This post is written by Allyson M. Howell and is published as a companion to Unit 13, Session 3 of The Gospel Project for Adults Vol. 5 (Fall 2022): From Rebellion to Exile.
God is a grand story-weaver. He works out our lives intricately and perfectly. Every detail and facet of our existence is designed and curated by God’s masterful hand. He makes no mistakes and all the world He holds together in His hands. When we read through the Bible we can see story after story of remarkable events.
When we doubt God, we are often distracted by our own understanding of the world around us and we cannot see the perfect work He is doing. When the world seems grim, hopeless, and unstable, we stand firmly on the promises of God. He proves to us over and over again that He is with us.
God Was with His People
Think of the stories of Israel. The people of God were enslaved by the nation of Egypt. They begged for freedom and God liberated them in miraculous ways. He led them toward land that He had prepared for them—a place where they could prosper and dwell with their God in peace. But sin got in the way. Because of the sin of the people, and because of their grumbling and distrust of God, they had to wander the earth.
Finally, after the punishment was over, God took them to their land. He divided the water of the great river Jordan and held the water up so that the people He loved could pass across it. The floor of the river was dry. There was no mud on the sandals of the Israelites, but only dust.
God Continued to Be With His People
Once the people were established in the land, we would hope that they would be obedient and that they would have peace with God forevermore. But once again, sin ruled the hearts of the people. Idolatry increased and heinous idols were set up around the nation. There was division, sin, idolatry, and ultimate betrayal of the God who brought His people to the land. Hope seemed lost, but then a voice began to speak. God raised up a Elijah to declare justice to and encourage repentance from the people of Israel.
This prophet was used by God to turn the people back toward Him—for worship to once again be only to Yahweh. And before the great prophet Elijah ascended to the heavens to be with his Lord, he had one more act of miraculous obedience to perform. He divided the Jordan with his staff.
God Is Always With His People
Can you see the story? Can you see the purposeful, intricate, timely details that God was working out? God demonstrated His power and His presence by performing this same miracle again. It is as if God said, “I am here; I am with you; I am your God and you are my people. I always have been and I always will be.”
Generations later, the Lord is still able to halt a river and create a path of dry land to walk upon. The dust on the sandals of Elijah and Elisha is a testimony to the one true God. This is the God who brought the people out of Egypt, who halted the river, who sent the fire from heaven to consume the burnt offering, who provided bread, and who is worthy of all honor all glory and all praise. He is demonstrating His power and might as often as we look for it. We may not see fire fall from the sky or rivers stand up high, but we will see His mighty hand, His perfect storytelling, His great care for us. We must only look for it.
Allyson M. Howell is an event planner and content creator for The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. She holds an MDiv from Midwestern Seminary. Allyson is a member and the deacon of Women’s Ministry at Wornall Road Baptist Church and lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband, Randy.