but God …


Background:

Scripture references for "but God ..."

Scripture references for “but God …” recorded by Charlotte

As part of a Bible Study at Pine Lake Baptist Church in 2013, Dr. Keith Pisani, Pastor, referred to a number of Scriptures to illustrate a point.  My wife Charlotte recorded the cited Scriptures for me so that I could look at them later as I was not feeling my best that night.  When I got around to a more thorough reading and study of these Scriptures I was thrilled that Dr. Pisani had shared them.  Most of the Scriptures were already familiar to me, but putting them together in a single study really emphasized the power and authority of Almighty God.

Man has his own ideas about how things should work here on earth, but God may have an entirely different plan in mind.   If we allow Him to do so, God will show man His will In His Time to prosper, protect, defeat, strengthen, lead, correct, comfort, heal, teach, punish, approve, restore, forgive and even save us from our sins!  Praise God for who He is!

Scripture: (All ESV unless otherwise noted – see below for additional “but God” scriptures)

Genesis 50:20 – 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

1 Samuel 23:14 – 14 And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.

2 Chronicles 20:15 – 15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God‘s.

Psalm 73:26 – 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Daniel 2:27-28 – 27 Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these:

Discussion:

In this article let’s examine five of the scriptures referenced by Dr. Pisani to see how man plans, but God intercedes on our behalf to see His will is accomplished.

In Genesis 50:20 the setting for the verse places Joseph and his brothers back in Egypt after their trip to Canaan to bury Jacob.  Now that their father had passed, the brothers feared Joseph’s reprisal for treating him so badly when he was young.  Instead, God meant that all of the evil shown to Joseph would work toward His favor for the children of Israel.  In his own words Joseph told his brothers “but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”  Joseph provided for his brothers and their families for generations to come in Egypt seeing “Ephriam’s children of the third generation” (Genesis 50:23).  Joseph’s jealous brothers intended nothing but evil toward Joseph, but God had a different plan … a plan that would ultimately fulfill God’s promise originally made to Abraham.

David and Saul Julius Kronberg (Swedish, 1850-1921)

David and Saul
Julius Kronberg (Swedish, 1850-1921)

King Saul loved David like a son.  David soothed Saul by playing his harp.  But Saul soon saw David as a threat to his throne and this tormented him terribly.  Saul had his army continuously searching for David with orders to kill him on sight.  But that was not in accordance with God’s plans.  God protected David over and over again.  1 Samuel 23:14 tells us that even as “… David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph  … Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.

In 2 Chronicles 20 King Jehoshaphat was greatly disturbed that Judah would be soundly defeated by the far superior armies of the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites.  Turning to God Jehoshaphat humbled himself in prayer as did all of the people of Judah asking for God’s intervention.  Indeed, Judah should have been easily overwhelmed by these rival armies as they joined together to battle and defeat Judah.  But God had a different plan, a plan where not one Judahite would be slain in battle.  The Chronicler records the words of Jahaziel the son of Zechariah in 2 Chronicles 20:15 saying “… Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God‘s.‘” Placing their faith in God alone and putting their fears aside, Judah followed God’s specific instructions and prepared for the battle.  Facing what should have been almost certain death, Judah arrived on the battlefield to find “… dead bodies lying on the ground; none had escaped (2 Chronicles 20:24).” In their God caused confusion the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites had fought against and killed each other … not one Judahite had perished.

The Psalmist Asaph emphasizes his confidence that God will provide strength for today and forever.  God is man’s “rock” in the face of all adversity.  Because of man’s sinful nature, his flesh is weak and his heart “may fail, but God” out love for His human creation “is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).  For this reason we are to depend upon and abide in Him.

Daniel refusing the King's Food - 1900'sO.A. Stemler http://www.thebiblerevival.com/clipart48.htm

Daniel refusing the King’s Food       1900’s O.A. Stemler
http://www.thebiblerevival.com/clipart48.htm

 Daniel records a number of instances where God intervened into the life of His servants.  In 606 BC “Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were among the young Jewish nobility carried off to Babylon. The four were chosen for their intellect and beauty to be trained as advisers to the Babylonian court. Daniel was given the name Belteshazzar, i.e. prince of Bel or Bel protect the king, not to be confused with the neo-Babylonian king Belshazzar. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were given the Babylonian names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego respectively.” (see Coogan, Michael. A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.)  These four young men refused to eat the king’s food, staying true to their God and trusting Him to protect them while in captivity.

In the second year of his reign in Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar had recurring dreams that troubled him so much that “his sleep left him” (Daniel 2:1).  The king sought the interpretation of his dreams through magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and the Chaldeans.  Nebuchadnezzar threatened certain death if they did not tell him the interpretation.  But there was one big problem … the king was so tormented that he would not even tell them the nature of the dream.  Not only did the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and the Chaldeans have to interpret the dreams … they had to read the mind of the King!

The Scripture records their total frustration and fear of impending death by arguing: “… There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11 The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh (Daniel 2:10-11).” 

