Are There Calamities in Your Life?
Near the end of his life, Moses was told these words by Jehovah about the future of the children of Israel: “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake me and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them; so that they will say in that day, “Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?” But I will surely hide my face in that day because of a ll the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods’" (Deuteronomy 31.16-18).
Let us consider why these troubles had come upon Israel. Notice, they said it was because of God. Yet God said it was because of them. Which was true? Later, Israel would acknowledge: “As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to your truth” (Daniel 9.13). The apostle Peter stated that Jesus was sent for this very reason: “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3.26).
Isn’t this how it is with us? When calamities come upon us, to whom do we point: to God or ourselves? Don’t we often reason within our hearts, “Why? Where is God when I need him?” The answer is clear: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 5.34).
As it was with Israel of old, so will it be with us. We need to acknowledge why God hides his face. It has been, and will always be, for one reason. As Moses explained it, it is “…because of all the evil which we do, for we turn to other gods.” Let us be honest about our lives, remembering these words: “Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4.16).