Ever talk to a three year old? They will ask a simple question that then leads to about 50 more questions that start and end with one word – WHY? Gideon was a man in the bible who was called a mighty warrior. An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a time in his life where he and his people had nothing. They were bullied, stolen from and living an impoverished life. Here is the story.
Judges 6:1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. 2 Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.
7 When the Israelites cried to the Lord because of Midian, 8 he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 9 I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”
11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” 13 “But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.”
I’m fascinated by this story because here is a man who has nothing. He’s trying to mill in a winepress in secret. He’s just trying to get some flour for a meal to feed his family and angel of the Lord appears to him. I don’t know about you, but I would be freaked out! My heart would be racing and I would be listening to hear what the angel was saying. Gideon however is fed up and he wants to know why these things are happening. Why has God been absent? Why hasn’t he done any miracles? Why has he abandoned us? Why has he put Israel into the hand of the Midians?
All of us can relate to Gideon. We get hung up on the whys of life instead of seeing the miracle that the time has finally come for God to send an answer to get us out of our situation. We want to know why we were there in the first place. Does it matter in the scheme of things? Does it matter why we were suffering or is it simply the fact that we get to get some relief? The fact of the matter is that the answer of why Gideon found himself in a mess can be found in the very first sentence of this story. Go back and read it. The reason our own messes have happened can be found in the very first sentence in the chapter of our very own story. Does it even matter now? The fact is there is a way out of the problem a solution has been sent!
Don’t get hung up on the whys! Instead look for solutions that will get you out of your troubles. Cry out to God for the answer. Many times when we say things like, “Why does this always happen to me?” The answer is simple, “Because I haven’t learned the lesson in life that I need to about this situation.” We are not victims. Sometimes we cause things to happen, sometimes others in our lives cause things to happen but we always have a free will choice on what to do next. We can dig our heels in and get hung up on the whys or we can actually be that mighty warrior and get through this situation in our life!
One thought on “Hung Up On The Whys?”
Solomon claims, “Understand changes a man’s face and soothes it’s hard countenance.”
Asking “why” may or may not give us an answer, but the important thing is understand God’s power despite whatever brought about our current situation. In Gideon’s case, the Hebrews sinned, so they were being oppressed. Sin’s natural outcome is oppression, depression and desperation. We can explain it away and beg for something else to be the result (which is where the “why” questions usually come from) but God will only rescue us from our sin when we acknowledge it as such.
I like the truth of not getting hung up on the “whys” though I think it’s wise to ask with a sincere desire to understand. Once a person grasps what brought about the problem, he/she can set up boundaries in the Lord to avoid such future mistakes. Learn why can redirect our future. Gideon’s whys though were a form of complaining not sincere interest in the answer.