"God Knows the Big Picture"

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By: Marybeth Whalen
Proverbs 31 Speaker

Exodus 29:46, “They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.” (NIV)

I’d been reading in Exodus when the Israelites were leaving Egypt and God told them to ask for gold and valuables from their neighbors. He said, “Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold” (Exodus 11:2). Now, for the Israelites, this was probably very strange. First of all, how awkward for them as slaves to approach their masters and ask them for, not just a handout, but a valuable handout! They had to have been questioning what God was asking them to do. Secondly, they probably were wondering why in the world God would have them tote all that stuff when they were obviously going on a long journey. Hadn’t God heard the phrase, “Traveling light?”

Then I got to the part when God instructed the Israelites to make the priests’ garments and the tabernacle furnishings. As He carefully listed off what the people should make and how to make it, it was clear that God was thinking ahead when He asked them to take the gold and other valuables from the Egyptians. He knew in advance what He was asking and how it would all turn out. Exodus 12:35-36 says, “The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.” Even though the Israelites couldn’t see the big picture of what they were facing, God could. He had it all under control. He didn’t ask them to do anything He hadn’t already prepared them to do.

This story was a great comfort to me today as I pondered the “Egypts” in my life. I thought of the times when God asked me to trust Him and obey—even when what He was asking sounded crazy. I thought of how He knows the future and provides our needs ahead of time. I thought of how He can soften hearts as He did with the Egyptians and how I can trust every situation to Him. He sees the big picture, when all I see is what is right in front of me. I need to rely on Him when the future looks scary. I need to say “yes” to whatever He asks of me, instead of arguing based on my limited view. I can only have a big picture of life when I see it through His eyes. That truth continues to bring me peace—even in the midst of this crazy, mixed-up world. I hope that it will bring you peace and hope today in whatever you may be facing in life.


Dear Lord, help me to rely on You, and not on what is in front of me. Help me to trust in the outcome simply because I know it is in Your very capable hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

My Life Unscripted: Who’s Writing Your Life?, by Tricia Goyer

Being a Leader: Becoming a Leader by Following Christ, by Shannon Kubiak Primicerio

Think About It:

What does your Egypt look like? Is there something God is asking you to take from there in order that you might be equipped for His purposes?

Live It:

Has God ever asked you to do something that sounded crazy, yet later made perfect sense? Journal about that incident so that you will have it to go back to as a record of His faithfulness in your life.

Power Verses:

I Corinthians 2:9, “However, as it is written: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” (NIV)

Exodus 23:20, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” (NIV)

© 2009 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.


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