God Can’t Be with Us, Right?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, July 19, 2016 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“’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.’” ~Judges 6:13

How can we say that the Lord is with us today? Within the past month or so, we have endured some of the worst acts of terror in American history. About a month ago, a night club was shot up by a terrorist that ended up claiming the lives of over 50 people. It was the worst act of terror since 9/11/2001. About a month later, we hardly remember the incident now that two African Americans were shot dead by police officers. In protest, a group known as Black Lives Matter walked the streets of Dallas to raise awareness to their cause. In order to prevent riots from breaking out, or from outside groups stirring up trouble with the group, police officers monitored the situation. In doing so, an angry and militant sniper shot and killed 5 police officers, one of which was serving his last shift on the force before retirement. How can you tell me that God is with us when bad things like this are happening everywhere?

Things are not always as they seem in this world. God is indeed good and God is indeed not far from us. In speaking about God’s plan for humanity, Paul revealed to the Athenians, “God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out to him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). Not only is God in active pursuit of us, but he puts us in situations where we can seek him out as well.

In the story of Gideon, we see a classic case of God seeking out the one he loves and persuading him to follow his will. Gideon was hesitant at first because he did not recognize the angel of the Lord and thought that he was crazy for claiming that God was with them. When circumstances are grim, we sometimes question God’s goodness and his presence in our lives. There are three good reasons for that:

1) Original Sin: This taints everything that we do, see, and feel. Original sin is what we have inherited from Adam and Eve after they sinned in the Garden of Eden. It affects the whole world and is the reason there is sin, death, and suffering in the world (Romans 5:12-14).

2) The Devil: He has been cast out of heaven. Although it is a time of rejoicing in heaven, it is a time of great distress on earth. He is angry that he has been defeated by Jesus and that his time is now short. As a result, he plans to deceive as many people as he can so that he can drag them down to hell after his failed final bout against God (Revelation 12:10-12).

3) Selfishness: The Apostle Paul writes, “Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10). When we focus on ourselves, we become our own worst enemy. Jesus’ brother James wrote, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1). When we are self-serving and always looking to secure justice for ourselves when we feel wronged, we create circumstances that pale the severity of the former circumstances. Selfishness, in terms of pride, was the Devil’s sin and his sin has condemned him to hell. In taking part with his sin, we reap hellish consequences.

No, God is here. God is with us. Sometimes he chooses to discipline us for the sake of purging our sins. Other times he chooses to discipline us to teach us how to persevere in righteousness. Gideon learned quickly that God was still with him and, in submitting to his will, Gideon did something great in the name of the Lord.

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