I keep hearing the same or a variation of the question “Why does God allow suffering?”. If you do a search on the internet, there are tons of links relating to this topic. In fact, there is even a movie about it. You can view the trailer below.
Anyway, today when I was reading about Gideon in Judges 6 and I could see the same sort questions being asked many many years ago. At the start of the chapter, it says that Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. And this has been happening over a long period of time. God rescues His people from bondage. The people forget what God did for them and fall into their old ways. They even worship other gods along with the people of the land they are living in. The process of restoration and falling keeps repeating over and over again through many generations. This is no different from the time we are in. We have been rescued from the bondage of sin by the blood of Jesus and yet some of us keep sinning along with the world. As a result, we have invited disease from the world to rule our body, calamities, suffering, poverty and so on.
Gideon was called to rescue his people. In the beginning he doubts his calling just like us. He even asks questions such as “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” (See Judges 6:13). These questions are very similar to what we ask today.
The Lord replies “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”. I believe this is the Lord’s reply for us too. Without blaming God for all the problems that we see around us, we need to know that we are the hands and feet of Jesus to bring Goodnews to the needy and to set the captives free. We have been given the burden to preach the Saving Word of God with all the world. Jesus, our role model and Saviour has already addressed this issue when he declared publicly in Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”