WHY THEN IS ALL THIS BEFALLEN US?
Sunday Morning Sermon
September 19, 1999
Fair Avenue Baptist Church
( February 18, 1990 – 1990 Sermons )
The story here in Judges 6 is concerning Gideon. I’m sure that anyone who has ever had a Bible lesson has been taught about this wonderful Bible character named Gideon.
But I want you to notice a statement in VERSE 13 that is made and I want you to underline this statement:
“why then is all this befallen us?”
What a statement!
“Why then is all this befallen us?”
Have you ever wondered that?
The Preacher says that the Lord is for us, then why is all this happening to us?
And that’s exactly what Gideon said.
This morning I want to give you several points to help you answer that question.
“Why then is all this befallen us?”
This was a very difficult time in the history of the nation of Israel. It had been over forty years since they had left the land of Egypt to go to the promised land.
They should have entered the promised land quickly, but they didn’t – they chose a committee to figure out God’s will – YOU DON’T EVER CHOOSE A COMMITTEE TO FIGURE OUT GOD’S WILL!
A deacon board does not know the will of God.
God knows the will of God.
And God tells the man of God.
And then the man of God tells the people of God.
And so they appointed a committee to run the Lord’s work like you do the world’s work – and that never does work – and for forty years they wandered in the wilderness – just barely away from the promised land.
The promised land was just over the mountains…
Just over there…
SO, now the forty years are over. They entered into the promised land and praise God they finally made it.
BUT, there were some serious battles to fight.
The Battle of Jericho, for example.
The Battle of Ai,
and many battles were fought,
and with the Battle of Sisera, that ended the conquest of the promised land.
Now, they are so happy,
They are tickled to death.
BUT WAIT A MINUTE!
More enemies are about to come,
Not enemies in the promised land,
It’s the enemies from outside the promised land.
After forty years in the wilderness,
After forty years of fighting for the promised land,
They thought their troubles were over,
And from the south came the Midianites,
And the Amlekites, the fightingest people in the world, came to join with the Midianites,
And not only that, but other tribes called the children of the East came to join the Midianites and Amlekites.
And the first thing they did was to start stealing all the animals from the children of Israel.
Then they began to plunder the crops.
The children of Israel had begun to run and hide in the mountains and caves to protect themselves from these warriors.
Then entire villages began to disappear.
Completely burned and gone.
Four chiefs led these warriors:
Zeba – known as the man killer
Zalmona – known as the pidalest
Ora – known as the raven
Zip – known as the wolf
These fierce warriors began to attack the children of Israel, to steal their animals, plunder their crops, and destroy their villages.
Can you imagine the children of Israel?
Can’t you hear their conversations?
“Finally, after forty years in the wilderness”
“Forty years of battling for the promised land”
“Finally when everything seems like it’s okay”
“HERE COMES THE ENEMY AGAIN!”
And the children of Israel began to ask, “What in the world is going on?”
One heartache is passed,
You’re looking forward to some relief,
And you finally settle down,
AND ANOTHER ATTACK HAPPENS!
And here we are trying to do right,
Our animals are being stolen,
Our crops are being plundered,
And the worst war that could ever happen is suddenly upon us!
One day, a shy, little Israelite was threshing his wheat.
He was also hiding.
There were two reasons why he was hiding:
1. He was the smallest man of the smallest family of the smallest tribe of the smallest nation in the world.
That’s a pretty good reason to hide.
That would be like Jonathan Magas fighting Mike Tyson.
2. He was hiding because he was protecting what little wheat he did have – so they wouldn’t steal his wheat crop.
He’s hiding behind the wine press.
Threshing his wheat.
And then all of a sudden, the angel of the Lord comes and says, “The Lord is with thee.”
I can just see old Gideon saying, “Yea, I’m here hiding, trying to thresh my what behind this wine press, and everybody is hiding in the mountains and caves, our sheep are all gone, our cattle are all gone, the wheat is almost completely destroyed, and you’ve got the nerve to tell me that God is with me?”
And the angel of the Lord said, “The Lord is with thee.”
Then Gideon gives us our text here in Judges 6:13, “if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us.”
If the Lord be with us, why, after all we’ve been through, is this happening?
If the Lord be with us, why all these Midianites?
If the Lord be with us, why all these Amlekites?
If the Lord be with us, why are these children of the East here?
If the Lord be with us, then why are all of our animals gone?
If the Lord be with us, then why are all of our crops being plundered?
If the Lord be with us, then why are we surrounded by these four, wild generals?
A lot of people could be asking similar questions this morning?
For example, the families and friends from the Wedgwood Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, where that gunman opened fire during the Wednesday night service and killed seven people, two adults and five teenagers, before killing himself. (Sept. 15, 1999)
What about the families of the students from Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in April of 1999?
A group of mothers began the 1998-1999 school year with a prayer group, specifically praying for the protection of their children in the public schools, in particular, the Columbine High School. The mother who initiated the prayer meetings had her own son gunned down and murdered in the attack.
I’m sure that mother had some questions.
I just found out Friday that a 36 year old young man named Michael Partlow was killed in a freak accident. Mike’s daddy and I were very actively involved in a Christian school conference from 1981 through 1986. I remember Mike’s senior year in the Christian school. He was a fine young man. He attended Arlington Baptist College and was working with his dad, Jerry Partlow, at the Southlake Baptist Church.
He was driving down the highway on Thursday, September 9, and a truck in front of him ran over something and it flew up and through Michael’s windshield. Mike was able to pull the car over and then died.
Mrs. Partlow has been asking some questions.
Bro. Partlow has been asking some questions.
Shelly, now their only other child, has been asking questions.
