Perspective by Ralph Weinhold
Moses’ life can be divided into three periods of 40 years. During 120 years, God providentially accomplished His purposes in the life of Moses. The first 40 years were spent in the king’s palace. At age 40, slaying the Egyptian forced him to flee and spend the next 40 years in the wilderness. Finally, Moses was used by the Lord to accomplish His purpose by leading Israel the last 40 years of his life.
At 40 years old, in the prime of his life, human wisdom would indicate that this would be the ideal time for God to commission Moses to lead His people out of bondage. However, God knew Moses needed 40 years in the wilderness. It might appear this 40-year period of Moses’ life was a waste of time. However, Moses would have never learned humility and dependence upon the Lord in a royal palace like he could learn it alone with the Lord in the wilderness. In this deserted place the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses with instructions to lead God’s people out of their Egyptian bondage – an assignment that occupied the final 40-year period of Moses’ life.
In contrast to the providential working of God during Moses’ 120-year lifetime, the book of Esther reveals the “split-second timing” of the Lord’s providence in sparing His people from extermination. Such timing is seen the night King Ahasuerus couldn’t sleep. The chronicles of the nation were read to him and he learned Mordecai, the Jew, had saved him from death. That same night Haman went to the king’s court on a mission to be granted royal permission to hang Mordecai, his personal enemy. Before Haman could make his request, the king asked Haman to describe what should be done for the man whom the king wished to honor. By God’s providence Mordecai ended up being honored by the king while Haman ended up being hanged. All of these events involved the working of God’s hand of providence in “split-second” timing!
All of us know stories of Christians for whom God intervened through “splitsecond timing” to save them from serious injury or death. His providence also works over a lifetime to bless those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). As we see His invisible hand at work both in the lives of biblical characters as well as in our own lives, we grow in our confidence that “if God be for us, who can be against us?” (v. 31 KJV).
Ralph Weinhold serves the Dardanelle Church of Christ in Arkansas as an elder and minister. Borrowed from the Gospel Advocate, March 2016