Summary: Do we fully understand why certain circumstances come our way? God revealed His will to many people in the Bible through their circumstances - nothing happens by accident.
Knowing the Will of God #4 – Through Circumstances
10th February 2008 am
While we as Christian’s are to live above our circumstances, we should not be unaware of them. God often works through circumstances in revealing His perfect will for our lives. Paul’s wonderful statement that all things work together for good to them that love God takes into account our circumstances. A number of Biblical examples can be given to illustrate this.
I. Abraham – Genesis 22:1-13
The word tempt is a little bit too strong; actually, the word means “test.” James makes it very clear in his epistle that God never tempts anyone with evil. God tempts folks in the sense that He tests their faith. God did test Abraham, and He asked him to do something very strange.
In times of testing, it is easy to think only about our needs and our burdens; instead we should be focusing on bringing glory to Jesus Christ. We find ourselves asking, “How can I get out of this?” instead of, “What can I get out of this that will honour the Lord?” We sometimes waste our sufferings by neglecting or ignoring opportunities to reveal Christ to others who are watching us go through the furnace.
What must have gone through Abraham’s mind when God asks him to offer his only son Isaac, maybe he said, “I don’t understand it, but I know God has commanded it. I’ve been walking with Him now for over fifty years. He has never failed me, nor has He asked me to do anything that did not prove to be the best thing. I don’t understand this, but I believe that if I go all the way with Him that God will raise Isaac from the dead. I believe that He will do that.”
Now God knows that Abraham fears Him. How does He know? By his actions, by his works; previously it was by his faith. God sees your heart—He knows whether you are genuine or not—but your neighbours and your friends don’t know. They can only know by your works. That is the reason James could say that “faith without works is dead.” Faith has to produce something.
God tested Abraham. I believe that any person who God calls, any person who God saves, any person who God uses is going to be tested. God tested Abraham, and God tests those who are His own today. He tests you and me, and the tests are given to us to strengthen our faith, to establish us, and to make us serviceable for Him. To reveal His will.
True faith is always tested. Of course, God did not want Isaac’s life, He wanted Abraham’s heart. God had promised Abraham many descendents and this promise could not be fulfilled unless Isaac lived or God raised him from the dead. Abraham knew that God would not lie, so he rested in His unchanging Word.
“Never doubt in the dark what God has told you in the light.” Abraham obeyed without delay. If we do the one thing God tells us to do, He will reveal the next step when the right time comes. God’s answer never arrives a minute too late.
God supplied a ram (not a Lamb = Christ) just when one was needed. This is why Abraham called the name of the place “Jehovah-Jireh” – Mt Moriah is where the Temple was built and it is said that on the same ridge 2000 years later the Lamb was offered – God does indeed provide.
Often times situations in our life don’t make sense – part of a greater picture… The greatest thing that can happen as we experience the trials God sends our way is that we grow closer to our Father and become more like the Lord Jesus Christ and understand what God’s will is for our lives.
II. Moses – Exodus 2:1-10
Amram and Jochebed were Moses’ parents (6:20), and while the Exodus text emphasises the faith of the mother, Hebrews 11:23 says By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the kings commandment. Both his father and his mother trusted God.
It took faith for them to have normal marital relations at this dangerous time when the Jewish babies were being killed. Amram and Jochebed already had two children: Miriam, who was the oldest, and Aaron, who was 3 years older than Moses (7:7)
From the beginning Moses was seen to be no ordinary child. Stephen tells us in Acts 7:20 that he was “Exceeding fair” or “Fair with God” and it is evident that God had a special purpose for Moses. Believing this to be true, the parents defied Pharaoh’s edict and kept their son alive. This wasn’t an easy thing to do.