Looking unto Jesus — chapter by chapter

Judges 6:1

“Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years.”

Not all bad circumstances and trials come as a direct result of sin. Many times we face trials simply because we are not in heaven yet. These trials make us long for God’s presence. They allow us to feel the brokenness of this world and how much we need Jesus to make all things right.

All mankind is subject to these kinds of trials. Perhaps the death of a child, a car accident that paralyzes, a job loss, etc… These are the kinds of trials we may bear without passing blame—as Job’s so-called friends unwisely assumed in that famous biblical narrative.

But other difficulties we face come as a direct result of sin. The Spirit of God convicts our hearts when this is the case. This is the kind of trial we see in Judges chapter six. Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and oppression followed. Remember God disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6), and sometimes discipline can feel a lot like abuse, abandonment, or arbitrary punishment—but discipline is love.

Discipline comes from a parent who loves, and it is as natural as breathing. Just today, my baby boy experienced one of the first acts of discipline in his young life. What a clear picture! A loving parent teaching a child to learn obedience. The pain or unpleasant discipline is not administered to harm, but to instill truth, wisdom, and to protect him from the dangers of bad decisions.

We know that discipline is good when one is in the parent role, but when in the child role and receiving it, we can forget that discipline is love. Discipline produces obedience, and obedience perfects our trust in God because we get to see that He is good.

When Gideon was raised up as a judge to deliver Israel from the Midianites, he questioned why they were bearing such pain as a people. He wondered where the God of deliverance was. It’s perfectly normal to ask questions. But it was his faith in God that led him—and the rest of Israel, into a new season.

If the Spirit is convicting your heart of sin, today is the day you can enter a new season. Declare your repentance and trust in God regarding that sin and allow Him to lead you in the way of faith. The step you must take to trust God may be difficult, but know that God’s love is waiting on the other side. He is a Good Father who has made abundant life available to you.