Proof God’s Hand Is Still at Work

It’s spring. The time of year bugs and bees and flies and wasps and all manner of flying things creep out of hiding. Dive bombing innocent three-year-old’s (and thirty-some-year-olds) on front porches and back porches and swing sets across the nation.

Devotional Scripture: Exodus 8:16-32
Key Verse: “The works of his hands are faithful and just.” Psalm 111:7

You know what I’m talking about…

Finally seated on my porch swing, nose buried in the latest library find, kids fighting over the hose, a giant bee rivaling the sound of my neighbor’s weed eater, does a flyby at Mach 3. Fighting the urge to scream at my boys to RUN FOR THEIR LIVES, I squeak out a calm and rational, “Don’t worry about it. It’s just a bee.”

But maybe worse than that – are the swarms of gnats you don’t see, until you walk right into them. Hands flailing, I scurry to a different part of the yard while desperately trying not to open my mouth. (Not that I know anything about this. It’s only hypothetical of course.)

Though with the third plague, it was anything but hypothetical. At God’s command, “All the dust of the earth became gnats in all the land of Egypt” (v. 17b). A euphemism for more than you can count (I.e. Abraham’s descendants in Gen. 13:16), all the dust of the earth meant swarms of gnats everywhere. In your home, your yard, your food, your bed. Escaping was not an option.

But according to the Hebrew it may have been more than just annoying swarms of gnats. The word used in this passage is kinnim, which can also mean lice or fleas or something akin to mosquitoes. Hence the fact the gnats were on (not just swarming around) man and beast (v. 17). Clinging, biting, digging, their way into legs and arms and hair, whether made in the image of God or not.

Sounds miserable, doesn’t it? Never in the history of man had an infestation of this magnitude riddled the earth. Babies couldn’t sleep. Mother’s couldn’t help. Fathers were desperate for relief, yet there was none. No amount of washing could rid their bodies of the little buggers.

Annoying for everyone, but catastrophic for Egyptian priests who cleansed themselves incessantly in order to approach the altars of the gods of Egypt. Yet covered in vermin, they couldn’t even get close.

Ironically, this isn’t the first time God brought forth something from the dust of the earth. In Gen. 2:7 he brought forth man. A humbling comparison to say the least, yet Christ died for us anyway.

Unable to produce any additional gnats, or take them away (because surely they tried), the magicians rightly proclaimed to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God” (v. 19). And they were right, of course, it was the LORD. After just three plagues there was no denying the sovereign power of Israel’s God.

Fittingly, when Israel’s deliverance from Egypt is recalled in later Scriptures, so is God’s hand. “And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders” (Deut. 26:8).

Over and over God’s mighty hand is remembered because it was glorious, the delivering of Israel. Undeniably the work of God for all the world to see. It was proof of His existence, proof of His power, and proof of His love. An experience they were never to forget and always to celebrate.

The plagues as crazy as they may sound, are not hard for me to believe. Because God did all kinds of signs and wonders in Bible times.

What’s hard for me – is believing his mighty hand is still at work today. Especially with a front row seat to the chaos happening around the world. The unjust actions of evil men. The persecuted church, the hungry, the poor, the staggering number of women and girls falling prey to sex trafficking.

Or maybe you need look no further than your living room or a diagnosis or a family disagreement to wonder, is God’s mighty hand still active today? Feeling alone you can’t help but wonder if he’s folded his hands and stilled them for one reason or another.

But my friend, “The works of his hands are faithful and just” (Psalm 111:7). He’s not given up on us. But if you’re like me and you need proof, I have some.

Did the sun come up today? Because “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps 19:1).

Are the birds outside your window well fed? It’s the Father who feeds them (Matt. 6:26).

Does the eagle still make its nest on high? It’s God who tells him to do so (Job 39:27) Is the ocean still in its rightful place? It’s Jesus who’s holding it there (Job 38:11).

The glorious work of God so often sharing space with all we take for granted, it’s easy to not see it.

Though I need not look outside to see the divine labor of his hands, just the breakfast table. My children are “all the work of his hands” (Job 34:19). The breath of new life an irrefutable testament his fingers have yet to still.

Or perhaps I need simply look in the mirror, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).

