Devotional Week 45 Thursday
“Sustain me according to Your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Uphold me, and I will be delivered.”
Psalm 119: 116, 117
Hold Thou Me
“I lean upon no broken reed,
Nor trust an untried guide;
I know Him, and He knoweth me;
He walketh by my side.
I hold His hand as on we walk,
And He still holdeth mine;
It is a human hand I hold,
It is a hand Divine.
‘Hold Thou me up,’ is still my cry,
As o’er the rugged road
Of this, my pilgrimage, I move,
That leads me nearer God.”
Today’s Study Text:
“The king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, and had said, ‘Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done.’ Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to beg the king for her house and land.”
II Kings 8: 4, 5
“God Will Take Care of You” Part 24
“A Timing All His Own”
“The reason so many of us struggle so intensely with adversity is that we have yet to adopt God’s perspective and priorities.”
How has the timeline God has used in my life sometimes perplexed me?
Have I been willing to wait and let God work things out for his glory in my life?
“The best thing you and I can do is to stop looking at our watches and calendars and simply look by faith into the face of God and let Him have His way – in His time.”
“It so happened that after Pharaoh released the people, God didn’t lead them by the road through the land of the Philistines, which was the shortest route, for God thought, ‘If the people encounter war, they’ll change their minds and go back to Egypt.’ So God led the people on the wilderness road, looping around to the Red Sea.”
Exodus 13: 17, 18
The Message Bible
Several years ago, as I was taking some personal time to study more deeply about the ways of God, I decided to read the book of Exodus about the way God led His children out of Egypt to the land of Canaan – the Promised Land. What an interesting study this was for me personally and I spent time looking at some ancient maps and followed geographically, the route the people of Israel took getting from Egypt to Canaan.
As the texts above make clear, there was a shorter route than what was taken. God could have led the Israelites in a much more direct way, but He didn’t. Instead, their journey went through the “wilderness.”
To me this seems strange. Yet we find that God made it clear He had a good reason for His “trip planning.” This fact got me to thinking about my own life and some of the detours that I have come to along the way to my heavenly home. “Why,” I’ve asked myself, “did I end up in that city or at that job?” “What was the purpose in this particular endeavor?” “Why did God allow this sorrowful situation to take place?”
It may be that you have asked yourself some of the same questions. As Pastor and author Warren Wiersbe explains in his terrific book, God Isn’t In A Hurry, “’God did not lead them (the Israelites) by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near.’ God took the long route for the good of His people, and He usually takes the long route today.”
Later in the chapter entitled “The High Cost of Shortcuts,” Pastor Wiersbe makes this insightful observation, “I may be wrong, but I have the feeling that we are looking for shortcuts because we don’t want to pay the price for doing things God’s way.”
Interestingly enough, as our study text for today makes clear, the great lady of Shunem did as God instructed through the prophet Elisha. She didn’t take a short cut. Instead, she moved to the land of the Philistines for seven long years, only to return to her home, to find it inhabited by others. What a disappointment.
However, rather than blame God for the perplexing situation she found herself in, she decided to take her problem directly to the king. And here’s where we find that if we truly believe our heavenly King is a trustworthy partner and guide, we’ll find that what we believe to be a wilderness experience may be something completely different.
What makes the woman of Shunem’s experience so incredibly fascinating is that there were so many pieces to this puzzle which had to come together at just the right time and in the right way.
First of all, we find that Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, happened to be talking with the king. How strange is that? Elisha’s servant had an audience with the king of the country! As Matthew Henry notes in his commentary on this event, “Providence is to be acknowledged in ordering the circumstances of events, for sometimes those (events) that appear minute in themselves, prove of great consequence as this did.”
Here we find the leper, Gehazi, being asked by the king, “Tell me, Gehazi, what were all the great things that Elisha did?” Without hesitation, Gehazi began his response with what I’m certain he concluded was the greatest miracle Elisha had performed – the raising to life of the Shunamite woman’s dead son. Who wouldn’t have begun with this momentous event? But here’s where things really got interesting for as Gehazi was speaking, who should walk in the door but the woman of Shunem and her miracle son. I’m certain Gehazi could have swallowed his tongue at that moment. Gehazi could not have had a better verification that the story he was telling was absolutely the truth. I like the way The Message Bible shares this event: “Gehazi said, ‘My master the king, this is the woman! And this is her son whom Elisha brought back to life!’ The king wanted to know all about it, and so she told him the story” (II Kings 8: 5, 6, The Message Bible).
Perfect timing! God’s timing! Just look at the way the pieces of the puzzle came together. And lest you think that this is the only time in Scripture when God’s timing was perfect, let me assure you, this is exactly how God works – every time. While we think everything is falling apart, God is at work, putting a thought in the mind of a rebellious king who asks a servant about his employer. And oh, just in case we have the mistaken idea that God can’t multi-task on behalf of His children on earth, the fact is that in your life and mine, at the very moment we are on our way into His throne room with our request for deliverance, He’s got a plan laid out so perfect that we don’t even have to worry one bit. He’s going to exceed our measly little request and surprise us with something so grand we won’t even believe His generosity could be so substantial.
I know that in every one of our lives, there’s a longing for God to work on our behalf on some problem we are facing. So many times, I’ve had the mistaken notion that I must put all those puzzle pieces together myself. What’s more, I’ve thought that the timeline I worked out was perfect too. Then when things didn’t fit together in just the way I thought they should, I thought God had let me down. You may have found yourself in the same situation. And while I haven’t seen the answers to some of the challenges I face, I have this confidence in my heart that one of these days I’ll be writing to you and saying, “You know that challenge which had me so baffled, well my heavenly Father pulled back the curtain and gave me one of these “Ah ha!” moments where He made it clear that His path, His planning, and most importantly, His timing was perfect after all. In the words of Jon Courson, “The Lord’s timing is not ours. His is perfect!”
You may have been waiting a long time for an answer to the problems you have brought to the King. Never forget – at just the right moment and in just the right way your King will give you the perfect solution. You can count on it!
“Not so in haste, my heart!
Have faith in God and wait;
Although He lingers long,
He never comes too late.
Until He cometh, rest,
Nor grudge the hours that roll;
The feet that wait for God
Are soonest at the goal;
Are soonest at the goal
That is not gained by speed;
Then hold thee still, my heart,
For I shall wait His lead.”
“It is good that we should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of Jehovah.”
Lamentations 3: 26
Every Word Was True
“O my Lord
As I knelt weeping
By my bedside
You spoke to me
With such gentleness
With such compassion…
‘Come to Me…just come
Call upon Me…just call
Trust in Me…just trust.’
‘I promise you
I will make your life
A walking demonstration
Of my miraculous power
You dared to imagine
In your wildest dreams.’
And every word You spoke
Ruth Harms Calkin
Keep Me Faithful
“The woman whose son was brought to life showed up asking for her home and farm…The king wanted to know all about it, and so she told the king her story.”
II Kings 8: 3, 6
The Message Bible
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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