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Tuesday, June 2, 2009
We pass these old wagon wheels now used as step rails.
They lead right up off a busy road and are likely no longer used except to get the mail!
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"He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, "Let's get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt" (Exodus 14:25).
Have you ever had a wheel come off while you're driving down the highway? You may have had a blowout but rarely does a wheel just come off its axle. I just read an article about a car where all four wheels came off as the driver was driving on the highway. Apparently all four tires had just been changed and they had installed the wrong nuts. Amazingly, no one was hurt.
We may take wheels for granted but consider the significance of the invention of the wheel. It's a tool used in a variety of ways in our day to day lives. Today's text references the very first mention of a wheel in the Bible.
Exodus 14 chronicles the miraculous deliverance of the Israelites as they walked across the Red Sea on dry land as God parted the waters. As they departed the Egyptians chased after them. I wonder how the rank and file chariot drivers felt when commanded to follow their leaders through the parted sea! They witnessed a mighty miracle, nevertheless Scripture declares that their hearts were hardened (v.17).
Notice the first part of the verse: "He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving." (No further explanation needed here!) This is an example of God's providence over the affairs of men. Now surely the finest mechanics in Egypt had serviced those chariots for Pharoah. These mechanics would have been highly skilled using the latest techniques and the finest materials available. But when the Almighty God of the universe ordains that wheels come off, no human invention or mechanical skill will stop them!
"Let's get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt." The Egyptians rightly recognized that the Lord was fighting for God's people against them. They'd already witnessed God's miraculous power in the ten plagues that preceded the Israelite's escape. Why did they think that He was going to turn His back on them at this point?
The great doctrine of providence states that God is superintending over all of His creation in every way at all times. He's got each hair on our head counted (present tense) and not a single bird falls without His knowledge. The Westminster Catechism states, "God's works of providence are His most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures; ordering them, and all their actions, to His own glory."
The providence of God can be a terrifying thought or one of tremendous comfort. It depends on your position in Christ. As believers we can rest in the calm assurance that God rules for our ultimate good. Today, may you find encouragement in this Biblical truth.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You are the great God, the great King above all gods. In Your hand are the very depths of the earth and the tips of the mountain peaks. The sea is Yours, for You made it and Your hands formed the dry land. We bow down before You in worship as our Shepherd, for we are Your people, the flock under Your care. We desire to hear Your voice so that our hearts do not harden toward You, like the Egyptians and later the Israelites as they were tested and tried. Keep us faithful and trusting You, in the good times and in the trying times, in Jesus' name. Amen.
Adapted from Psalm 95
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.
"He Stilled The Storm" Open this page and click on "play" (from the Integrity Scripture Memory series.)
"Be Still My Soul" Video Selah
"Word Of God Speak" Video Sunday evening Ester went with a group of young people to hear "Mercy Me", a group that has written some beautiful songs, including this one.
Here is one of the most helpful books I have ever read on the topic of God's Providence:
The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work for Good? By R.C. Sproul / P & R Publishing - In a world steeped in anguish and evil, how can God be in control? Do all things really work for good? With head-on honesty and biblical insight, Sproul examines the difficult doctrine of divine providence. Discover how your Lord lovingly guides the events of your life without creating human wickedness or destroying human freedom. 224 pages, softcover from P & R.
* Story of car with all four wheels falling off.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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