Devotional Week 41 Monday
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and He will show you the right way.”
Proverbs 3: 5, 6
Good News Bible
I Can Trust
“I cannot see, with my small human sight,
Why God should lead this way or that for me;
I only know He saith, ‘Come, follow Me;’
But I can trust.
I know not why my path should be at times
So straitly hedged, so strangely barred before;
I only know God could keep wide the door,
But I can trust.
I find no answer, often, when beset
With questions fierce and subtle on my way,
And often have but strength to faintly pray.
But I can trust.
I often wonder, as with trembling hand
I cast the seed along the furrowed ground,
If ripened fruit will there be found;
But I can trust.
I cannot know why suddenly the storm
Should rage so fiercely round me in its wrath;
But this I know, God watches my path
But I can trust!
I may not draw aside the mystic veil
That hides the unknown future from my sight;
Nor know if for me waits the dark or light;
But I can trust.
I have no power to look across the tide,
To see, while here, the land beyond the river,
But this I know, I shall be God’s forever;
So I can trust.”
Today’s Study Text:
“Then Elisha prayed, ‘Lord, I pray You, open his (Elisha’s helper) eyes that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”
II Kings 6: 17
“God Will Take Care of You”
“I saw that God in fact does everything, however little that thing may be. Indeed, nothing happens by luck or chance, but all is through the foresight and wisdom of God. If it seems chance or luck to us, it is because we are blind and short-sighted. Things which God’s wise foreknowledge saw before creation, and which He so rightly and worthily and constantly brings to their proper end in due time, break upon us suddenly and take us by surprise. And because of this blindness and lack of foresight we say they are chance and hazards. But they are not so to our Lord God.”
Julian of Norwich
As I look over my life, do I find times when I needed to trust God even though the way seemed to be hidden in darkness?
In what ways has God “taken care of me”?
“What then shall we say to all this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?”
Romans 8: 31
“The Lord is on my side and takes my part. He is among those who help me; therefore shall I see my desire established…It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”
Psalm 118: 7,8
“Be not dismayed whatever betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.”
Civilla D. Martin
Over six years ago, here in Transformation Garden, we undertook a challenging and deeply inspirational journey beginning with the very first book in the Bible, Genesis. As we have spent time each day traversing each subsequent book in the Bible, we have found that God’s Word, even in the darkest of historical times, continues to shine like a spotlight on our way.
While this trek has, because of some wonderful detours into the Psalms and the Gospels in the New Testament, taken longer than I first intended, taking God’s Word and truly feasting on it each step of the way has blessed our lives in so many ways.
Today, we pick up where we left off several months ago, in the Old Testament book of II Kings. Frankly, our timing could not be more providential. With all the turmoil today in countries like Syria and Iraq, as well as many other regions on our globe, the book of II Kings almost seems as if some of the stories in it could have been ripped right off the newspaper headlines here in the 21st century.
As I’ve been preparing our devotional studies for the upcoming weeks, I was really floundering, to put it bluntly, because there are a heap of gruesome stories in II Kings and while we have confronted all of the Bible experiences head-on, my desire has been and is currently that when you come to Transformation Garden each day, you are uplifted and encouraged in your walk with Jesus. And as I read about apostasy and evil sweeping the land where God’s children lived, I felt rather overwhelmed by the tragedy of it all.
However, one early morning when I went out to our kitchen to get medicine for our little dog, Baby Ethel, as I looked out the window to the east, I witnessed the sun coming up over the lofty red rocks which make up what they call the Mogollon Rim. As I looked at the huge mountains, I remembered Psalm 121, one of my grandmother’s favorites and also, one of the Psalms she had me memorize as a young child. It begins, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills.” And then, the Psalm writer asks this pointed question, “From when cometh my help?” As a young girl repeating this Psalm, I didn’t comprehend the fact that this was a question looking for an answer. I, in fact, thought the mighty mountains held the answer. How wrong I was because in Psalm 121: 2 we find the definitive answer, “My help cometh from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” As huge as the mountains may appear from my valley vantage point, there is Someone bigger…Someone mightier…Someone more powerful who is the Source of your help and mine. Our God is not only our helper though, He is our strength and our keeper – forevermore – we are promised.
All of a sudden, as this tremendous passage of Scripture flooded my mind, it hit me that the challenging times recorded in the book of II Kings give us an important, yes even a critical piece of information about the God of heaven and earth – my heavenly Father and yours, too.
He is Almighty who has promised that no matter what conflicts swirl in our world – large and small – He will take care of His beloved children. In the words of one of my favorite old hymns, “God Will Take Care of You!” (And me, too!) And so, it is with the vision of our capable Father in heaven taking care of our lives that we return to II Kings 6, where we took a short detour into the New Testament, and will again return to the troublesome days when God’s servant Elisha provided a lone voice of holy living to people who were sadly focused on the earthly rather than the heavenly.
When we left Elisha, as our study text for today reveals, God had provided a host of chariots and warriors which surrounded Elisha with heaven’s protective shield. It wasn’t man’s powerful strength but instead it was God’s hedge of protection. As Matthew Henry notes, “When we are magnifying the causes of our fears, we ought to possess ourselves with clear, and great, and high thoughts of God…for if God be with us, who can be against us.” Then Henry goes on to give us this instruction that we should, when imperiled in a life of turmoil, ask for God to “open our eyes,” just as Elisha did when he asked God to open the eyes of his helper: “The opening of our eyes will be the silencing of our fears. In the dark we are most apt to be frightened. The clearer sight we have of the sovereignty and power of heaven the less we shall fear the calamities of this earth.” Praise God! He will take care of you and me. Be not dismayed whatever comes your way for we abide beneath our Father’s wings…and He has promised, He will take care of us.
“Why so impatient, my heart?
He who watches over birds,
beasts and insects,
He who cared for you
while you were yet unborn,
Think you He will not care for you
Now that you have come forth?
O my heart, how could you turn
Away form the smile of your Lord
And wander from Him?”
India (Penned in 1450-1518)
Unto The Hills
(Paraphrase of Psalm 121)
“Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes;
O whence for me shall my salvation come,
From whence arise?
From God the Lord doth come my certain aid,
From God the Lord who heaven and earth hath made.
He will not suffer that thy foot be moved;
Safe shalt thou be:
No careless slumber shall His eyelids close,
Who keepeth thee.
Behold, He sleepeth not, He slumbereth never,
Who keepeth thee in His holy care.
Jehovah is Himself thy keeper true,
Thy changeless shade;
Jehovah thy defense on thy right hand
Himself hath made.
And thee no sun by day shall ever smite;
No moon shall harm thee in the silent night.
From every evil shall He keep thy soul,
From every sin;
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out,
Thy coming in.
Above thee watching, He whom we adore
Shall keep thee hence-forth, yea, for evermore.”
John Campbell Duke of Argyle
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author