Sir David Jason has played many roles, both comic and serious, with great aplomb. One role that most of us would never have expected him to play is that of moral commentator. In a recent interview he commented on Miley Cyrus and how she was impacting the moral standards of the nation. Whether the said pop star is as morally influential as Sir David thinks she is, it is perhaps an indication of the moral climate of our times that Sir David feels the need to comment in the way that he did.
Truth be told we’ve been in a bit of a state for a long time. And no, Miley Cyrus is not to blame.
When all is not well, or we sense that all is not well, we often seek an explanation. We ask the “Why?” question.
In Judges 6, we find Israel in a very difficult situation. Almost completely overrun by her enemies. A prophet reminds the people that unfaithfulness to God has brought about the difficulties they are facing. It seems, however, that his words fall on deaf ears.
Sometime later the Angel of the Lord, appears to Gideon. Threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from Midianite invaders reveals Gideon’s mindset as much as it reveals the direness of the nation’s difficulties.
The angel’s affirmation of Gideon, addressing him as “Mighty Warrior” is met with an outpouring of cynicism and even a little self-pity from Gideon. Gideon has heard all about God and how powerful He is, but what has He ever done for him? And anyway, his clan is the weakest in the tribe and he is the least in his family.
You might expect God through His angel to address each of these issues. After all, what Gideon has said more or less casts a slur on God’s character and ability. And then there is Gideon’s crippling self perception.
God, however, doesn’t address these issues, at least not directly.
He provides no explanation as to why things are the way they are and why He hasn’t acted in the way He did when the Israelites were brought out of Egypt. He doesn’t refer back to the prophetic word. Or to the law of Moses. He doesn’t try to justify Himself. He doesn’t need to – He’s God!
He embarks on no examination of Gideon’s character. He doesn’t probe Gideon’s cynicism or the reasons why he doesn’t see himself as a mighty warrior. Instead He creates expectation: “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand ” (Judges 6.14) and promises that He will be with him – whatever his identity issues!
Trying to work out why God did or didn’t do something. Or why He allowed or didn’t allow something is pointless if it stops us from taking action. Christians are full of opinions. The web is full of opinions about God and why He did or didn’t do something. Why people get healed or why they don’t get healed. Why somewhere was struck by a hurricane. Why the nation is the way it is. The best that you will get from asking those questions is some sort of answer that you are comfortable with. But it won’t change anything. In fact, the only thing it will change is you! It might make you more proud!
And endless quests to work out why we are the way we are or what we think we are or what others think we are or what we think others think we are, is, likewise, pretty futile. Self awareness is no bad thing, but if it doesn’t lead to action…
The thing that matters is that God sees us as part of the solution and He puts that expectation on us. It’s good to wait on God, but if you’re waiting for an explanation you’ll wait a long time. God doesn’t need to explain Himself.