June 21, 2014
TODAY’S STUDY TEXT:
“Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep and guard you on the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared…I will send My terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people to whom you shall come, and I will make all your foes turn from you in flight. And I will send hornets before you which shall drive out the Hivite, Canaanite, and Hittite from before you. I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate for lack of attention and the wild beasts multiply against you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and are numerous enough to take possession of the land.”
Exodus 23: 20-30
“Little By Little”
“God’s providence will fulfill all His promises.”
Can I remember a time in my life when God’s merciful providence worked on my behalf?
“The same God who controls the sun cares for the sparrow.”
PROVIDENCE: Foresight. Prudent watchcare. Divine direction.
“God is to be trusted when His providences seem to run contrary to His promises.”
During the past few days, we have again studied II Chronicles 20 and the life of King Jehoshaphat. The responses from so many of you have deeply touched my heart. I’ve repeatedly heard from Transformation Garden friends who have shared with me how Jehoshaphat’s trust and reliance on God has inspired them right now as they are facing a “triple threat” in their own lives and feel as if God has left them in a wilderness of despair and sorrow.
As one precious daughter of God put it, “I want to trust God. I’m trying to trust God. But, when you just lost your job and your family is falling apart – it’s tough! I wish God would work faster so I could see what He is doing.” What an honest statement – one which I think we can all relate to. I know when I’m mired down in a pit, with one problem after another falling in on me, I want God to work fast! And I want Him to work dramatically, too. I want to know, assuredly, that He has me in the palm of His hand and has everything taken care of – immediately! So it was very providential that as I was studying the Bible, preparing for future devotionals that I “just happened,” (I don’t think so!!!), upon a passage in Exodus 23 that for me was the answer from heaven I needed about trusting God during the tough times, even when I don’t see God at work or feel like He is accomplishing what I think He should. For all of you, who like myself, would love to see and know that God has you under His wings and in the palm of His hand, then the passage in Exodus 23, was written just for all of us today.
God called His friend Moses up on Mount Sinai where He gave Moses the Ten Commandments, along with many other wise and loving words of guidance and counsel. Among the things God told Moses are the words in the passage in Exodus 23 –our text for today.
God wanted Moses and His children down through history, to be aware of the fact that God’s hand was guiding, even when unseen. But what’s more, God wanted Moses to share the fact that He was sending an Angel to walk with His children to be their beacon. Then, just as with King Jehoshaphat, God encouraged His children with the fact that He would be out in front, fighting their battles for them. In fact, God let them in on this interesting piece of information. If necessary, He had some secret weapons He would use – hornets! Ouch!!
But there’s even more interesting information God told His children. He informed them that He would not have the enemies of Israel vacate the land immediately, for if the land were to lie barren and waste, it would be overrun with weeds and wild beasts and when finally in the hands of His children, the land would be overgrown and nearly uninhabitable. Instead, our plan-a-head Father, told His children that “little–by-little,” He would “drive out before you” the enemy, until, as God said, “You have what is needed to take care of all I’m planning to give you.”
Now this is top-notch planning on God’s part. He doesn’t overwhelm us with too much at once or too much too fast. Rather, as we can handle things, He does for us, “little-by-little,” exactly what we need.
What a wonderful Father! And for all the Dorothy’s out there who want every mess cleaned up immediately and every question answered right now, our Father smiles and lovingly says, “My dear daughter, I am at work. Little-by-little. Every day, while you are fretting, I’ve checked off another item on my ‘To Do List’ for your life. And one of these days, if you’ll just trust me, you’ll see that everything is done according to My plan for you. Because remember, I’m doing right now, ‘Exceedingly, above, all that you could ask or think,’ a little at a time!”
“Happy the (woman) who sees a God employed in all the good and ill that checkers life.”
(Remember, this quote was penned by the great poet and hymn-writer, William Cowper who suffered lifelong with severe depression.)
Day By Day
“Day by day and with each passing moment,
strength I find to meet my trials here;
trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
gives unto each day what He deems best.
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
mingling toil with peace and rest.
Help me then in every tribulation
so to trust Thy promises, O Lord
That I lose not faith’s sweet
consolation offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a Father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.”
Carolina Sandell Berg
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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