And Gideon said unto him, “Oh, my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where are all his wondrous works which our fathers told us of, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD hath cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian” (Judges 6:13).
Gideon (and Israel) experienced difficult times: Midian and the people of the East were strong, and Israel was greatly humiliated and oppressed. Where was God in all of this? If God is as great as the fathers made Him out to be, where is He?
What Gideon did not consider was Israel’s great sin in serving the Baals (Judges 6:10, 25-26). He did not consider that God handed Israel into Midian’s hands because they transgressed His covenant (Judges 6:1). He did not consider that Israel remained stubborn and did not heed God’s voice (Judges 6:10).
The situation was quite different than it seemed through Gideon’s eyes.
There are many times in our own lives when things do not seem to make a lot of sense. We see pain and suffering and difficulty. We read the stories about how God delivered people in the past, and yet there is no delivery for us. Many want to know where God is in all of this.
Yet just as God was there in Gideon’s day, God is here today (Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:8). We may be experiencing God’s chastening for our sins. We may be experiencing trial so that our faith can be properly tested. God may have something entirely different in store for us. In the end, it may even turn out for our own good.
Wisdom teaches us to remember that our perspective is limited, and we often neglect to remember that there are many other factors involved that we may not understand. We can let our doubts, questions, and difficulties separate us from God, or we can let them teach us to trust Him more.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” saith 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).
Ethan R. Longhenry