Dale Offutt

(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

     Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hear the Word of the Lord.

     And the angel of Jehovah came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of Jehovah appeared unto him, and said unto him, “Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.”

     And Gideon said unto him, “Oh, my lord, if Jehovah is with us, why then is all this befallen us? And where are all his wondrous works which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not Jehovah bring us up from Egypt? But now Jehovah hath cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian.”

     And Jehovah looked upon him, and said, “Go in this thy might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian, have not I sent thee?” And he said unto him, “Oh, Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? Behold, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” And Jehovah said unto him, “Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.” And he said unto him, “If now I have found favor in thy sight, then show me a sign that it is thou that talkest with me. Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and lay it before thee.” And he said, “I will tarry until thou come again.”

Our theme for study, if God, why God, is taken from the content of a single verse from Judges the sixth chapter. Gideon, the fifth judge of Israel was not a standing judge. Perhaps, by human standards, the best judge that Israel ever had.  So from Judges chapter six verse 13 we have the question asked by Gideon. If Jehovah is with us, why then is all this befallen us? Let us note the setting and background to this question.

The Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the East had swarmed into the land of the Israelites. They were such a number and power that Israel suffered because of their invasion and the Israelites sought refuge in the caves and in man made pits. Gideon’s question may appear to be a fair question in response to the statement by the angel who said that “Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.”

But let us also remember that problems had come to Israel with a purpose from God.  Gideon questioned God about the problems he and his nation faced and implied that there was a lack of help from God.  What Gideon did not acknowledge was the fact that the Israelites had brought calamity upon themselves when they decided to disobey God. Oh, my friends, we can learn a quick lesson from this already. It is so easy to overlook personal accountability to God and blame our problems on God or even on others.

Gideon failed to look within before he asked God his question. If Jehovah is with us, why then is all this befallen us? If God, then why God? One can ask this question with regard to many situations in life. What we are asking is simply, if God is so powerful, why do we have the problems that we have or why do we have the responsibilities that we have? This question, if God is so powerful, why God do we have so much trouble and sin in the world? Or some may ask the question like this. If God created man in his own image, why God, did he sin? If God, why God?
Of course, Bible students are familiar with the creation account and Genesis chapter one verse 27.  And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.  The answer to our question is that man was created with a free will mind.  This is one way by which he is created in the likeness of God. Man chose to sin. Most people know the story of Adam and Eve and how the old serpent tempted Eve to disobey God and eat from the tree in the midst of the garden which was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The power of choice is marvelous. And to this day we continue to make choices.

If God, why God? If God is with us, why the crime and corruption in our society?  The answer is that man gives in to Satan. Then our will, then our mind are so affected by Satan that we disobey God like our first parents. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin entered the human race. It was then that the penalty of death for sin was given to mankind. The consequence of sin is death.

Hear from the New Testament, from the apostle Paul.  Romans five verse 12. Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin and so death passed unto all men for that all sinned. Thank God for his covenant with fallen man and the promised redemption through his Son Jesus Christ.
Again, the apostle Paul declared in Romans 5:17: For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one, much more shall they that receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, even Jesus Christ.


Romans six verse 23. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.   If God, why God?  If God saves us from our sins, why should he, as a powerful God, be so concerned about our lives as to how we live, what we do? Why, God?  Well, to save us from our sins.

Oh, my friends, if God saves us from our sins—and the Bible says he does—why, God, should we be so concerned about living good Christian lives?  The apostle Paul answers our question for us. Romans 6:1-2: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?

If God, why, God?  If God saves, why is it our responsibility to preach the gospel to a lost world? Christians know well that the way God gets the good news of salvation through his Son Jesus Christ to a sinsick world is through those who have received Jesus Christ as their Savior. All the redeemed. All those who have inherited the sinful nature of our first parents and know the free gift of God through Jesus to save, eternal life through Jesus, have the responsibility and privilege to make the gospel attractive to a lost world.

The apostle Paul told Titus with reference to our responsibility, how we live, he says: Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. And let us not forget, as Jesus was about to leave this earth and ascend to his Father in heaven, he gave what we call the Great Commission.  Go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you. And, lo, I am with you always. Even unto the end of the world.

So our question has been answered. Why, God? If God saves, why is it our responsibility to preach the gospel to a lost world? Because the Lord Jesus gave us this love command. We are to adorn the doctrine. We are, indeed, to preach the gospel.

Another ‘if’ question may well be asked: If God, why, God? If God’s grace saves us, why are we to be zealous of good works? The apostle Paul made it very clear to Titus again, speaking of Jesus who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto himself a people for his own possession, zealous of good works.  Oh, my friends, a real way to prove to our fellow man that we have faith in the living God is to reach out to our fellow man with love and good deeds.

James declares in the second chapter of James, verse 20 and verse 24 and verse 26: Faith apart from works is barren. Ye see that by works a man is justified and not only by faith.  Faith apart from works is dead. Of course, good works will give evidence that we are saved by the grace of God.

The late D. L. Moody one time said to his audience, “Before my conversion I worked toward the cross, but since then I have worked from the cross. Then I worked to be saved. Now I work because I am saved.”  Fellow Christians, our motive for good works is not to be saved, but we have good works because we are saved.

If God, why, God?  If God is with us, and the Word of God assures us of his presence, why do Christians have trials? Trials are common to all, my friends, to Christians as well as to non- Christians. The Lord Jesus taught that God sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Thank God for his presence. We must remember that God has a purpose for every event in our lives. Every possible answer to our question as to why we have trials may well be that God would use trials to draw us closer to himself and cause us to develop or mature in the Lord.

Do you remember what James had to say in his first chapter? Count it all joy, my brethren, when you fall into manifold temptations, knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience. And let patience have its perfect work that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.

Or another answer to our question about trials or suffering could be that God disciplines us through the trials of our suffering. The writer of Hebrews declares in chapter 12 verse six: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and scoureth every son whom he receiveth.

If God, why, God? If God already knows our every need and Jesus declares that he does, why should we pray? God could just keep us supplied with our every need. Jesus taught: Your father knoweth what things ye have need of before you ask him.   But, my friends, the question is asked, why should we pray? If there is a powerful God why could he not just supply all of our needs? The answer to our question may well be that prayer is a sacred duty and a love command.  A manner of simple faith is demonstrated in humility before God. We acknowledge God and he knows our hearts and he honors our faith and answers our prayers.


Hear the teaching of Jesus again. Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth and he that seeketh, findeth and to him that knocketh it shall be opened, Matthew seven verses seven and eight.

To summarize our thoughts, if God, why, God, let me share with you a little poem titled, “Choose thou for me.”

I dare not choose my lot;

I would not if I might:

Choose Thou for me, my God,

So shall I walk aright.

The kingdom that I seek

Is Thine: so let the way

That leads to it be Thine,

Else I must surely stray.

Take Thou my cup, and it

With joy or sorrow fill,

As best to Thee may seem;

Choose Thou my good and ill.

Choose Thou for me my friends,

My sickness or my health;

Choose Thou my cares for me

My poverty or wealth.

Not mine, not mine the choice

In things or great or small;

Be Thou my guide, my strength

My wisdom and my all.

My friends, we ask you this question. Have you chosen Jesus to be your personal Savior? Yes, Jesus came to this earth to save all mankind, but the love offering of himself must be received. A choice must be made. Will you receive Jesus or will you reject him? Will you receive him as your personal Savior?  Oh, my friends, do as the Word of God teaches. One must repent of sin and be baptized, be immersed for the forgiveness of sin. My friend, if you need to receive Jesus as your Savior, do not delay. You may not have another day.


Dale Offutt is retired minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Seller