The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. (Judges 6:1 NIV)
Sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances that are more than difficult. They are just bad. When we in the midst of those times, it is natural to start asking questions: “Why am I facing this? What went wrong? Where is God in all this?” This Israelites found themselves in this kind of situation.
Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. 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. They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help. (Judges 6:2-6 NIV)
It’s good to ask these questions. I think God wants us to ask these kinds of questions. When we do, God’s answers will always point us to one place: walking together with God. Whether God equips us to walk through the struggles, gives us an escape route, or stops the “bad” from happening; God will always provide a way for us to walk together with God.
When the Israelites cried out to the LORD because of Midian, 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. I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 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." (Judges 6:7-10 NIV)
Sometimes, though, God’s answer will not be something we like. Sometimes, God will make it clear to us that we are suffering as a result of our own actions. God had already shown us how to walk with Him and we simply walked away. The bad circumstances, then, are a sign that we are rebelling against God. The only solution to this problem, then, is to come back to God.
How about you? Do you turn to God in the midst of bad circumstances? Do you ask God what is going on? Do you look for signs from God?