Snapshots: Day 145
The Snapshot: “the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome.” (Judg 13:6) Funny old story this one that opens the way for Samson. An angel comes and communicates with this childless woman. She half believes and shares with her husband – he doesn’t believe (see. v.16), but it poses the question, why do we so often struggle to believe the divinely supernatural? Non-Christians struggle to believe in Jesus, Christians struggle to believe in the Holy Spirit. Is it that the world – life – has taught us not to believe in good news? Why do we struggle to believe that God loves us, really loves us? Are we suspicious of offers that appear too good to believe because they usually are too good? Time to take hold of our unbelief and confess the good news.
Further Consideration: We don’t like talking about unbelief, for it makes us feel defensive as we shield our guilt, but the above snapshot is all about unbelief. We make excuses why God can’t use us: “my clan is the weakest… and I am least in my family,” (Jud 6:15) and call it low self-esteem. We say the times have changed and Jesus’ gifts of the Spirit are no longer operative, although Jesus never changes. (Heb 13:8).
Unbelief comes in lots of different forms, whether it is no longer believing in demons or angels, or in a God who performs miracles and heals people or speaks to His people, or in prayer or spiritual warfare, so many ways that we can back away, muttering, “I’m not sure.” We allow ourselves to get run down physically and spiritually so we hide away in a cave, like Elijah (1 Kings 19:9), hoping the Lord won’t notice us – but He does and the voice comes, “What are you doing here?” We can make excuses (v.10) but He always knows the truth.
There are only one or two comforting things about all this: the Lord knows what we’re like and He persists with us. I always laugh over the two-chapter long conversation (Ex 3,4) that God has with Moses at the burning bush and near the end of his constant prevaricating Moses has the audacity to claim, “I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” (4:10) You have got to be joking. But then we’re all like that; given half a chance we’ll go on and on explaining why we’re like we are, but it’s just unbelief in disguise.
Thank goodness that God knows us, isn’t put off by us and so persists with us. And if we’re parents like this couple He knows we perhaps may come to a crisis in life where we can’t control the child where we did a less than one hundred per cent job in bringing them up, but His grace is so staggeringly enormous that He can work even into that apparently disastrous outcome. Grieve and pray and watch what is about to come.