Problems and challenges abound in the world of the living. And we dare not deceive ourselves by hoping that they will all end someday. The day that one ceases to have issues to contend with is the day one bids the world goodbye. To lend credence to this fact, the Bible records in the book of Job 5:7 that man is born to trouble as indubitably as the sparks fly in no other direction but upward.
Having established the fact that problems and challenges abound in the world in different forms and sizes, how can they be solved as they arise? Where does one run to for solution when confronted with challenges?
There are a number of recourses available for men to explore in solving the various challenges of life, such as one’s learning, past experience in handling a similar situation, parents, friends and loved ones, a consultant/counsellor etc. While any or all of these measures can prove to be very helpful, the most effective solutions are those given by God, and the best answers to all our questions are found in the presence of God.
I derived this insight from the Holy Bible, the book of Judges Chapter 21. The Israelites were faced with a major problem; preventing the extinction of one of the 12 tribes that formed the pillars of their nation, the tribe of Benjamin.
They had themselves launched a reprisal war on the Benjamites (read Judges Chapters 19 & 20 for details) and killed hundreds of thousands of them in the war, as well as every living thing that was found in their land. Only 600 men of the Benjamites who fled from the battle front and went to hide in the rock remained, every other person had been killed; old and young, men and women.
And since the Israelites had vowed before God not to give their daughters as wives to the Benjamites, then the tribe faced the risk of total extinction, as there were only 600 survivors left in the whole tribe, and they were all men!
This made the Israelites go to the house of God to seek counsel on what should be done. And there they found the answer to their question. Without speaking through a prophet, God gave them a circumstantial direction on what to do to get wives for the men of Benjamin without having to break their vow.
While the whole congregation of Israel were in the presence of God mourning, weeping, and offering sacrifices, the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead were not represented. Therefore, in making good their word, the Israelites sent warriors to the city and killed all the children, the men and every married woman in that land. They spared only the virgins whom they brought to the camp and then gave as wives to the men of Benjamin.
Another insight I derived from this new development is that it is those who do not spend time in the presence of God that will be made to pay the price or be used as pawn to execute the solutions that those who spend time in the presence of God come up with. The people of Jabesh Gilead who were found wanting in God’s presence were the ones who forfeited their lives so that their virgins could be given to the Benjamites as wives.
This underscores the need for every one of us to cultivate the habit of spending time in God’s presence, so that we do not become perpetual tools (for the accomplishment of the purpose) of those who do.
Photo credit: Zero Creatives/cultura/Corbis