So many stories in Scripture would wreck us as we read them… if we didn’t already know the victorious ending.
In the story of Esther, (Book of Esther) at one point, a gallows has been built for her Godly uncle, the edict has been given and the date set for the elimination of the Jewish people. As the sense of doom washes over us we murmur a sickly “Oh no!”
When Gideon, (Judges 6,7) a less-than-likely hero is getting set to reluctantly go to battle outnumbered four to one, God begins diminishing his army until they are now outnumbered four hundred to one! And with frightened pounding hearts we again say, “Oh no!”
As a mighty storm is about to sink their small boat (Mark 4:35-41) and wipe out all of Jesus’ disciples we watch and feel their terror. These men trained to carry on the ministry of Jesus world-wide are all about to drown at the same time. As we again calculate the loss we lose heart and again… “Oh no!”
And just after our hearts thrill at Egypt’s release of the Israelites we suddenly find them trapped between two mountains with the angry army of Egypt gaining behind them and a sea stretched out before them. (Exodus 14) “Oh no” we say. Another story and another apparent tragic ending.
But God didn’t lose one of these nail-biters. There have been few battles that looked favorable from the outset, but God has not lost even one.
For as Mordicai’s future looked fatally flawed and a ‘done deal’ (Esther 3:5,6) God had already put into place a plan to save Mordicai and Israel. And we responded “Whew!”
The same amazing rescue takes place as Gideon’s minuscule army armed with lamps, pitchers and horns, routs the enemy and produces exquisite freedom. And the disciples, penning mental letters of goodbye to family members suddenly find themselves in calm waters with Jesus with them.
And who can fail to identify with the people of Israel’s song of deliverance as they come up from the dry seabed and turn and watch their pursuers swept away as the piled up waters sweep over them.
For those of us who read and trust God’s Word, we have learned never to treat threats and looming battles with a timid “Oh no!” We have a Savior and Heavenly Father who consistently turns our “Whew” into joyous and escalating praise.
“God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever
imagine or guess or request I your wildest dreams!”
Ephesians 3:20 MSG