Chaos and Control
Heavenly Father, I’m grateful for Your persistent love and care for me as I journey through life with You.
Read Acts 13:16-25
 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!  The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that country,  he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert,  he overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to his people as their inheritance.  All this took about 450 years. “After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet.  Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years.  After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’  “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.  Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.  As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’ Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy do you think Paul is rehearsing this history?
There are moments when I get overwhelmed. There are things overdue, environmental disasters, unmet dreams that ache, needs too big for me to meet, and people hurting. How do I stop the panic? Breathing deeply, I need to remind myself that God is in control and he will use even these difficulties to bring about his redemptive plan. My job is not to control or even understand. I am to trust that God knows what he is doing.
The Jews created and endured much chaos and tragedy. Wars and retribution abound in the Scriptures. But Paul is able to speak of the gold thread woven through biblical history: the constant and consistent working of God actively rescuing his people. Despite all our mistakes, God has remained diligent and faithful. God will bring his people to himself. The lives of Saul, Samuel and David prepare the Israelites for the Messiah. David, whom God describes as “a man after my own heart” (22), especially prefigures the coming King. The people will have the leader they need, the means to come back into fellowship with God. It is the same God I need to trust today. His rescue plan is still in place.
Put your burdens prayerfully into God’s huge hands. Thank him for his continued intervention and love for all people.
Mighty Lord God, when life is confusing and chaotic, help me to remember that You are still in control.
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