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“What I do thou knowest not now.”
“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary;… thy way is in the seas, thy paths in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known” (Psalm 77:13, 19). Sometimes God’s providence appears to contradict his promises, as it did when he sent Moses to deliver Israel (Exodus 5:21-23). Sometimes God’s acts of mercy and grace in providence look and feel like acts of wrath and judgment, as was the case in the life experience of his servant Job. But that is never the case (Isaiah 54:7-10). Sometimes God appears to be favorable to the wicked and indifferent, at best, to the righteous (Psalm 73).
Many things in this world are confusing to the Lord’s people. Though the Lord God miraculously gave Abraham a son in his old age, he required his faithful friend and servant to sacrifice his son. Though the Lord brought Israel up to Canaan by the hand of Moses, using him to direct his people for forty years, refused to let Moses take Israel in to possess the land. When time came to build the temple, David died. Sometimes duty is set against duty. Sometimes prophets are set against prophets (1 Kings 13).
God often lifts up with one hand and casts down with the other; heals with one and wounds with the other. The demon possessed Son got worse when he first came to Christ (Mark 9:19, 26). The ruler of the Synagogue’s daughter died while Christ was walking with her father to heal her. Lazarus died while the Savior waited!
When we think the Lord is doing nothing, he is working for us (Romans 8:28). When we think he has forsaken us, he is with us still (Song of Solomon 5). When we think everything is against us, everything is loaded down with mercy for us.
Our God will not let us walk by sight here. He demands and deserves that we walk by faith.
His promise is sure. — “What I do now thou knowest not; but thou shalt know hereafter.” In due time, he will inform us. Sometimes he does so during the trouble he sends. Sometimes shortly afterward. Sometimes long afterward. When it is best for us to know, our good, wise, ever gracious God and Savior will cause us to know, understand, and rejoice in all he has done, is doing now, and shall do tomorrow. In that great day when all things are made known, we will thank and praise him for all that he has done (Romans 11:33-36).
Often I wonder why I must journey
Over a road so rugged and steep.
Why all the darkness? Why all the heartache?
Why must Your chosen so often weep?
Farther along we’ll know more about it.
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, believer, trust your great Savior. —
We’ll understand it all by and by!