1) God allows thorns for our benefit (v.2) . . . to keep us from drifting from Him.
In times of prosperity we can drift . . . Deuteronomy 6:10-12 “Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, 12 then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
2) God gives tests to show us where our heart really lies (v. 4)
a. He gives these tests so that we might know who is with us and who is against us (1 Corinthians 11:19; 2 Peter 1:5-10)
b. He gives testing to show the world who is really His (1 John 3:10-11)
c. He gives tests to show our need for Him . . . it shows us His grace (v.6).
3) Cry out to God (v.9, 15)
a. Must recognize that you have sinned
b. Must realize that you are hopeless without Divine intervention. You cannot change in your own power
c. Must realize you are enslaved
4) Rescue from God
a. Never in our timing, always in His timing. Continue calling out to Him with the tenacity of a bull dog. You cannot give up.
b. Always accomplished by His strength in conjunction with our working
i. Othniel went out to battle
ii. Ehod used his “left handedness” for God’s glory
c. Every time of revival leads to a time of peace and growth