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:
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.
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 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!
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!
Other “but God” Scriptures for your additional study:
Mark 2:5-7 – 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “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 – 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 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 – 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 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.
Other Christian Articles by Jim Davenport:
- How to Become a Christian
- The Fall of a Godly Nation – An Introduction to a Series of Articles on Ancient Israel and Judah That Parallel Our Modern Day (published January 17, 2014)
- Revival Before the Fall – Hezekiah Brings Reforms and Revival to Judah
- Successful Execution of the Wrong Plan – Hezekiah’s Tunnel
- If You Want to Hear God Laugh, Tell Him You Have a Plan
- In His Time
- Lifestyle Choices and Biblical Truth
- Seven Keys to Successful Christian Living
- “Do!” – A Call to Right Christian Action
- The Believer’s Sufficiency in Christ
- In His Own Image
- A Summary of All of Jim Davenport’s Articles
- Calling Evil Good – The Abortion Tragedy
- God Came Down to Our Place – A Christmas Devotion
- OMG – “Oh, My God!
- When a : (colon) is not a colon – Medical Update
- Moving On – In Accordance With God’s Will
- If I Were The Devil
- From Persecutor to Persecuted
- The Spindly Grapevine
- Our Source of Courage
- Be Strong in The Lord
- God is Faithful
- Our Comforter
- God Will Provide
- God’s Solution for Anxiety
- Facing Tough Times
- Do Not Fear
- An Anchor in the Time of the Storm
- His Grace is Sufficient for Me
- Sin’s Earthly Consequences
- Fully God, Fully Man!!
- All of Jim’s Christian Articles
Books by Jim Davenport: Please consider the purchase of Jim’s books to help spread the message of Christ Jesus. Christian Devotions & Quick Studies is especially good to share with a lost friend, someone needing encouragement or someone who does not have access to the internet. My books are sold near the cost to produce as I am only interested in sharing the good news of the Gospel of Jesus to as many as I can before I go to Heaven.
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- Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul – coming winter 2014 (sorry for the delay)
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