Just a few days ago (March 23, 2015, to be exact) I was studying the Bible and I noticed a potentially very fruitful verse for further study at Judges 6:13,
Judges 6:13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
Notice that Gideon had some very pointed questions. The conditions as he saw them in his day indicated the Lord had forsaken His people. Gideon saw that as evidence that the Lord was not with him, contrary to what the angel said.
Other significant people in the Bible likewise had such questions. If you wanted to find out who these persons are and what were their questions, how would you find out?
The answer is, make use of cross reference Bible study using a complete as you can find source of cross references.
I decided to study this verse to a greater depth, and it was a thrill to me to find out just how much interesting information in the Bible connects with this verse. I added many more new cross references for this passage. Let me share my results with you:
Judges 6:13. Oh my Lord. Da 10:16. if the Lord. Ge 25:22. Ex 34:14-16. Nu 14:8, 14, 15. *Ro 8:31. be with us. Jg 1:19. Nu 23:21. Jsh 3:10. Jb 29:5. why then. Dt 29:24. 30:17, 18. Ps 77:7-9. 89:49. Is 59:1, 2. 63:15. +*Je 12:1, 2. *Hab 1:3, 13. Lk 1:29. befallen us. +**Ru 1:13, 20. and where be. 2 K 2:14. *Jb 9:16. *Ec 7:10. Is 51:9. our fathers told us. Dt 32:7. Ps 13:1. 44:1. **Ps 78:3, 4, 12. 89:49. bring us up. Dt 7:18. Je 2:6. from Egypt. Ps 80:8, 12-14. forsaken us. Jg 16:20. Dt 31:17. 1 S 16:14. 28:6. **2 Ch 15:2. *2 Ch 30:7. Ps 27:9. 81:12. +*Pr 1:28. Is 41:17. Je 23:33. +**Mt 17:20. +*Mt 21:43. *Mt 23:38. *Lk 4:19, 20. +**Lk 13:35. Ac 7:42. Ro 1:24.
This set of cross references makes for a most remarkable real Bible study illustration of the power of cross references.
In this case, starting at Jg 6:13, the Bible gives us a full answer to Gideon’s question about the silence of God in his time, and by consulting the references given for Mt 17:20 and Lk 13:35 shows how and why that silence largely prevails in our own time.
Sir Robert Anderson wrote a most interesting book titled The Silence of God. I have read that book about three times. His opening chapter is most dramatic. But Sir Robert Anderson does not in his book provide as much Bible information as I would like to have seen to support his case.
I have done just that in the cross references supplied above.
Notice that I have provided special symbols with the cross references. These symbols tell you where to find more (that is what the “+” symbol stands for), and where are life-changing sets of references to be found (that is what the “+**” symbol alerts you to).
The references given for Judges 6:13 are an especially good example also of the three-level approach to digging deeper in your Bible study:
+Ru 1:13; +Mt 17:20; +Mt 21:43; +**Lk 13:35;
and third level extends further from each of the second level passages based upon the “+” symbol at those references.
Matthew 17:20 is a wonderful promise about prayer:
Mat 17:19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
Mat 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Pastor Cole featured on the Moody Broadcasting Network some years ago remarked that he saw many more specific answers to prayer as a new Christian than he did as a much more mature Christian then of many years. He wondered if that was the case for many.
When we don’t see specific answers to our prayers, does that mean we have prayed for the wrong thing? Does that mean that we don’t even have the faith of a mustard seed?
I have shared elsewhere on this site as much as you will likely ever find anywhere on what the Bible teaches about unanswered prayer. Just place Psalm 66:18 into the search box in the upper right hand corner and the search result should bring you to that article about the reasons for unanswered prayer mentioned in the Bible.
The cross references given for Matthew 17:20 will shed much more light on this Bible subject:
Matthew 17:20. Because. ver. Mt 17:17. +Mt 9:2. 13:58. 14:30, 31. Lk 17:6. Jn 11:40. He 3:19. unbelief. +Mt 6:30. 16:8. Nu 20:12. Jg 16:20. Mk 16:14. Lk 8:25. 12:28. for verily. +Mt 5:18. If. FS184C, +Mt 4:9. ye have. Christ does not say if ye believe, but if ye have faith, a much stronger expression of personal possession. Compare have love (Jn 13:35; 1 J 4:16); have peace (Jn 16:33); have trust (2 C 3:4); have boldness (He 10:19; 1 J 2:28); have fellowship (**1 J 1:3n) [see Vincent on Jn 16:22]. **He 7:28n. 1 J 3:3. faith. Note: That is, as Bp. Pearce well remarks, a thriving and increasing faith, like a grain of mustard seed, which, from being the least of seeds, becomes the greatest of all herbs. Mt 8:13. *Mt 21:21, 22. %Ho 5:15. Mk 5:36. *Mk 11:23. Lk 17:6. Ac 3:16. 1 Cor 12:9. 13:2, 8n. %2 Cor 5:7. 6:13. %2 Tim 4:20. He 11:32-38. James 5:15. a grain. FS138B, +Ge 13:16. Mt 13:31. Mk 4:31. Lk 13:19. this mountain. The Rabbins were termed rooters up of mountains, because they were dexterous in removing difficulties (CB). ver. Mt 17:1, 9. *Mk 11:22-24. Lk 17:6. 1 Cor 13:2. nothing. Mt 14:29. Jb 22:30. 42:2. Mk 9:23. Lk 1:37. 18:27.
The above cross references, carefully studied, will shed much light on the subject of the “Silence of God.” Pay particularly close attention to the passages marked with the “%” symbol, which indicates a contrasting truth. For example, the Bible clearly teaches that God does in fact provide physical healing, even today. Acts 10:38 tells us that Jesus went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. Psalm 103:3 is a wonderful verse about healing also, and its cross references ought to be studied to learn what the Bible says about this subject. From what Jesus states in Matthew, and what Matthew cites from the Old Testament in that connection, it would seem the Bible teaches that healing is in the Atonement (see Matthew 8:17). Yet contrast 2 Timothy 4:20. It would seem that the special miracles experienced in the ministry of Peter and Paul where many were healed physically at the start of their ministry–those supernatural interventions of divine grace for healing were not as frequent, and in some sense may have ceased at the end of their ministry, for Paul left one of his fellow workers sick, not healed.
Luke 13:35 begins to help us see why that should be so. When God next speaks here upon earth, it will be a time of unbending judgment and wrath. Notice that when Jesus preached in the synagogue, as recorded in Luke 4:18 and context, he stopped his reading of the Isaiah passage in the middle of a verse, the middle of a sentence, because what followed which He left unread did not apply to the time of which He was speaking. There is an unannounced time gap in the prophecy, a time gap of undefined duration yet continuing even in our day. Now some have argued with me almost endlessly here in our discussions that there are no prophetic time gaps to be found in Scripture. To that, I simply respond, “Nonsense!” It is time for individuals with that point of view to get the blinders off and start doing real Bible study, instead of denominational Bible study!
I’ve barely scratched the surface of what a careful study of the cross references to Judges 6:13 can lead to. I invite you to continue that study on your own! I have furnished what are probably the most complete set of cross references for that verse that you will find anywhere.