The Lord said, “Judah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into his hand.” (1:2).
As I picked up my Bible to begin the book of Judges, I had concerns; for I know the basic premise of this book. It is the wretched cyclical account of God’s people: a people destined for greatness; a people destined to worship and serve their great and glorious God; a people who were meant to proclaim Him to all nations; a people who failed miserably.
And I was concerned, for I recalled from my past readings much of the emphasis seemed, to me, to be on the people… doing right in their own eyes, coming under judgment, crying out in desperation, judges sent to lead them back…and the cycle would begin again.
And I wondered if the rebellious actions of God’s people would somehow overshadow Him, blocking my ability to see only Him. It is becoming increasingly clear I have this tendency to see man before I see Him, (can you relate?)
But the Bible is His story after all, and within the first few words, there He was, revealed in His Holiness and Sovereignty, Majesty and Power.
The enemy is conquered and now He calls His children to take possession of the land. And He Himself, Our Perfect Provision, has paved the way… He has already given the land into their hands.
Consider Him, Our Perfect Provision
Now it came about after the death of Joshua that the sons of Israel inquired of the Lord, saying, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” 2 The Lord said, “Judah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into his hand.”… 4 Judah went up, and the Lord gave the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hands, and they defeated ten thousand men at Bezek, (1:1-2,4).
- He is Our Perfect Provision in Planning how to Proceed.
- The Lord said, “Judah shall go up;…”
- He is Our Perfect Provision in Possessing His Promises.
- “… behold, I have given the land into his hand.”
- He is Our Perfect Provision in Prevailing against the Powers of the enemy.
- Judah went up, and the Lord gave the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hands, and they defeated ten thousand men at Bezek.
How do we respond to Him, Our Perfect Provision?
He is the same God yesterday, today and forever; and in reality man’s redemption story has also remained the same. When we come to Him by faith, the enemy is conquered, but in His perfect wisdom and sovereignty He calls us to take possession of what He has already accomplished. In a very real sense we are called to live in the present as though the future is the past.
His children have always, and must always, follow Him by faith. He told His children He had already given the land into their hands. The question was… would they believe Him.
It is the same question posed to us today.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen… 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, (Hebrews 11:1,6).
- It is only by faith in Him, Our Perfect Provision, that we are able to obey in Planning how to Proceed.
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil, (Proverbs 3:5-7).
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart
- It is only by faith in Him, Our Perfect Provision, that we are able to hold fast in Possessing His Promises.
- Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; (Hebrews 10:23).
- It is only by faith in Him, Our Perfect Provision, that we are able to stand in Prevailing against the Powers of the enemy.
- Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (Ephesians 6:10-17).
He has already accomplished our victory and provided all we need to live in the present as though the future is the past. We must live by faith in Him and remind ourselves daily of His great truth, He alone is Our Perfect Provision.
Our faith will grow and be strengthened as we remember Him, Our Perfect Provision, revealed in Who He Is.
“Remember this, and be assured;
Recall it to mind, you transgressors.
9 Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure,’” (Isaiah 46:8-10).
Our faith will grow and be strengthened as we remember Him, Our Perfect Provision, revealed in what He has said.
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation, (Psalm 33:9-11).
Our faith will grow and be strengthened as we remember Him, Our Perfect Provision, revealed in all He has done.
I shall remember the deeds of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy;
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
You have made known Your strength among the peoples.
15 You have by Your power redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph, (Psalm 77:11-15).
Oh, that we would seek Him daily and remember… He is Our Perfect Provision. And He has given us the Perfect Provision of His Holy Word, to faithfully remind us Who He is, what He has said, and all He has done so that we would take possession of every good thing He has promised… and He promises it’s even more than we can possibly imagine!
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen, (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow, (James 1:17).