WHEN YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW IT 8-25-17
Numbers 22:34 And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stood in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.
I had a conversation yesterday with my mom that got me to thinking about something. I began to think about some times in my life when the Lord was protecting me when I didn’t even know I was in danger. Although I couldn’t find a lot of examples of it in scripture, I know there are several and also several in my own life where I found out after the fact that God was watching over me. I thank God for his all-seeing eye and his omnipotence and his omniscience. His power and infinite knowledge. I am thankful for the fact that, like Job, God has a hedge around me and nothing has ever came on me that God hasn’t allowed, both good and bad. Job even asked his wife in Job 2, when she encouraged him to “curse God and die,” “What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” God allows it all, and as in the case of Job, we often do not have any knowledge ourselves of what God is doing in our lives.
I read over in 1 Samuel 22 where King Saul went into a cave to “cover his feet” as the bible says, and unknown to him, David and his men were in the cave. Although his men wanted to slay Saul, David would not allow them to touch the Lord’s anointed. David made his presence known to Saul after Saul had left the cave. Saul was very aware that David had just spared his life and that if it had been up to David’s men; he would have been killed.
Another such instance happened again in 1 Samuel 26 when David came upon the place where Saul and his men had made camp and were in a deep sleep from the Lord in a trench. David, again much to the dismay of his men, would not allow them to harm Saul. Instead, they took his cruse of water and his spear and departed. Once they got to the other side, a good way off, they stood up on top of a hill and David called for Abner, Saul’s chief warrior and guardian. After again letting them know that he could have killed Saul and the rest of them while they slept, he had them to send a young man over to him so he could return Saul’s spear. If memory serves me correctly, there was also an occasion where Saul could have taken David but refused to do him harm.
The event my mom and I were discussing took place around the summer of 1976. We were camping in Pensacola, NC at a place called Mountain Wilderness campground. That was the first campground I had ever stayed in and we loved it and had been there a couple of times with the people from New Hope Baptist Church in Barnardsville, NC. This time it was just our family and a friend of my brother and I. I was around 11 at the time and my brother and our friend were 12. While mom and dad and my sisters slept in the big tent, us boys slept in a little pup tent out beside the big tent. Sometime during the night, unbeknownst to us, we had some visitors to our campsite of the four-legged variety. Contrary to what a lot of folk may believe, at least at that time there were panthers in western North Carolina and according to my mom, they sound exactly like a woman screaming. We were fast asleep and woke up to the sound of mom’s voice telling us not to come out of the tent. We told her we weren’t planning on it and I guess we went back to sleep. The next morning when we woke up, we asked mom why she had woke us up in the middle of the night to tell us that. She then explained that there had been 2 panthers in our camp during the night. Being curious as young boys are, we began to look around and noticed that all of our fishing poles, that had been leaned against a tree, were all knocked over and laying on the ground. We could see numerous scratch marks on the tree. We figured out that they had probably smelled the corn and worms we had been using for bait was why they had messed with our poles. Mom later found that they had walked across the top of the picnic table. We had been using a beach-towel for a tablecloth and there were 2 sets of tracks on it, one set larger than the other. Fortunately for us, they did not linger but continued on across the river and back up on the mountain I suppose. That was where they were when mom heard them screaming but she also heard them walking through our campsite. Some people would have you to believe there are no panthers around here but my mom would strongly disagree with them. What she heard during the night 40 years ago and the evidence she saw the next morning was enough to make a believer out of her.
My purpose with that story is not just for your reading pleasure or for entertainment value, but to help make a point. Often times we may feel that God is a million miles away and maybe we haven’t seen him move in an exciting way in our lives in a while. No thunderbolts from the sky or personalized rainbows like Noah got, and that can leave us thinking that God has forgotten us. Rest assured that is not the case at all. The book of 2 Chronicles 16:9 says in part, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…” Matthew 6:25-34 speaks of birds and lilies and how God takes care of them and clothes the lilies with beauty even though they do no labor. In so many words, that scripture goes on to tell us not to worry about food and clothing and such for God knows we have need of it before we ask and if he takes care of birds and lilies, how much more will he take care of us. He also tells us in verse 34 “Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
I guess the overall point of this article is to encourage you to trust in the Lord. Even though it may not look like he is doing anything or is even anywhere around, he promised he would never leave us or forsake us. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, who are the called according to his purpose.” His purpose which is not always the same as ours. Verse 31 of that chapter goes on to say, What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Whatever is going on in your life and whatever problems and trouble you may be facing; God’s got it. You don’t have to worry because he has it under control. You still have his hedge around you and although he knows exactly where you are, his eyes still run to and fro keeping watch over you. If a donkey can start talking and take care of its master, surely God can take care of you. You are the sheep of his pasture (Psalms 100:3) and just as any good shepherd does, he is taking care of you and protecting you…when you don’t even know it. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!