Because God Said So
Updated: Apr 20
The one phrase used by my my mother that I swore I would never repeats is "Because I said so." It always seemed too bossy to me. As a child I thought it unfair of my mother to expect that I do things without what I in my own young logic deemed to be a proper amount of discussion and explanation. It struck me as a tyrannical means by which Mom bullied me into submission.
Once I had a child of my own, I often found it difficult not to break my vow. I discovered that sometimes there simply was not time for an explanation or conversation when I needed my daughter to do something. There were other times when her little mind simply would not understand the reasoning. On most occasions I wanted her to know that it was enough that I asked her to do something. I usually didn't mind trying to explain in time, but I wanted her to obey first and discuss later.
While I cannot remember if I ever used that exact four word mantra of my mother, I certainly found a lot of other ways to say the exact same thing, usually using far more complicated and elongated language. I may never have "bullied" her into submission as I had previously put it. But I'm pretty sure I confused her into submission a few times.
On the other side of that coin is the child who constantly asks why, and who resists the authority even beyond that initial questioning. While I generally encourage a healthy discussion and a child's natural curiosity and questioning mind, it holds that a child's lack of understanding is not a good reason to resist authority. I admit, I was that child. So part of me can relate the response that Gideon gave in the sixth chapter of the book of Judges when God called him to lead the Israelites to victory over their enemies. And at the same time, it strikes me as somewhat childish. He had a come back phrase to combat everything God was telling him.
When the angel of the LORD told him he was a might warrior who was highly favored by God, Gideon said that God had abandoned them (Judges 6:12-13).
When God reassured him that he had been strengthened by the LORD and would succeed at the task has had been given, Gideon insisted that not only was he too weak, but that his entire clan was incapable of such a task (vv 14-15). Talk about throwing your whole family under the bus.
When and angel of the LORD touched Gideon's offering and set it ablaze, Gideon verbally pitied himself as if he was about to die, rather than taking the supernatural sign of God's call and favor (vv 17-22).
Even after this direct call and miraculous sign, Gideon asked God to perform two more wonders: filling a fleece with dew while the ground stayed dry, and then filling the ground with dew while a fleece stayed dry (vv 36-39). He began these requests with the words "If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised.... (vs. 36)." Wasn't it enough to know that God had promised it? Who needs more of a sign than that?
It was not until Gideon overheard the same thing that God had been telling him all along from the mouth of his enemies that he finally believed that God would use him to save Israel (Judges 7:13-16). Despite all of this, Gideon did turn out to be a mighty, very clever warrior.
I cannot explain how such an unwilling, seemingly unprepared man as Gideon could defeat a highly trained army of 135,000 men with only 300 undertrained cavalry fighters. There is only one reason: because God said so. There is no other explanation.
Gideon saw himself as the least of the least, an unworthy coward whom God had abandoned. But in reality he was a mighty warrior who was born to lead a nation of God's people. Why? Because God said so. No other explanation is needed.
Who does God say you are, and what is God calling you to do?