When everything is going well, e.g., the bills are paid, the kids are well behaved, and business is flourishing, most people tend to step back and put God on the passenger seat. That is where danger lies, ladies and gents. This false belief of self-sufficiency and the “I don’t need God” to do well in life is evil from God’s perspective. The former scenario happened at the times of the people of Israel of antiquity (and modernity), our lives and the lives of many as we learn in the book of Judges.
“The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. 2 Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.” Judges 6-1:6.
God is a jealous God who will act in order to show His glory. He punished evil in the past and will punish evil in the present and future. Fortunate are those who pay attention and hear to God’s commands and make HIM their focus not themselves. The former isn’t easy for many to follow or accept but that doesn’t make it wrong.
Listen carefully to this: God Uses Tough Times To Get Our Attention. Sometimes, these tough times are a phase in your lives (a desert as the bible describes), that we have to pass through to find the oasis. Other times, is an unexpected death of a close friend or a motor vehicle accident that happened last summer. Other times, it is simply arrogance on our part for believing that God isn’t part of the equation of our latest success.
Remember this: Every trial that we face in life is supposed to bring us closer to God. Whether this trial is externally introduced (death of a friends) or internally motivated like believing that we are truly self-sufficient. Remember what we learn in Judges 6:70-12, “God sees more than we do.” It is impossible to hide from God and remember that your (our) success is determined by God not us.