Mike Coleman lost his wife of 27 years, Pam, on July 14.
Bro. Gerry Nunley died this past summer.
The lady we have been praying for, Mrs. Francis Farmer, passed away Wednesday night
about 8:00. Her husband, Bob, is going through a difficult time.
Beverly Evans is going through some trials with her grandmother.
Ken Fomby’s brother recently suffered a heart attack.
Roger Reynolds’ mother is going through a difficult time.
Mrs. Thomas recently had to put her husband in a nursing home.
Some little girl who has been deserted by her daddy is asking herself, “If the Lord be for me, then why is my daddy leaving?”
Those single mothers who have been raising their children alone because of a worthless ex-husband have asked themselves many times, “If the Lord be for me, then why is this happening?”
HEY – GOD IS FOR YOU!
And no matter what you are facing this morning, God is for you!
And I wish I could take you one on one and look you square in the eyes and say – GOD…LOVE…YOU!
And I wish I could you to believe that.
I want you to understand this morning that God Almighty loves you!
GOD LOVES YOU.
GOD LOVES YOU.
GOD LOVES YOU.
I know you’re asking, “IF God loves me, then why is all this befallen me?”
Let me give you two quick observations before I get to my message.
1. Man needs obstacles.
I want you to understand something about us that we don’t always understand about us – and that is that man needs obstacles.
The very nature of man is that he has to conquer something in order to be happy.
We need obstacles.
2. If man has no obstacles, man creates his own obstacles.
If we don’t have any obstacles, we create our own.
A race to run is not enough, you know what we do, we put up hurdles to make it more difficult.
It’s not enough to race from here to there, man wants to put up hurdles to make it more difficult.
WHY? Because we create our own obstacles.
We like a challenge, there’s just something about us, we just enjoy a challenge.
Man needs an obstacle.
Man needs a battle to win.
Man needs a struggle to endure.
What do men do?
They climb a mountain.
And when they get to the top they said, “Let’s go find another one to climb.” Dumbest thing in the world – climbing mountains.
What else does man do? He buys a set of weights. And so he puts a 100 pounds on it – and is he satisfied – NO – he puts 150 pounds on it and then 200 and then 250, 300, 350.
A man grunts, sweats, hurts, gripes and then what does he do? HE PUTS ON MORE WEIGHT!
What about this? A man puts up a ramp and takes a car and jumps over smashed cars – or puts those same cars in a row and jumps them in a motorcycle.
Or, a man puts up a bar to see how high he can jump.
He takes a 16 pound steel ball and sees how far he can throw it.
We need an obstacle and God knows it!
SO… we say, “If God be for us, why then all these illnesses?”
“Why all the cancer?”
“Why all the surgery?”
“Why all the financial reversals?”
GOD KNOWS YOU AND I CAN’T WIN WITHOUT A BATTLE!
God knows you can’t endure hardness with having hardness.
He places inside of you and I the desire to be a winner.
And, in order for you and I to be a winner, He puts obstacles in our way – TO HELP US BE A WINNER BY BEING A WINNER!
Now, that’s my introduction. Let me give you three quick points and we’re going home.
1. GOD PUTS THOSE OBSTACLES IN FRONT OF YOU SO THAT OTHERS CAN SEE THAT IT CAN BE DONE
God puts those obstacles in front of you for others.
God puts those obstacles in front of you for others’ sake.
God puts those obstacles in front of you so that others can see that it can be done.
And so God put those in Gideon’s life.
And God puts those obstacles in your life.
And God puts those obstacles in my life.
FOR WHAT REASON?
So that God can show through us, and demonstrate through us to others that it can be done!
God wants you to show people who will follow you that it can be done.
Gideon has inspired thousands through the years.
Gideon and his 300 against 120,000 warriors,
And you think you’ve got it rough.
Look at Gideon’s obstacles.
And ladies and gentlemen,
God is using your life and my life so that others can see that it can be done!
Ohhh, you folks here this morning that have cancer,
HEY, rise up and let those around you know that God will sustain you.
Those of you in financial reverses right now and you’re saying, “If God be for me, why is all this happening to us?”
HEY, you need to rise up and say to those who will follow you, “IT CAN BE DONE! IT CAN BE DONE!”
God does it for others.
HEY, dad, you’ve got a child following you … and that child is going to have to see that dad can make it, and if dad can make it, then Junior can make it, and little Susie can make it.
WE NEED TO RISE UP AND SAY, “WE CAN MAKE IT, TOO!”
Ohhh, ladies and gentlemen,
I don’t know what obstacles you’re facing this morning, but just get up and get with it.
“Well, preacher, I just can’t find a job. I need $10.00 an hour and they just pay $5.00 an hour.”
HEY – JUST YOU TO TWO $5.00 AN HOUR JOBS AND MAKE IT!
Why don’t you just make it and spit in the devil’s eye?
Why don’t you just try fooling the devil and smiling?
You’re not going to hell.
You’re going to HEAVEN – shout a while over that!
HEY, I’m just saying that there are others following us and we ought to say, “PRAISE GOD IT CAN BE DONE!”
You guys remember two-a-day football practices?
Running windsprints in August.
Hitting those blocking sleds in 100 degree temperature.
Going through those tackling drills.
Cuts and scrapes.
Running play after play, time and time again.
And our coach wouldn’t let us take off our helmets.
AND YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT HE WAS TRYING TO KILL US.
But the truth of the matter is that he was trying to prepare us for a long season, and he knew that if we couldn’t take it in August, it wouldn’t do us any good in November.
AND God is saying, “I’ve given you this burden for your own good because there is a bigger one coming one day.”