“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” - Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV).
In our Christian life we often meet cases where someone had a pressing matter to speak to someone, but rather than go directly, first pleaded to God to go ahead of him or her in the matter. We see it in the case of Queen Esther, who sought out King Xerxes to prevent a pending massacre on her peoples.
Rather than first approach the king, which was forbidden, Esther decided to first, “gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law” (Esther 4:16). Because of these prayers God went ahead of Queen Esther. Once she approached the courts, “Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you” (Esther 5:3).
After living for years in exile, Jacob decided to return to his people. However, he was afraid of meeting his brother Esau, who he had angered on several occasions, including tricking him and stealing his birthright (Genesis 25:33). Jacob not only first sent gifts ahead to woo Esau (Genesis 32:3-5), but did the most important of things then. Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. .. Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children” (Gen 32:9-11).
When Jacob finally met Esau, rather than the feared battle, “Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept” (Genesis 33:4). God had gone ahead of him.
These two examples show the importance of asking God to go ahead of us in an important matter and plead on our behalf before we make our case. It could be a case with a judge who is already set against you. There could be a neighbor with a boundary dispute or a boss not open to counter views. Maybe it is a spouse who has made up his mind on a certain matter that still needs further reflection. Well, pray, for God to go ahead of you!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray that you go ahead if me in that pressing issue, plead on my behalf, grant me success and let the glory go to you, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!