The Father’s good hands
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. – Proverbs 16:9
2 Kings 8:1-6
1 Elisha had told the woman whose son he had brought back to life, “Take your family and move to some other place, for the LORD has called for a famine on Israel that will last for seven years.”
2 So the woman did as the man of God instructed. She took her family and settled in the land of the Philistines for seven years.
3 After the famine ended she returned from the land of the Philistines, and she went to see the king about getting back her house and land.
4 As she came in, the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God. The king had just said, “Tell me some stories about the great things Elisha has done.”
5 And Gehazi was telling the king about the time Elisha had brought a boy back to life. At that very moment, the mother of the boy walked in to make her appeal to the king about her house and land. “Look, my lord the king!” Gehazi exclaimed. “Here is the woman now, and this is her son – the very one Elisha brought back to life!”
6 “Is this true?” the king asked her. And she told him the story. So he directed one of his officials to see that everything she had lost was restored to her, including the value of any crops that had been harvested during her absence.
What is a slogan? We have heard them. We probably remember or certainly recognize many of them. A slogan is a short easily remembered phrase, associated with an idea, product, or service. A catchphrase expressing the aims or nature of an enterprise, organization, or candidate; a motto.
The word slogan is derived from a rallying cry, war-cry, or gathering word or phrase of one of the old Highland clans. Slogan is a variant spelling of Scots slogorne – battle cry, from Gaelic sluagh-ghairm derived from sluagh – host + gairm – shout. Some modern-day equivalents might be “Go get them,” “We are the Champions,” or “Remember the Alamo.”
In marketing, great slogans are all about identity and value. They represent the entire mission. They are catchy and timeless watchwords. They represent a promise to customers. However, more than that, it represents your brand’s entire mission. Your slogan tells your client exactly what you do and why you do it.
Slogans are very important in brand building and marketing. The measure of success for a slogan is how well it is recalled. Frequently a slogan takes on a life of its own and becomes part of the common culture: Where’s the beef?
Consider the Allstate Insurance TV commercial. Many of us have heard it a multitude of times. “You’re in good hands with Allstate.”
What is the back story, how was it created? One of Allstate’s sales executives, Davis W. Ellis, based the slogan on a similar phrase his wife had coined. When their child was being taken care of by a doctor, she wanted Ellis to believe their child was in the hands of a good doctor.
When you need help, who wouldn’t want to be in “good hands?” Of course. Allstate marketed its insurance policies around making good use of this fantastic slogan.
God protects His own when they trust Him and abide in His hand.
Psalm 36:7 How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Often the Father uses purposeful delay to get us in the right place at the right time. Our days, even our hours, minutes, and seconds are in the Father’s hands. The Father was at work behind the scenes to take care of the needs of the woman whose son was resurrected through the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 4:18-37). After his miraculous recovery, the woman took him and left the country because of famine.
Years later she returned to petition the king to get the land back that she had abandoned. At precisely that moment the king was conversing with the prophet’s servant Gehazi. Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored” her son, and the woman walked in (2 Kings 8:5). The king verified the facts of the case and consequently, he granted her request, and her lands were returned to her.
REFLECT & PRAY
The Father graciously works to accomplish His will on earth as it is in heaven. He has a calendar of the events in the lives of each child of the King. He has appointments set up for us that we are totally unaware of until the moment we discover them. We are encouraged again and again to trust the Father and recognize that He is the Lord of our moments.
Father thank You that all the days of my life are in Your hands. You are the Potter; I am but the clay.
The Father is always at work in the lives of children of the King. Throughout history, He has been actively involved in the everyday lives of people. In fact, He is orchestrating history. The Father invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
Father is the sovereign ruler of the universe. He has been working throughout history to accomplish His purposes. He does not invite us to set magnificent goals and then pray that He will help us achieve them.
He already has His own agenda when He approaches us. He desires to get us from where we are to where He is working. He leads us from being self-centered to being God-centered. When the Father reveals to you where He is working, that becomes His invitation to join Him in His activity. When God reveals His work to you, that is the time to respond to Him (Blackaby).
The image of planning the way and directing the steps connotes a journey. The surprise comes in discovering that in the realm of planning daily activities, where humans believe they are in control, the Father’s will is most intimately at work. He works through the mental processes of human thought to bring about His desire (Bland).
There is an unseen balance of the interplay between divine activity in directing human initiative, giving God “not only the last word but the soundest.” The heart of a human being plans, strategizes that issues in actions (Waltke).
The LORD arranges (or orders. His step, the course of one’s life. Not a step is taken apart from the Lord’s superintendence. “A man may plan his road to the last detail, but he cannot implement his planning, unless it coincides with Yahweh’s plan for him. He is deluded if he supposes that he has unfettered control and can impose his will on every situation without limitation to make his plan a reality, for it is). As Shakespeare expressed it: ‘There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will’”
“Not a step is taken apart from the LORD’s superintendence. A man may plan his road to the last detail, but he cannot implement his planning, unless it coincides with Yahweh’s plan for him. He is deluded if he supposes that he has unfettered control and can impose his will on every situation without limitation in order to make his plan a reality, for it is). As Shakespeare expressed it: ‘there is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will’” (Waltke).