You may have heard me say this before, but I was blessed with a wonderful dad. However, he did disappoint me from time to time. I don’t know how he could’ve done it, but that’s the truth. He just disappointed me!
When I was a child, there were times when I was sure he was going to take our family up to the frozen custard stand where we would all get sweet treats. But I can’t tell you the number of times when we were in the car and I was sure he would pull into the little parking lot of that building, and he would drive right on by! How could he do that to a child?
As a little girl I could’ve come up with two conclusions –
- He didn’t have the power to do it. No money for a 50 cent cone? Nope. That wasn’t true. He had a good job and was wise with his finances.
- He didn’t love me and didn’t care that I would suffer without that custard.
Nope. That wasn’t true. He proved his love for me in much greater ways by his sacrifice for my real needs.
I never did accuse my dad of either one of those things. You know why? I knew him. I had spent time with him. I learned what he was like, and he was neither powerless nor unloving. I simply learned that I could trust him. I learned that in the time that he knew was best for me and my family, he would take us to get ice cream. If he didn’t do it now, I knew there was a better reason, and I was okay with that, simply because I knew him.
I recently had someone accuse God of those two accusations in regards to the Coronavirus, saying that:
He either can’t stop it, or
He doesn’t care about people suffering.
The only answer to give a scoffer of God is God’s Word – the written explanation of Who He is. He has the Words of life.
There are so many explanations I could share, but I just read this passage in Exodus 13,
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter.
“No, of course He didn’t lead them the shorter path,” an scoffer might say!
“He took them out to the wilderness where they would wander and not have food and water! He doesn’t care! He loves to see people suffer! Or maybe He isn’t able to help.!”
Any time we come to a question about God, why He’s doing something or doing nothing, we must look to His character for the answers. We have to learn what He is like. Is He just mean-hearted? Is He not powerful enough to change things?
In this situation, we need to keep reading. The next verse says, For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.[
Did you catch it? There was danger on that closer/easier path! It would have been easy for the Israelites to think that the Via Maris was the best way to go; but the dangers of the way were too great, though they could not see them. It was the road where Egypt’s military outposts were. God knew the people of Israel were not ready to face this yet (lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt).
God anticipated the dangers they could not see.
Based on that verse, what do we learn about our God?
- He is providential! He saw to things ahead of time and protected them from those dangers that they weren’t even aware of!
- He is a God of love. A God who didn’t love them would’ve let them get entangled in any kind of danger.
- He is righteous. He led them correctly. He cannot do a wrong thing or have the wrong motive as you and I would! Why? Because He is righteous.
Refresh your trust in a loving, providential and righteous God. As a child, I could trust my father because I knew him. We can’t trust a God we don’t know. Draw to Him and learn of Him. We might not understand His ways, but we can come to know His heart.
Next week I’m going to expand on that last sentence. I hope you’ll come back for the conclusion!
In the meantime, wash you hands and remember He is in control.