With the increasing rate of those who’ve died from COVID-19, lost jobs, and unable to afford their homes, some of us may be questioning why we are in this situation. Some of us keep waiting for the government to send us another round of stimulus checks or for our debts to be forgiven. It has been a year since COVID-19 started and for some of us, we have more faith in our government than we do in the Lord who has proven himself over and over. Some of us may have even forgotten God and no longer seek him in our lives.
For those of us in this position, we are like the Israelites. In Judges 6, we start with the Israelites who had done evil in the sight of God and for seven years God handed them over to the Midianites. The Midianites ruled over Israel by oppressing them and during harvest time would invade and destroy what they couldn’t take with them. Because of this many of the Israelites left their homes and fled to the caves fearing for their lives. Note that this happened for seven years before the Israelites finally cried out to God.
Like many of us, they waited until they had lost everything. Until they had nothing else for the Midianites to take and they couldn’t handle being oppressed anymore. How many times have we had to deal with a difficult situation and thought we could handle it on our own? How many times have we not asked God what his plan is for us, even in these difficult situations?
When the Israelites finally call out to God, he sends a prophet to lead them to surrender and be devoted to him. We then meet Gideon, who had gone through his own frustrations with the Midianites.
Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.” – Judges 1:13-18
Note that Gideon is called a valiant warrior, yet he seems to question that even, going as far as to list his weaknesses. How many times has God used the weakest of us to spread his message?
Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did the Lord not bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.” 14 And the Lord looked at him and said, “Go in this strength of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” 15 But he said to Him, “O Lord, how am I to save Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” 16 Yet the Lord said to him, “I will certainly be with you, and you will defeat Midian as one man.” 17 So Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then perform for me a sign that it is You speaking with me. 18 Please do not depart from here until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.” And He said, “I will remain until you return.” – Judges 1:13-18
Gideon is told that God will be with him even if he is doubting that he can fulfill this calling. How many times have we denied our ability to do God’s work?
Gideon is a perfect example of how we should not turn from God when we find ourselves in difficult situations. Although we may not understand why we are in the difficult situation we are in, know that God is with us every step of the way. Do not wait one, three, or seven years to cry out to God. Reach out to him now and know that he will be with you.
What difficult situations are you praying about during this season of prayer and fasting? Share in the comments below.