The Midianites oppressed the Israelites and made life terrible for God’s people. They attacked them, destroyed their crops, stole their livestock, and laid waste to the land. And because of this, Israel was “brought very low” (v. 6). You might feel like an Israelite today, ambushed and decimated by your enemy. But we must start with the very first verse in this passage: “The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian” (v. 1). When adversity comes, as followers of God, we should seek His face and ask, “Lord, is this chastisement? Are You using this difficult situation right now to pull me back to You?”
Not all pain is God’s discipline for sin, but God’s discipline is often painful. And if what we are experiencing is His loving discipline, we need to know that so we can identify and repent of the sin we have committed, rest in His grace and mercy, and enjoy renewed fellowship with our God. For every sin in our lives, there is forgiveness and restoration and peace. But the first step is allowing our eyes to be opened, seeing the truth that only God can reveal.
Where in your past might God be pointing you to unconfessed sin? What steps can you take to turn away from it and to Christ?