Author: Ron Graham
Time ~ 4. Conquest of Canaan
Span ~ 170 years
Books ~ Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1Samuel
Figures ~ Joshua, Samuel
Begins with ~ Entry into promised Land across Jordan
In our study of the Times of Israel, we are about to leave Israel's time of the conquest of Canaan and move into the fifth period. However, before we do so, we will pause to take an overview of all the times of Israel, noting examples of God protecting and preserving those who put their trust in him.
This lesson shows that God never abandons those who put their trust in him and do his will. They may go through terrible trials, and may wonder if God cares or is in control. But God is there, protecting and preserving those who are faithful to him.
Even Jesus, God's only begotten Son, suffered terrible trials, yet God was with him and gave him victory. He will do the same for us.
One of the Old Testament's great lessons is that God protects and preserves his people through all their trials.
During the times of Israel, there were many black moments when the righteous seemed to be in a hopeless and desolate state, yet by God's providence they were rescued and made victorious.
Their experience is not unique, but is true in all ages.
The book of Job, which was ancient even in the times of Israel, shows that God protected and preserved the righteous in earliest times. The New Testament shows us that God is still doing so today.
We have chosen only one example from each period, but of course there are many more you could find. Here are some observations from the examples we have given:
In some cases, the ones God was protecting and preserving suffered even death. Notable among these was Jesus Christ himself. We must remember that God is not always protecting and preserving our skins. However, he always keeps our souls. "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me" (Psalm 23).
In some cases, God did not seem to be present. There was no angel, no vision, no sign. Things took their course seemingly without any divine intervention. Nevertheless everything turned out amazingly well.
In every case God is helping people because of their faith and commitment, not because of their standing in the world. Whether prophet or prostitute, king or slave, one little babe alone or twelve tribes together, God was watching out for his people whoever they were. Anyone can trust in God, from the least to the greatest, and he is faithful to all.