Tuesday, 03 January 2012
Sometimes God gives us instructions that may seem to us unreasonable. We only get to know its rationality only after we’ve obeyed what He commanded.
I remember after my secondary education when I had passed with distinction my final exam, God told me I wasn’t going to school that year; that I had to wait until the following year before I enrolled at the university. This command seemed so unreasonable to me. How can a brilliant student with such excellent results not go to school? I said no, and went ahead to apply for university education.
Well, I did not gain admission. Everyone was shocked, but I knew why. I asked God to forgive me and have His way in my life. That year was a memorable year. God used me to reach out to the people of my hometown. The following year when I applied for school, I gained admission to two universities, received two scholarships and an academic facility user fee waiver from the government of my country. God’s instructions now made sense to me. I now understood why.
In Exodus 14:2, God instructed Moses to “tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth” when they could have moved forward. The next two verses (vv. 3, 4) tell us why God gave this instruction:
Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” (cf. vv. 17-18)
This got the Israelites complaining because it didn’t make sense to them. The Israelites seemed to complain “Why do we have to wander around so the Egyptians catch up with us and make us their slaves again? It would have been better for us not to have left.”
They thought it unreasonable to be brought to the desert only to be destroyed when they could have served the Egyptians and lived (vv. 11, 12) They saw Pharaoh and his men as a problem, but God saw them as a solution—He would bring honour to Himself by destroying Pharaoh and his army, and the Israelites won’t have any fear of their existence, and their faith in God would increase (v. 31).
Has God instructed you to do something and it seems unreasonable or impossible? The reason why it seems unreasonable to you is that “(God’s) thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways (His) ways.” (Is. 55:8, my emphasis) If only you will trust in Him, wait for Him and not go ahead of Him, everything will work for your good (Rom. 8:28), for the plans He has for you are “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)
When has God called you to do something you thought seemed impossible? What was the outcome of this calling?