Author: Ron Graham
Protected and Preserved
—And the providence of God
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.
1 The Main Point
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.
2 God’s Providence in Our Black Moments
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.
3 Examples in the Times of Israel
- Promises to Abraham
—Genesis 39 Joseph imprisoned unjustly, becomes ruler of Egypt
- Bondage in Egypt
—Exodus 1 and 2 Moses condemned to death as a baby, lives to lead Israel
- Wandering in the Wilderness
—Exodus 16 The Israelites without food in the desert, receive manna
- Conquest of Canaan
—Joshua 2 and 6 Rahab saved from prostitution and destruction, receives honour
- Kingdom of David
—1Samuel 17 David faces Goliath, kills him with a slingshot
- Kingdom Divided
—2Kings 20 Hezekiah mortally ill, given 15 more years of life
- Exile and Scattering
—Daniel 3 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo survive the furnace
- Return of the Remnant
—Book of Esther Esther and her people doomed, but the tables are turned
- Prophecy Unfolding
—Daniel 8 A "horn" [Antiochus Epiphanes 167BC] destroys God's people, yet is broken by God
- Coming of the Son of God
—Matthew 26-28 God's Son crucified, but raised up and glorified
- Dawning of New Israel
—Acts 7 Stephen dies a martyr, but his LORD is there to receive him
- Kingdom in All the World
—Revelation 19-22 Christians persecuted, but they enter into glory
4 God Protects and Preserves
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:
1~ Even though we die
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).
2~ Even though he is silent
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.
3~ Even though we are lowly
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.