The Blacks and Sergeant Dixon are racing home ahead of a violent storm. They make it to the barn just as the storm unleashes its fury. But something strange is going on. The animals, which the Blacks put away before leaving for town were not in the barn nor were the chickens in the chicken coop. When the storm is over, they leave the barn and find the animals have been killed by the hailstorm.
We never know when our livelihood will be wiped out. No one could have predicted the tsunami in Japan; no one could have stopped the flooding of the Mississippi and other rivers or the tornado that destroyed Joplin, Missouri, or the fires in Arizona, Texas, and other places. Yet all these tragedies are limited to our time on earth and the sorrow we experience is tied to the losses we experience in this life.
Our perspective tends to be limited to this present life, but God’s perspective encompasses all of eternity.
When Sarah reacted to the death of her animals, do you think she was viewing her present future or her eternal future?
At the instant tragedy strikes our lives, what do we tend to focus on?
Where should we turn our focus? To God.
We tend to limit our vision in terms of the present and only stretch it to include our life on earth. God sees all eternity. Let’s take a look at evidence of God’s eternal perspective in Scripture.
When God spoke with Abram about his children, He revealed His plan for the Egyptians and the Amorites. Read Genesis 15:13–16.
The land that Abram’s seed (his family) would be a stranger in was Egypt. What did God know at this time would happen in Egypt based on this passage?
Abram wouldn’t be alive when this happens, but he believed what God said. When the time came, the events occurred exactly as God said.
Read John 14:1-3:
What does God promise us of our future if we believe? A place with Him in Heaven.
Yes, the Israelites would suffer at the hands of the Egyptians, but in the end God would be glorified and they would have their promised land.
We must not only grasp but embrace that we are here to bring God glory. If it is through affliction, so be it. It isn’t about us. It is about God. And if we think even the very least that it ought to be about us then we’ve got it all wrong.
Does that mean God doesn’t care for us, doesn’t want to bless us?
What blessings has God given you?
Let’s look at the Amorites now. Genesis 15:16 says:
Throughout Scripture we find God patiently waiting to pass judgment on people. Before that judgment comes, He gives them a warning. Can you think of examples of this?
God knows how people will respond to these warnings, who will heed and who will not, because He sees all of eternity.
Did He still warn those who chose not to heed? Yes.
God could have wiped out the Amorites and settled Abram in their land, but God showed the Amorites mercy, until their iniquity was full.
Even when the Israelites came out of Egypt, word spread of what God had done for the Israelites, opportunity was given for the individual to humble himself before God.
For example, consider when Joshua sent the two men to spy the land and Jericho. These men came to Rahab’s house. Rahab hid them and helped them escape. She also asked them to protect her, but she also makes a confession of faith.
Read Joshua 2:9-11.
How did Rahab respond to the judgment she knew was coming? She acknowledged who God was.
Did God save her? Yes
Rahab is an example of God’s mercy to the individual who believes even when His judgment falls on a nation.
Isaiah 40:28 describes God as an everlasting God. God also knows man’s heart (Psalm 44:21). When troubles come our way, we would be wise not to view them in terms of this life on earth, but in terms of eternity and under the realm of a holy, everlasting, all-knowing, just God.
How can we prepare ourselves for the trouble that will come our way?
When you keep that connection with God, like the string that connects the yoyo to its master’s hand, we can keep that eternal perspective and resist the temptation to let our present situation stop our ‘roll’.
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