Summary: Reflections on Gideon’s question, "If the Lord is with us, why have these things happened to us?"
Intro.: Tell the story of Israel’s plight:
1. 40 years of peace followed by apostasy.
3. A message from a prophet. Response unknown. 7-10
4. The appearance of an angel to Gideon, through whom God would deliver Israel.
Gideon asks the question that inevitably bothers all of us: Judg 6:13 "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?” God chooses not to answer him. So, I must make a disclaimer. We may never find a definitive answer to the question, but, we can seek some insight that may help us in times of trouble.
I. There are many Biblical examples of bad things happening to good people:
A. The Patriarch Job.
1. He had sterling character. Job1:1
2. He was a man of great wealth. 1:2
3. He lost all he had and there seemed to be no good reason.
4. Yet, God was working in his life and eventually, he was richly blessed.
B. Paul the Apostle. II Cor. 11:24ff
1. He had originally been the cause of suffering to many Christians.
3. His suffering was the result of his commitment to preaching the Gospel.
C. Jesus Himself. Isa 53
1. His suffering was for others.
2. God had a redemptive purpose in His suffering. It was the salvation of all mankind.
4. I don’t believe He was forsaken, but He felt it. For Him, this feeling was the ultimate temptation.
II. We can’t help wondering why good people suffer. Possibly there are three reasons.
1. This was a matter of discipline, not punishment.
2. Sometimes we suffer because of our own foolishness. But, remember, we don’t “pay for” our sins in this life.
3. He has promised to discipline us like His children. Heb. 12:7-10
4. This is for our benefit. Heb. 12:11
B. Jesus suffered because of no sin of His own. He paid for our sins.
1. Sometimes we suffer just because we live in a sin-cursed world.
2. A drunk driver runs a stop light and someone else happens to be in the wrong place, etc.
3. Disease, injury, and death are in this world because of sin and inevitably we contact them.
C. Sometimes we suffer so that God may be glorified.
3. We know any disaster can bring glory to God if handled properly.
III. How can we deal with this great mystery?
A. Do not neglect to worship and serve God.
2. Often, we allow disaster to separate us from God.
3. We should not separate ourselves from God when we need Him the most.
B. Surrender to God in prayer.
1. Gideon did not stop talking to God.
3. Phil. 4:6-7 Prayer wins out over worry.
C. Remember His past blessings.