Tag Archives: God’s provision

“These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): The five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath.  They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.”  (Judges 3:1-4, NIV)

In the life of a disciple of Jesus, even one’s enemies are a part of God’s plan.
In today’s scripture reading from the book of Judges, enemies existed to teach the descendants of the Exodus how to defend themselves, and to test their devotion to God. (Please see Judges 2:20-22.)

Today, our biggest threat is not the sword (although physical threats do, indeed, exist); it is, instead, all of the influences and agents that oppose the Spirit of God within us.  Even here we must pray for our enemies as we utilize the weapons of the Spirit, which are: Truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God.

So, do not curse your enemies.  Pray for them.  Resist them with the weapons of the Spirit, which alone are adequate for spiritual warfare.  – Luther

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“Is anyone happy?  Let them sing songs of praise.”  (James 5:13b, NIV)

James reminds us that the rhythm of a disciple’s life is not all labor and toil.  There are many periods of happiness and joy.

As we ought to run to God when trouble arrives, we ought also to give thanks to God when our path is smooth, the weather is fair, and our neighbors are at peace with us.

The natural person attributes the presence of these things to many sources other than to God: Luck, one’s knowledge or skill, or the favor of others.  The disciple sees only God (even when God is acting through others) as the source of all blessings.

James recommends this response: Praise God in song.  Indeed, “praise God from Whom all blessings flow; praise Him all creatures here below. . . ”  – Luther

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“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter.  For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’  So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.  The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.”  (Exodus 13:17-18, NIV)

Sometimes, God chooses for us the longer path, not because He wants to inconvenience us or to delay our progress, but because of perils unseen, unknown, or unappreciated.  In the case of the Israelites, they “went up out of Egypt ready for battle,” but they were in no way ready to take-on the mighty Philistines.

So, do not fret the fact that the path to your desired goal may be lengthened; or the fact that your many preparations may go untapped.  However, be sure of your relationship with your heavenly Father and always trust in His all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful nature.  These qualities benefit us when we walk with God.  – Luther

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