But if that’s not enough to prove God’s mighty hand is still at work today, there’s more. Something so glorious, it’s undeniably the work of God. Something we’re never to forget and always to celebrate. Have any ideas? I’ll tell you.

It’s His spirit in us.

The unrepentant sinner brought to their knees by God. Saved by grace through faith. Sealed for the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit. Seated in the heavenly places with Christ. Washed, sanctified, justified, “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).

It’s marvelous, I tell you. His mighty hand not just on display in Egypt, but on display in me. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17).

The redemption of every sinner is proof of His existence, proof of His power, and proof of His love. It’s undeniably the work of God for all the world to see.

So let’s sing for joy at the work of his mighty hands (Ps. 92:4). Let’s celebrate and let’s remember. Though doubt assails me at times, I know Jesus is working because he’s working always in me.

Contemplate and Evaluate:
What proof do you see of God’s mighty hand working today?
How has God personally worked in your life? How does remembering the work He has done, encourage you today?

When God’s Not Doing Anything


Yes I’m wearing spandex. I was ready for some REFIT®. Let’s just all be happy I didn’t have to spend hours in my closet deciding what to wear.

Saturday morning I got to share with some lovely ladies that God is working…even when it doesn’t seem like it. Even when our prayers appear ineffective. Our efforts in vain. Our hardships unchanged. Because HE is faithful to all generations (Ps. 100:5).

I reminded them of Elizabeth – the mother of John the Baptist. How she longed for a child and prayed God would bless her with one (Luke 1:13). How she did all things right – living by the commandments to the best of her ability. Yet still no baby. No answer to prayer. Nothing.

Yet God was working, even when it didn’t seem like it. Little did Elizabeth know she would give birth to the greatest man who ever lived (Matt. 11:11). The last of the prophets; the one to prepare the way for the LORD. Little did she know it just wasn’t time yet. It. just. wasn’t. time.

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” Ps 27:14 Because God is working – all things in his perfect timing. It’s not that he doesn’t care. It’s not that he doesn’t hear your prayers. It just may not be time.

I reminded them of Sarah – the wife of Abraham. How she willingly followed her husband to a foreign land on the promise God would make a nation of them. How month after month turned into year after year of Sarah waiting for God to fulfill his promise. How she lost hope, took matters into her own hands, and gave her servant Hagar to Abraham as a wife.

I asked them to consider how Sarah must have felt when Hagar returned awestruck and elated with God’s appearance to her and assurance. Yet God had never appeared to Sarah; never spoken to Sarah; never assured Sarah. O the heartbreak, the confusion, the rejection Sarah must have felt. “Why not me LORD? Why her and not me? Why do you do nothing for me.”

Have you been there. I have.

Yet God was working. Just not as Sarah expected. He was working…in her heart. Doing a work IN her before he could do a work THROUGH her. He had not forgotten Sarah. He was simply preparing Sarah. To be the mother Isaac needed. A mother able to speak of God’s faithfulness. Able to confidently say the words “Nothing is impossible for God” (Gen. 18:14). Able to give her son the godly foundation necessary to be a founding father of Israel.

So take heart weary soul. If it seems as though God is doing nothing around you, maybe it’s because he’s doing something within you. Preparing you. For the wonderful plans he has for you. “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Phil 2:13, NLT).

Thirdly, I reminded them of Rachel, the beloved wife of Jacob. Forced to share her husband with her sister. Forced to watch her sister give birth to one precious boy after another; while her arms remained empty.

To Rachel it likely seemed as though God had forgotten her or hated her or cared nothing for her. Leah’s servant bore children for Jacob; her own servant bore children for Jacob; yet she could not. Why God? Why. not. me?

Have you been there? Waiting in the shadows as others receive what you’ve been asking for?

Yet God was working; masterfully weaving his purpose and plan. Little did Rachel know the boys in that household would grow to be the twelve tribes of Israel.  Little did she know it was necessary for her son to be the youngest (except for Benjamin), so his brothers would sell him. Little did she know he’d rise above them all and be placed second in command of Egypt. We know the end of the story. But she did not. All she knew was it hurt. Every day it hurt. To wait. To watch. To wonder why God cared little for her. But rest assured…

Our present circumstances do not indicate God’s presence.

