The Eyes of Faith Conclusion
My friend’s father had a heart attack in February. Renée told me her dad was in the maternity ward of a hospital, visiting his newborn grandson, when he suddenly slumped over in a chair. Seconds later a nurse walked by. She was a maternity ward nurse. But “it just so happened” that she used to work with a cardiologist. She recognized the symptoms instantly; and within minutes Tony was in the emergency room, receiving immediate, expert care.
God’s will is never frustrated. He says in Isaiah, “I will work, and who shall hinder it?” (43:13). Sometimes things turn out exactly as we want. But other times His will is not our will; and that can be difficult to take.
What do we do when God allows events we cannot understand or situations that bring us pain? Do we reject him in bitterness? Do we declare Him irrelevant or decide He does not exist because He failed to perform to our specifications? Or do we lean even more heavily on Him based on our knowledge of who He is, trusting that in His ways there is wisdom and in His righteousness there is peace?
Jochebed chose the latter. And in doing so, she reaped great reward. Trusting in God, she took a step of faith, laid Moses in a waterproofed basket in the bulrushes of the Nile River, and looked to God to spare his life.
Soon “it just so happened” that pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe in the river. She saw the basket, sent her maids to fetch it, and opened it. At that moment the infant began to cry, causing pharaoh’s daughter to have compassion on him (Ex. 2:6). “This is one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said, probably noticing the infant was circumcised (Ex. 2:6).
Meanwhile, Moses’ sister, Miriam, watched to see what would happen. Demonstrating great presence of mind, the girl approached pharaoh’s daughter and asked, “Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?” (Ex. 2:7).
Pharaoh’s daughter said yes. And with that transaction, God performed a miracle of significant proportion: Not only did He give Jochebed back her son, but He also had pharaoh’s daughter pay her to nurse him. Truly, God’s faithfulness must have exceeded all Jochebed could possibly have imagined. She probably was able to keep her son for two years, which was the customary nursing time for Jewish children.
And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses; and she said, Because I drew him out of the water (Ex. 2:10).
God tells us, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isa. 55:8). No matter how difficult or painful our circumstances, “the LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works” (Ps. 145:17). And it is in His unchanging nature, His righteousness, holiness, faithfulness, and love that we place our trust.
Many years ago, a young man went forward for salvation at a Billy Graham crusade. But later his sister died and his father committed suicide. How could God allow such things? So a hurt, angry, and defiant Ted Turner rejected the God of the Bible. “Christianity,” the founder of CNN has said, “is a religion for losers.”
Thousands of years ago, three different young men also found circumstances not to their liking. They were ordered to bow before a gigantic gold statue in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful king the world has known, warned the young Israelites, “If ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is that God, that shall deliver you out of my hands?” (Dan. 3:15).
But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow. They no doubt had seen many loved ones perish when the Babylonians descended on Judah. The Babylonians were a “bitter and hasty . . . terrible and dreadful” people (Hab. 1:6–7) who slew young and old, male and female (2 Chr. 36:17). Furthermore, these boys saw their city, Jerusalem, destroyed and their Temple burned. Yet, unlike Turner, they remained steadfast:
Our God, whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up (Dan. 3:17–18).
Nothing in the lives of God’s people “just so happens.” Jehovah is not a God of accidents but of appointments. Nothing ever is beyond His control, and He has a purpose for everything. God calls us to be like Jochebed and to trust Him because of who He is.
Usually a time comes when our belief is tested. Then we have two choices: rebel against Him in anger or submit to Him in faith. The first produces bitterness. The second produces peace, enabling us to focus on what He did for us at the cross and to say, as Job did, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (13:15).