Have you ever had to learn things the hard way? I have and each time I ask myself, “What was I thinking?” As I reflected on my life, I could see where God intervened. There is nothing like being humbled to bring you back to the reality of how much we need God. Maybe you have experienced the same thing I have in life. In our story from Judges chapter six, the Israelites are headed for a tough lesson because of their wayward lifestyle.
The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. So, the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years. 2 The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east would attack Israel, 4 camping in the land and destroying crops as far away as Gaza. They left the Israelites with nothing to eat, taking all the sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. 5 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. 6 So Israel was reduced to starvation by the Midianites. Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help. 
As we look at these verses, we see the results of a people who have drifted away from God. The Lord, in His infinite wisdom, does not let them stay in their sin. He intervenes. He is the Divine Intruder. The first part of our Lord’s intervention comes by allowing the Midianites to oppress the Israelites. The Israelites are so stubborn it takes seven years of oppression before they will humble themselves and admit they need the Lord.
Why did it take seven years for them to humble themselves? I think the answer is that sin numbs you to the voice of God. The deeper the sin, the harder to hear the Lord calling you to repent. Repent means to turn from your sin and turn to God. When we refuse to listen, the Lord can bring us to our senses by letting us experience the hardship caused by our own sin. It is then we realize that we were wrong and need the Lord. This is the humility that the Lord desires.
Was there ever a time in your life where the Lord used hardship, a very difficult situation, a time of desperation to get your attention? Did that result in you crying out to God? Maybe you are experiencing that desperation as you read this. Simply pray: Lord help me, I have made such a mess of life, Lord forgive me. When I repent of my sin and cry out to the Lord something begins to happen to my deaf ears. I begin to hear the Lord’s voice again.
To hear the story of Gideon, listen here:https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/journey-with-the-divine-intruder/the-divine-intruder-and-gideon