But God already had such a man in mind … Daniel!  God not only revealed the details of the king’s dream to Daniel, He also gave him the interpretation.  Through God led circumstances Daniel came before the King ” … and said, ‘No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these … (Daniel 2:27-28).'” Daniel ended God’s explanation of the dream by saying to King Nebuchadnezzar, “… A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure (Daniel 2:45b).” As a result of Daniel’s explanation “King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel” and ” … gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon (Daniel 2:46,48).” 

King Nebuchadnezzar had his faulty human plan, but God had His own divine plan and Daniel would continue to be protected by God and His presence for eternity.  Even when Daniel was cast into the lion’s den, God protected him.  And even when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrust into the fiery furnace, God protected them.  Man has his plans, but God has His own plans!

Reflection:

So, how about you?  Are you controlling or over-controlling your life –  keeping your will ahead of God’s will for your life?  Are you trusting in yourself instead of God?  Are you depending upon your education to prosper, your power and wealth to protect, your ability and human weapons to defeat the enemy, your human strength to persevere, your skills to lead, your teaching to guide, your wisdom to discern, your love to comfort and encourage, your goodness and accomplishments to get to Heaven?  These are just some of the things you may be attempting to do on your own … and they ALL will ultimately fail!  But God has eternal answers for ALL that we face in this life and beyond.  He is always there to forgive, restore, set us on the right path.  Only God can provide for the forgiveness of your sins and grant you the gift of eternal life in Heaven with Him through the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus.  Man plans … but God delivers!

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Other “but God” Scriptures for your additional study:

Mark 2:5-7 – And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Luke 12:19-21 – 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Luke 16:15 – 15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

John 1:12-13 – 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Acts 13:29-30 – 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead,

Romans 5:7-8 – For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 Corinthians 1:26-27 – 26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,[a] not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

1 Corinthians 3:6-7 – I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

1 Corinthians 10:13 – 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

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About jimdavenport

Jim Davenport resides in the USA in Northeast Georgia, is a member of a Southern Baptist Church and is a retired Christian business man. Jim and his wife Charlotte have one son and daughter in law, Keven and Amy, four grandchildren - Ashlyn (Davenport) & Josh Murphy, and Mason & Rebecca Davenport. We have three great-grandchildren, Rhory Camile Murphy, Rhett Levi Murphy and Sawyer Joshua Murphy. Jim and Charlotte own a mountain get-away home located on Lookout Mountain in Alabama where they spend many spring, summer and fall days working in their raised bed organic garden. Jim has served as a Deacon and Trustee in his local church most of his adult life and on the Executive Committee and Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees of Shorter University, an intentionally Christian institution located in Rome, Georgia. Jim has a passion for the word of God and has always believed that Christian principles should guide every aspect of his life. He also loves Christian music and often served as a tenor soloist in his church. One of the highlights of his life was the nearly 20 years he spent singing with The Good News, a Southern Gospel quartet. Jim served as an Information Technology professional his entire working career of 50 years holding senior positions in and consulting with hundreds of world-class organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Central and South America, Australia and New Zealand. Jim remains as President and CEO of InfoSys Solutions Associates, Inc. and is a retired partner of IT Governance Partners, LLC, both of which are “Trusted Advisor” technology and business consulting firms. Jim has authored a number of books available at www.jimdavenport.me/jims-books. His blog has ben read by readers from more than 170 countries. Jim holds both a BS and an MS in Mathematics from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia and completed Management Development Training at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
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4 Responses to but God …

  1. Pingback: Contemplate God’s Sovereignty | jimdavenport

  2. Pingback: Intentional Deceit | jimdavenport

  3. bwebbjr says:

    Jim,

    What a challenging, thought-provoking, encouraging post … several things you wrote really jumped out at me.

    “Man has his own ideas about how things should work here on earth, but God may have an entirely different plan in mind.” … I have experienced that so many times, yet continue to be a rather slow learner when it comes to the next test …

    “See how man plans, but God intercedes on our behalf to see His will is accomplished.” Thank you Lord for your intercession … my plans, my will often lead me deeper into the world and farther away from you.

    And finally, I will wrestle with your close for a while, “So, how about you? Are you controlling or over-controlling your life – keeping your will ahead of God’s will for your life? Are you trusting in yourself instead of God? Are you depending upon your education to prosper, your power and wealth to protect, your ability and human weapons to defeat the enemy, your human strength to persevere, your skills to lead, your teaching to guide, your wisdom to discern, your love to comfort and encourage, your goodness and accomplishments to get to Heaven?”

    Oh Lord, lead me in your ways according to your will!

    Bernie

    Like

    • jimdavenport says:

      Oh, Bernie! You know that everything I write also convicts me as well! I pray that God will give us both the wisdom to trust Him … no matter the circumstances … not leaning on our own understanding … but God’s!

      Keep abiding in Him, my brother.

      Jim

      Like

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