Forsaken?

And Gideon said to him, “Please, sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.”  Judges 6:13

“Walking with God” is very confusing.  Is He for us or against us?  Is He with us or standing off at a distance?  Sure, theologically He never leaves or forsakes us, but practically, “forsaken” has a lot more supporting evidence than “for us”.  Can the clay say to the potter why did you make me this way? Nope.  So we languish in Midian.

My breath is strange to my wife, and I am a stench to the children of my own mother.  Even young children despise me;  when I rise they talk against me.   All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me.  Job 19:17-19

How disorienting for Job, the man God called “blameless and upright” at the start of his story.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Is. 64:6

There are some times, more than others, where the reality of the impossibility to communicate, to think, to feel or even to interact well because of sin’s corruption of all our faculties is so evident that I begin to believe it futile even to try any more.  It shows up between brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, parents and children, and between long time friends.

For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?  Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!  Rom. 7:22-25a

I suppose God provided Job with such a tangible experience of his helplessness in the face of a fallen world to draw Him further into a hopefulness in the One Who is redeeming it.

And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?”  And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”  And theLord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”  Judges 6:14-16

He has chosen to make His power perfect in our weakness and His light to shine in our darkness.  Jesus was forsaken so that we would never really know such darkness.  Not my will but Yours be done.