Summary: Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, WHY then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of...?" As we reflect upon why bad things happen, I want to make some observations.
"Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of...?" Judges 6:13
"WHY?" Have you ever asked that question? Of course you have. In fact many of us have been asking that question during the past few days. We have asked, “Why did this seemingly senseless tragedy happen to such a promising young life like Jeffrey? Does the Bible have anything to say about this?
In the sixth chapter of the book of Judges, things were really going bad for the children of Israel. They had been severely oppressed by the Midianites for seven long years. As bad as the situation was, however, it brought Israel to her knees and they began to seek the Lord. When they sought the Lord, then the Lord began to act to bring about their deliverance.
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor." Gideon, howbeit, didn’t feel all that valiant and asked, "Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, WHY then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of...?" As we reflect upon why bad things happen, I want to make some observations.
First, it’s OK to ask why? I am sure that many of you have asked “why” this week. I have. I also recognize that some well meaning people might object and say that one should never question God. However, I am beginning to realize that God can take our questions better than we can. Gideon was not rebuked for asking, "why?" Even the sinless Son of God asked that question. On the cross, Jesus cried out, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Secondly, recognize that we may never fully understand all the reasons why tragic things happen. The Bible say, "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God." (Deuteronomy 29:29) This verse tells us that there are some things that are hidden from us. We will never know all the answers to the questions we ask. Gideon asked "why" but was given no answer. Rather he was given a commission to do something about the situation.
Certainly some things happen because of the principle of sin and judgment. As long as we live in a fallen world, tragedies will happen. Christians are not immune to those things either.
Thirdly, when we do not understand why things happen, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. Sometimes these senseless tragedies cause us to want to leave the Lord and abandon his church. However, that is the time we need him the most. We also need our church family.
A number of years ago my family and I went through a devastating tragedy. I asked the Lord, "Oh God, why?" To this day I still do not understand why it happened. I also remember my wife and I praying, "Oh heavenly Father, we don’t understand why this terrible thing had to happen, but we are going to trust you." Even if we had the answers to our questions, they would never be enough. All we know is that when answers aren’t enough, we still have Jesus. That is why we can say with the Psalmist, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5