Though there may be times we distance ourselves from God because of sin. He never leaves us. He never forsakes us. He’s always working – all things in HIS perfect timing and according to HIS plans and purposes. Not to mention, molding and shaping our hearts along the way.

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” James 4:8. And have faith because even when it doesn’t seem like it – God is working.   image

His Plan, His Purpose

I realized something recently – a connection I’ve never made before. For every hard thing; for every difficult season, God has given me a song. A song to sing…to him. A song to remind me of his sovereignty. His power. To help keep me focused. I was stunned at the realization. Right off I thought of four difficult seasons and was amazed to realize I had a song for each one. This time however God’s not just given me a song, but an album (He knew I needed more than one.) to remind me who he is.

Devotional: Genesis 15:7-21
Key Verse: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand” Proverbs 19:21

Just as he reminded Abram, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess” (Gen. 15:7). Yes indeed! HE is the LORD and there is no other!

Yet we struggle with doubts and questions and fears just as Abram did, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” (Gen. 15:8) I believe you. I really do but how am I to know for certain you won’t forsake me or forget me or change your mind? How am I to know because it obviously hasn’t happened yet?

Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon” (Gen. 15:9). Seems a strange command to us but not to Abram. “You see in Abram’s day, when two people entered in to a legal agreement, they did so by splitting an animal in two, standing in the midst of the carcass, and clasping each other’s wrist to show that they were deadly serious about keeping up their end of the bargain.”

So Abram killed the animals. All five of them – splitting three of them open. And waited. Maybe for hours; fighting off birds of prey that threatened his efforts. A very real scene I think deep down we can all connect with. We sense God’s leading. We get excited. We follow through. Expecting great things but instead we face adversity. Spending much of our time fighting off the enemy. Disappointed because things didn’t go as planned – we question.

But it couldn’t happen the way Abram likely anticipated. Because there could be no meeting God in the middle. This was a covenant, a promise, dependent only on God. Abram could have no part in it. No part! So God put him to sleep, passing the entire length of the carcasses alone as “a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch.” When Abram awoke only the charred remains were left, along with the imprint of God’s word on his heart.

Such grace that God would promise the land for nothing in return. Indeed the land would belong to his offspring. Indeed the “contract” had been made! But the land would not be theirs until after four hundred years of terrible affliction. Four hundred years of suffering! Does it really have to be that way Lord? Do they really have to suffer? I’m sure that’s the question I would have asked. But it did…it did have to be that way. So God could redeem them, just as he redeems us. So God could make himself known to Egypt, to Israel, and to the surrounding nations. So God could display his awesome power. So God could make Israel his own. God had a plan and was sovereignly working his plan.

But God also gave Abram another reason for the delay. The land could not yet be his “because the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet complete” (Gen. 15:16). Consider this my friends. No doubt the Israelites prayed for deliverance during the time of their affliction. The Scriptures tell us they cried out to God. And God heard their prayers. But for countless years it surely seemed to them that God cared little for their suffering. Certainly they wondered – does he not hear our cries for help? Why does he do nothing? Why does he remain silent to our injustice?

But God wasn’t ignoring them. He cared deeply it just wasn’t time. In his perfect sovereignty it just wasn’t time. The iniquity of the Amorites was not yet complete. In his abundant mercy he was waiting. Giving the peoples of Canaan time – to repent. To seek him. Though he knew they wouldn’t he still gave them time. My friends, could it be what we perceive as God not listening, not caring, not hearing – is really his abundant mercy at work? In the lives of those who desperately need it? Who have yet to receive it? For it’s his kindness that leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4).

So fret not o my soul. Fret not. Remember God is sovereign. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand” (Prov. 19:21). Firmly. Fixed. Forever.  He hears your prayers. He cares…deeply. He will never forsake you. Even when it doesn’t seem like it…God is sovereignly working his plan. For the good of those who love him (Rom. 8:28). For his glory. For the sake of righteousness and truth.

I don’t know what today holds for you. I can barely grasp what it holds for me. But rest assured weary soul, your faithful God is sovereign. Over your yesterday, your today, and your tomorrow.

He’s working my friend…he’s working.

Contemplate and Evaluate:
In what area of your life do you need to remember God is sovereignly working?
How has God reminded you of his sovereignty?image