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The Greatest Questions of the Bible and of Life
Why? (6 of 18)
Clarence E. Macartney
Why is one of the great and mysterious words of the
Bible and of life. It was the word upon the lips of
the righteous Job in the midst of his multiplied
sorrows and adversities. Job did not curse God, but he
did curse the day he was born and cried out, "Why died
I not from the womb?" "Why" was the word that our
Savior spoke in His agony upon the cross, "My God, my
God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Here the "why" was
the word upon the lips of Gideon when the angel called
him to deliver the land out of the hand of the
Midianites and told him that the Lord was with him. If
that was so, Gideon wanted to know why all these evils
had befallen the land.
Perhaps the most interesting and familiar, and
certainly the most important, sight that one sees in
the Near East is the threshing floor, for it is a
symbol of man's struggle for bread. All over the land
during the summer season you can see the oxen or other
animals making their monotonous rounds on the
threshing floor, and men, children, and women, with
their colorful headdress and bright garments, pitching
the trampled grain into the air for the wind to carry
off the chaff.
But this was a different kind of threshing floor.
There was no gaiety; there was no family or community
gathering. In a remote glen by a winepress, near the
oak in Ophrah, a young man is secretly beating out the
grain, not with oxen but with a flail. The reason for
this secret operation is the invasion of the
Midianites, who have swarmed over the land and have
taken possession of the threshing floors wherever they
can find one. The face of the young man is dark with
sorrow, resentment, and anger as he beats out the
Presently a stranger appears and accosts him, saying,
"The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor!" At
that, Gideon, for it is none other than he, looks ...
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