Transitions

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), April 8

imagesSeveral events occur that transition Israel from the Judges Era to the Kingdom Era. These events reveal the providential working of God as His linear purposes unfold:

  • The birth of Ruth and Boaz’s son, Obed, introduces the lineage of David, Israel’s second king (though they are unaware of the importance of Obed’s birth in the overarching story). Often the events of our lives resemble puzzle pieces where only the Master sees the big picture. God works from one generation to the next. His provision always precedes man’s need. 
  • The growing and constant conflict with the Philistines overwhelms the Israelites, which causes them to mourn and cry out to the LORD. God uses conflict to compel Israel to cry out to Him. God uses conflict to get the attention of His people today and to redirect them.
  • Samuel is old, and his sons “did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice” (1 Samuel 8:3). The nation of Israel uses the failures of the priesthood to demand change. Though people may disappoint and fail, God never fails. The failure of others may impact our lives, but they do not prevent God’s sovereign rule.
  • The birth of Samuel to a polygamist Ephraimite man transitions Israel from the priestly voice to the prophetic voice. God works within broken families and sinful culture to accomplish His redemptive purposes.
  • The elders of Israel come to Samuel and demand a king like those of other nations. God uses both the failure of leaders and the demands of people to further His purposes.
  • Samuel takes the elders’ request to the LORD, and the LORD acknowledges Israel’s defection, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them” (8:7). God directs Samuel to warn Israel how having a king will change every area of their life. Israel refuses to listen to Samuel, and the LORD tells Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king” (8:22). Prayer enables God’s people to see God’s agenda.

God works from one generation to the next. Always on time. Usually below the radar. Never caught off guard. Like shoelaces running through the eyelet of a shoe, people and events in every generation overlap as God tightens them to work out the course of human history.
You can be sure in any difficulty, conflict, or transition that you face, that God’s provision precedes your need; that God uses your transitions of life in wonderfully redemptive ways that only eternity will reveal; and that you’ll experience His intimacy in ways that would not have been possible without those interruptions or transitions.

Questions from today’s reading (Ruth 4:13-22; 1 Chronicles 2:9-4:23; 1 Samuel 1:1-8):

Review Genesis 49:10. How do the events at the end of Ruth and the beginning of 1 Chronicles and 1 Samuel connect to the promise regarding Judah? What does this reveal about God’s activity?