From Eternity Past; April 13, 2018

Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”

This verse is quoted almost exclusively in relation to Christmas, because it was the verse that enabled the scribes to tell King Herod where the Messiah was to be born. (Matthew 2:5-6) However, the whole point of it is not simply to say where He would be born, but to make it clear that it was decided “from eternity past,” as the Japanese expresses it. We are once again confronted with the reality that God is outside of time, so everything is “now” to Him. He sees the moment of Creation even as He sees the end of all things material, and everything in between. We simply cannot grasp that viewpoint, so we are left with time-related ways of talking about things. That’s not necessarily bad, it’s just the way things are. However, the better we understand that God doesn’t have our limitations, the more we can be at peace, knowing that He has already solved every problem even when we can’t imagine how it could be done. That is what faith is all about. We don’t like to think of ourselves as toddlers, needing Daddy to take us by the hand or we will fall over, but the reality is even more severe than that. The videos that abound on the Internet of helpless animals being rescued by kind humans come closer, but really words fail us to describe the gulf between God and man in terms of ability. We literally would not exist apart from God, but what we do with the existence He has given us is our responsibility, and we are accountable to Him for our words and our actions, as the Bible makes very clear in many places. The point is to commit ourselves and our plans to Him, aware that He already knows all about them, and trust Him with the outcome. When He provided the Messiah from eternity past, whatever we are facing at the moment is certainly no big deal for Him.

This is a lesson the Lord has been speaking to me repeatedly recently, in many different ways. It’s not at all that I’m not to care about what happens, it’s that I’m to trust God with it all, and so rest, relax, and rejoice, just as He has told me. I’m to be the eternal optimist! I’m not to deny that bad things happen. After all, Jesus said clearly that in this world we would have trouble. (John 16:33) However, I am to trust fully that God has something wonderful on the far side of that trouble, and rejoice even before I see it. Each day is to be an adventure of discovering what God has planned for me, knowing that it is good even when at the moment it might be painful.

Father, thank You for this truth, and for speaking it to me so clearly and repeatedly. Help me indeed be done with anxiety and rejoice in You. Thank You for the message on your Eternal Plans that You were already building in me for this coming Sunday, and how this fits in perfectly with that. Your Word says so much on that theme! Help me know what to use and what not to, so that I won’t overwhelm my hearers but rather encourage them to trust You so that they too may rest, relax, and rejoice, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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