Prayer for the day
I cry out to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Scripture for the day
There is a small and easily “missable” sentence in the First Testament story today that describes one of the battles that is fought. It is not automatically obvious. There is nothing that makes it “jump off the page” but its significance cannot be overstated.
The story starts with the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh going to war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodab.
They win, which is nothing to sneeze at, but nothing unusual either in the First Testament. Like usual, they call out to God in the midst of the battle, and as often happens, God allows them to win the battle. Not only does God allow them to win, but God conquers, because “the battle was God’s.”
The battle was God’s.
In the Second Testament story, there is no battle today. There is however a conflict between nature and supernature, and supernature wins out. The battle in the Second Testament also is God’s, and God wins it. Jesus walks across water, something that isn’t possible in natural terms. Thousands are fed from a little food. This also is impossible. The battles are God’s. And God wins.
In both stories, God owns the conflict, overcomes adversity, and triumphs. And in both stories, the foundation of this ownership is a fully trusting and fully devoted followership.
The First Testament story says that they trusted God. The Second Testament story proves that Jesus trusted God to supply their needs. In both, God acts not out of a sense of obligation or even out of a sense of pity, but out of a trust in His ability to handle the situation.
How different would our lives be if we believed that the battle truly did belong to God, and if we trusted God to own the battle?