Have you ever noticed that God shows up right after some of your deepest crises? Have you ever noticed that when you’ve fallen flat on your face and are at your lowest point, God shows up? This pattern can be seen throughout history, as Stephen, a disciple of Jesus, shared in Acts 7:17-19, where the Bible recounts a time when God’s promise to Abraham was about to be fulfilled.
In this passage, it is mentioned that as “the time drew near for God to fulfill His promise to Abraham,” the number of the Israelite people in Egypt had greatly increased. However, a new king came to power who had no regard for Joseph or the previous leaders. This new leader dealt treacherously with the Israelites, oppressing them and even forcing them to throw out their newborn babies to die.
This story highlights several characteristics of evil leadership that can be observed throughout history. Firstly, these leaders often disregard or are ignorant of the accomplishments and favor of their predecessors. They fail to acknowledge the contributions made by those who came before them and may not even know who they are. Secondly, they deal treacherously with God’s people, using their power to oppress and harm them. In the case mentioned, the leader targeted the Israelites, going so far as to kill their children in an attempt to diminish their numbers and weaken them.
This pattern repeats itself throughout history. When God was about to free His people from slavery and lead them to the Promised Land, an evil leader rose to power. Similarly, when God was about to reveal His Son, the Savior of the world, the Roman Empire, known for its oppressive rule, was in control. Their streets were filled with Roman soldiers, what we’d call in America, Marshal Law was enacted, and burdensome taxes were placed upon all of God’s people. These instances demonstrate a recurring theme of evil leadership opposing God’s plans and seeking to undermine His people.
At this very moment, we can witness the emergence of this same pattern in America and the world. We have a choice: either focus on the unfolding struggles or become excited about the knowledge we possess, derived from God’s word, that what we are witnessing is a sign that “the time is drawing near for God to fulfill His promises!” Moses, Abraham, and others looked forward anticipating God’s promises to be fulfilled. This is faith and what pleases God for us to trust Him and His goodness, no matter what we may be experiences in our current season in life.
Looking towards the future, we can anticipate that the same pattern will hold true. As the time draws near for God to fulfill His ultimate promise of the Rapture and the return of Jesus Christ, there will be signs reminiscent of the days of Noah. Evil will rise, and those in power will oppose God’s people. However, we can take solace in the fact that God’s character is unchanging. Just as He has delivered His people in the past, He will continue to fulfill His promises and protect those who trust in Him.
The stories and lessons recorded in the Old Testament serve as a testament to God’s faithfulness and serve as an encouragement to us. They remind us that despite the challenges and opposition we may face, God is always present and working behind the scenes. When we find ourselves at our lowest points, we can hold onto the hope that God is about to move in our lives and bring about His promises.
So, let us take comfort in knowing that when we face our deepest crises and feel at our weakest, God is near. He is orchestrating events and preparing to fulfill His promises. Let us trust in His unchanging character and remember that just as He has shown up in the past, He will show up in our lives when the time is right.
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:18-21