29.8.13

waiting to be delivered {Gideon's Tale}

Are you waiting for God to deliver you? I sigh as I tumble into bed and wrap myself in a blanket or five just waiting. God is silent in a way that even seeking just finds more silence. I'm exhausted from trying and waiting, looking endlessly at God and seeing nothing.

In the darkness I seethe. Bitterly I'm crying from frustration. I easily count people who are strong in the Lord, - the ones that understand. Oh, and they love Him. My heart breaks from guilt because I cannot say that I do or don't love...I'm not sure. So I sit, waiting. Dear God, I whisper, please, please, please take me out of this pit...

//

God had simply dropped out of the picture. A band of people, stripped of everything they once held dear, are simply left to fend for themselves against the Midianites who destroyed everything they owned. I, the reader, know this is because they refused God and left Him in the wilderness for their hearts desires.

And once God has gone - once they feel the whip of their enemies across their backs, Israel cries out for deliverance. Again.

The next scene is a young man beating wheat, desperately trying to save the remains of his plundered harvest from Midian by beating it in a wine press (extra brownie points for creativity). With each beat, the inconvenience, the heartache, and the loneliness ebbs out of his tired hands. A cursed nation it seems...cursed by the hand of God.

Enter God - as the Angel of the Lord. The Lord is with you, valiant warrior. Gideon turns to this stranger, this man who has the blindness to say 'the Lord is with you.'

Everything tumbles out. I can imagine him stopping his work, all the anger and bitterness bubbling out from his soul as he retorts: If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'the Lord brought us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.

Why did this happen? Where is God? 

Why?

Where?

Gideon fails to see that it was his own sin that caused all the pain and heartache so he shoves it all on God. He sees God as simply God. God happens to be in charge, so He's God. What Gideon cannot see is that God is still the God of Israel, capable of miracles, and perfectly capable to deliver.

The Lord stands and listens to Gideon's torrent of blame. God simply ignores, looks at Gideon and says: Go deliver Israel - have I not sent you? 

Gideon is what? Shocked down to the bottom of his toes! Here he is waiting for a deliverer to get him out of this mess and God simply states: go - I've sent you. Clearly Gideon realizes that he's talking to God - and I find it interesting how he doesn't respond normally.

Normally, as in, on the ground in fear and moaning like Isaiah or Abraham or Moses. Instead Gideon doesn't even address this issue. He makes up an excuse and skeptically devises a test. He can't believe he's talking to God - because he believes God has abandoned Israel. It simply didn't make any sense.

Yet, surprise, surprise - it is God. Gideon is shocked, humbled, and crazy from fear. And the story ends with Gideon building an alter and naming it: The Lord is Peace.
//

Do you believe God has abandoned you? Why did this happen? Where is God in all of this? We accuse without realizing God is standing right there. And then the answer comes. It's a hard answer. We excuse ourselves, we balk, and we refuse to believe it's true for an instant.

God can't deliver me - this can't be God. God cannot miraculously work in my life because he doesn't...

Because of our unbelief we glare at God and refuse to listen.

But He's there.

He delivers.

He's peace.



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