Summary: Part 6 of 8 in a series covering words in the Bible that are all too often overlooked or ignored.
INTRODUCTION: When I was a kid one of my favorite shows was “Unsolved Mysteries,” cue the creepy, mysterious music! It was always my hope that one day I would be able to “solve,” a mystery. Then came my big chance, one of the episodes featured a case that was set in my home town… I watched it, convinced I could solve it, but to my dismay… I knew nothing about it! My chance at solving the mystery was gone before it even began. Mysteries are things which often “defy” our understanding, hence the reason they’re called mysteries!
BACKGROUND: Most things in the Bible are straightforward and easy to understand, but there are some things which boggle the mind, things that are in a word… Mysterious! So what is the most mysterious word in the Bible? When considering it words such as heaven, hell, life, death, and eternity come to mind… but it’s none of those. The word is one that if we knew its answer we’d know as much as God…
The word is the one that we utter in the face of injustice, tragedy, or even condemnation, a word for which there will be no “final answer,” for on this side of eternity. The word is “Why!”
WHY… IN WAR – GIDEON
• From infancy through adulthood the word “why” constantly rolls off our lips, and even when it isn’t verbalized, it’s ever present in our minds
• This fact is born out countless times in scripture, in days of war and days of peace, today the first of our character studies, finds a young man hiding out during a time of war – his name, Gideon!
• The nation of Israel was in conflict with her neighbors the Midianites, and every summer they would come in and raid the Israelites harvest
• So Gideon was threshing out his father’s grain in secret (Judges 6:11-14)
• At the angels statement Gideon looks up with a mix of incredulity and astonishment, I can only imagine Gideon’s thought process… the Lord is with me… yah right!
• In fact Gideon’s response says it all (vs. 13) from where he was standing once thousands of threshing floors processed the nations harvest, now there were none, once where God was worshiped, now Baal and the Asherah, even in front of my father’s house… and God is with me?
• Gideon’s question rings down through the ages to us today,” if the Lord is with us, why has this happened?” – the even crazier part the Angel didn’t answer his question… though He does respond
• Gideon is told to go and save Israel, and He bases this command on the fact that it’s God who sends him, it’s God who brings the victory; through Gideon and his 300 mighty men!
• Sometimes the issue isn’t the “why” that’s important it’s the response to it!
WHY… IN LIFE – JOB
• Job is the eternal symbol of the mystery of human life and the providence of God
• So here we have this man who was righteous, renowned, and blessed beyond measure, he was the most prosperous man of his time, and the man who is to be put through the severest trial in history
• And the crazy thing is that Job wasn’t even aware of its start – a showdown between God and Satan, and Job “was” the battle field
• Yesterday Job was wealthy beyond measure, today he’s a pauper, Yesterday he had an amazing family, today all he has is a nagging wife, yesterday he was healthy, today he’s riddled with disease
• And through it all Job didn’t curse God, though he did curse the day he was born (Job 3:1-1)
• The King James translates this verse… “why died I not from the womb” – Why was I even born!
• Several years ago, Lee Strobel commissioned a national survey and asked people what question they’d ask if they could only ask God one thing.
• The Number One response was: “Why is there suffering in the world?”
• If you’ve never asked why our world is infected with pain and suffering, you will when they strike you with full force or they come after a loved one.
• Jesus said they are coming. Unlike some other religious leaders like the Buddha who wrote off pain and suffering as just being illusions, Jesus was honest. He told us the truth. (John 16:33)
• Job, like Gideon never received an answer as to “why” though he was given an answer… simple obedience, a simple faith that led to restoration!
WHY… IN DEATH – JESUS
• Our final why is the most mysterious one ever spoken on earth, because it came from the mouth of God Himself…
• On that “dark” midday when nature itself protested the death of God! (Matthew 27:45-46)