Often, I speak of the blessings I receive from reading the daily devotionals in TableTalk magazine. The magazine is available by subscription, but if you didn’t know, you may also read the articles and devotionals free of charge at tabletalkmagazine.com. They are nicely formatted for mobile devices or for reading on your computer. Although I receive a printed magazine, I generally read them from my iPad.
I mention this again today because of a thought provoking article at the end of July. The title was “God Doesn’t Tell Us Everything.” The Bible does not tell us everything, but it does tell us what God wants us to know. The article spoke of Abraham’s life and how God made him a promise of a family that was not fulfilled for many years. In those years, God did not speak to Abraham often—at least the Bible does not tell us He did. Through long stretches of Abraham’s life, God said nothing to him, leaving Abraham to hold on to the promise not knowing how God would fulfill it.
The same is true in Jacob’s life. He was told that Joseph his favorite son was dead. It wasn’t until more than two decades later that Jacob learned Joseph was alive. We wonder why God did not tell Jacob sooner but let him live in sorrow. We only know God doesn’t tell us everything. God is not concerned with how quickly or slowly He reveals Himself. His timetable is not ours. He will tell us in His good timing and at the right time.
None of the things that will happen to you are revealed in advance. Even a mother’s pregnancy, though it is according to the time of life, does not tell us whether the child will bring joy or sorrow. The nine months of pregnancy might show us in some ways how God deals with us. Our experiences during the gestation period are there for our learning and for God to prepare us for what comes later. Whatever good or bad, we would not endure them or enjoy them if not made ready during the waiting period.
If God should tell you He will make you rich, would you be as frugal or diligent as you are now? If He should tell you your life will become nearly unbearable, would you still live in the hope you have now? The timing from God’s standpoint is critical because He knows every step you take and how to best get you from one place in life to the next.
While I have added and interpreted the article in my own way in these last paragraphs, the article ended with this statement: “We don’t know all that God is doing. Perhaps He will work a miracle, as He did in opening Sarah’s womb. Perhaps He will simply send us news, as He did with Jacob. Perhaps He is doing something we never could have expected—something that’s according to His own counsel, something that would surprise and delight us entirely. We have reason to believe that the Lord might enjoy working in that way. After all, He sent us His Son. He gave us His Spirit. Who could have expected such extravagant love? God doesn’t tell us everything, but He tells us enough, and He surprises us with His mercies.”
I know this to be true. My association with Berean fits the point of the article perfectly. My preparations were in process long before I became pastor. Events in the lives of others were essential to make circumstances favorable that I should become your pastor. God knows all these contingencies and works them ultimately for His purposes. Perhaps you can survey your life to see how painful experiences or joyful ones have worked differently than you might suppose. You didn’t know how God was shaping you for where you are now. God must not tell you until He is ready—and you are ready through His divine providence.
At this moment we are going through processes that are preparing for another day, another event that you might not be ready for should God reveal it too early. Trust God that He will do what He promises. He works all things for your good.
Pastor V. Mark Smith