Summary: This second part of the message deals with three of five promises of God that we can count on, that will help dispell worry.
The future is something that, especially right now, for many people in this country, seems to be uncertain, questionable, and even fearful. But we have began talking about solid Biblical reasons why we don’t have to worry or be fearful and distressed over the future.
1. God will be with me when I‘m distressed. Some may leave - some will leave - but God will be with me in my most distressing moments.
2. God will watch over me when I’m confused. Sometimes we don’t really know what to do. What step do we take? What move do we make? When we don’t know what to do, God has promised to watch over us. He’ll be with us, and He’ll watch over us.
But there’s more that He promises, and so let’s cover the other three promises.
3. HE WILL GO BEFORE ME WHEN I’M AFRAID - One of the fears we have is that when we get into the future somehow we’re not going to have what we need emotionally or physically or financially to make it through the crises, the things that come into our lives.
Maybe we’re real confident right now that God has been with us up to this point in our lives, but we project ahead saying, “There may be some problem or something so big and so intense, that it will leave me devastated.“ But there is no problem that God will not help us with. He’s promised to take care of our needs.
The Bible gives us a reassuring picture of God’s faithfulness in Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord Himself will go before you. He will not leave you or forget you so don’t be afraid and don’t worry.” This is built on how God took care of the Israelites in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament the Israelites were in Egypt for 400 years. They were slaves. Then Moses was able to lead them into freedom and then they wandered in the desert for 40 years.
While they were in the desert they built a tabernacle – a big tent – in which they could worship God. When that tent was finished God showed His pleasure in it by putting His presence in a cloud that stayed over that tabernacle during the day and then turned into a pillar of fire at night. He used this cloud by day and pillar of fire by night to show them that He was there with them and that He would lead them everywhere they needed to go.
He had said, “I’m going to take you to the Promised Land, a place you’ve never been to. It’s a good place but you don’t know how to get there. So I tell you to move when this cloud moves. When the cloud doesn’t move, you stay put.” God used His presence in that cloud to give them direction.
He talked often in the Old Testament about how He would go before them. In Exodus 13:21 it says “By day, the Lord went ahead of them.” In Deuteronomy 1:30-32 “The Lord your God who is going before you will fight for you…. The Lord your God who went ahead of you on your journey.” This is a big deal! When you are in your house and you hear a noise, ladies, don’t you want your husband to go first into that room?
Don’t you want him to go before you to make sure whoever is in the room gets him first and not you? If you’re on a road going to somebody’s house you’ve never been to before, and it’s kind of tricky to get to, it’s great to have somebody in a car in front of you, who goes before, who knows and shows you the way. You can relax when you know that somebody’s going before you.
This is what God did for His people the Israelites and He will do it for us. The Israelites as they were wandering, He knew their needs and He promised to take care of them. They needed food. There were thousands of people and they had to have food. So every morning He gave them manna. Then at night, everyday, He gave them quail. They didn’t even have to go look for the quail. They just kind of fell from the sky.
God took care of them. They needed water – thousands of people had to have lots of water. Sometimes they could just walk up to a rock and God would have water gush out of a rock in the middle of the desert to take care of their needs. They needed shoes that wouldn’t wear out. For forty years God gave them shoes that didn’t wear out. He knew what they needed, because He went before them.