…and no one will make them afraid. Zephaniah 3:13
God tells people in Genesis 9:1 to, Fill the earth. However by Genesis 11 we see people trying to take matters in their own hands and working in direct contrast to that command of God! (11:4) …let’s build a great city for OURSELVES… make US famous… keep US from being scattered all over the world. (emphasis mine) Sounds like they have become a bit distracted by me, myself and I. That’s easy to do isn’t it.
However we see, the LORD came down (verse 5) and His purpose prevailed and by verse 8 they are, scattered…all over the world – Because, no purpose of His can be thwarted. (Job 42:2) And good thing too because even when I can’t see and don’t understand the bigger picture He is painting I can trust Him who is faithful (Heb. 10:23) to perfectly complete it (Phil 1:6).
We can contrast this first event with a second in the very next chapter in Genesis. Chapter 12 illustrates Abram (Abraham’s) beginnings. Here we see God taking the building initiative… (vs. 2) I WILL make you into a great nation… I WILL bless you and make you famous (vs. 3) I WILL bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. Which leads to… (vs. 2) YOU WILL be a blessing… THROUGH YOU all families will be blessed… (emphasis mine). Golly it sure would seem He takes care of a whole lot of the heavy lifting when you let Him lead!
Letting Him lead takes faith. Like Abraham we often don’t know or understand the path. But in the NLT Genesis 12:9 states, Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev. Did you see that phrase “by stages”?! So maybe Abram too needed to trust God just one step/stage at a time!!
As soon as Abram get’s to the land God leads him too a famine hits! What?! When we decide to live full out for God and it gets hardER… let’s see it as an opportunity to trust Him deeper to grow us closer to His mighty loving heart.
We see Abram go to Egypt for food temporarily. Maybe rather than question God’s ways we could say, okay, I may not understand but I’ll trust You for the next step even if I don’t understand it because I know you’ll be in it. He understands things we don’t and sees things we can’t so trusting Him to be the expert builder really is the safest route!
In the account of what happens to Abram in Gen. 12:10-20 we see a direct parallel with the Israelites later bondage in Egypt!
Because of a famine Abram/Israel went to Egypt (Gen. 12:10/47:13, 27)
There was an attempt to kill the males and save the females 12:12/Ex. 1:22)
God plagued Egypt (12:17/Ex. 7:14-11:10)
Abram/Israel plunder Egypt (12:16/Ex. 12:31-33) and ascended to the Negev (13:1/Num. 13:17,22) (Last 4 points NLT study bible notes referenced)
So the Israelites could trust that their God was able to rescue them from their bondage in Egypt because they could remember that God had already proven faithful in their past!!
When you don’t know, my dad always told me, to go back to what you do. Go back as far as you need to in order to remember His faithfulness, His Word of Truth. Abide in Him who is faithful, who will never leave you or fail you – you can trust Him.
So you no longer have to be afraid. You can, Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem! because, The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zeph. 3:14, 17
Instead of trying to build our path, hand the bricks to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2) and let Him lead us down it, one stage at a time, unafraid, for He is faithfully trustworthy.
Independent Read: Hebrews 11:6, 10, 2 Tim 4:18