When God disciplines
These enemy hordes, coming with their livestock and tents, were as thick as locusts; they arrived on droves of camels too numerous to count. And they stayed until the land was stripped bare. So Israel was reduced to starvation by the Midianites. Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help. When they cried out to the Lord because of Midian, the Lord sent a prophet to the Israelites. He said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of slavery in Egypt. I rescued you from the Egyptians and from all who oppressed you. I drove out your enemies and gave you their land. I told you, ‘I am the Lord your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live.’ But you have not listened to me.” Judges 6:5-10
Whenever you feel distant from God, you have to determine the reason why. It will be to your advantage to find the reason for this because God does not desire His children to be distant from Him. From the text, the Israelites were distant from God because of their disobedience. They would rather listen to other gods than the one true God. “I am the Lord your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live.’ But you have not listened to me” (Judges 6:10). It is their unwillingness to hear from God that kept them distant from Him. They were reminded that when they left Egypt, they left their life of sin which includes idolatry. Yet, God saw them again going back to their old life. When David will not hear the voice of God, he realized that his prayers to God were hindered. “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; do not be silent at my tears; for I am a stranger with You, a sojourner like all my fathers” (Psalm 39:12). Not only his spiritual relationship with God was affected, he also felt that his body was weakened. “When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long” (Psalm 32:3). It is by turning to God through repentance that you can be restored once again in your relationship with God. The Israelites realized that God disciplined them by allowing their enemies to take advantage of their livestock and the famine that they were experiencing. God will not allow His children to continue to be distant from Him. His desire is for His children to conform to His image (see Romans 8:29). God is not a permissive or passive Father. He cares enough to discipline those that belong to Him. “God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Hebrews 12:10-11). There is so much that God gave up so that that there will be forgiveness of sin. It took His Son to die on the cross so that you could have a right relationship with Him through His righteousness given to you. So He will not let you squander the life He gave you. He knows that when you grow in obedience to Him and His word, it will develop your character and will help you face every challenge in life.