but to realize what Gideon failed to understand; that was who he was, “a mighty man of valour” who, with the ability God gave him, was able to deliver his people from the Midianites. It is not the time to question, but to answer the call of God to live up to the ability He has given us. We can overcome the tragedies in life by simply putting our trust in the One who made all things!