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“Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel… I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD”. (Genesis 49:16-18)
Right in the act of prophesying Jacob exclaimed “I trust in you for salvation, Oh Lord” (NLT). Why would he do that? He just told Dan that his tribe would judge other tribes of Israel and that the strength of his leadership can only be maximized when there is an absolute trust in God. Dan’s leadership would defy all human augury if his trust was absolute in God and not in his natural ability. This would form a better mental picture whenever we come across Psalm 127:1
“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
People who are strong, attractive and talented often find it easier to trust in themselves than to trust in God. They look at themselves with all the good qualities they possess and they feel they are just good enough and eligible enough for the task ahead of them and they feel their strength and attractiveness would make way for them. But here is a profound statement; the labourers maybe skilful in what they do, the scriptures promises that a skilful labourer will stand before kings but in the guise of skilfulness we must always have at the back of our mind that if the Lord doesn’t build, the builder though he may seem to be building does so in vain.
Take a look at the story of the tower of Babel. Theologians may argue on many issues here but one thing is still so true… if the Lord doesn’t build tower of Babel, the builders does so in vain. Look at what they said before the commencement of the Babel-project
“Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4
You see that? They had a dream of reaching the skies with their project but they had trust in themselves rather than in God. They had a wonderful idea but because they had no trust in God, they were not willing to fulfil God’s mandate of “subdue the earth” and they never even thought it important trusting in God… They only wanted to make name for themselves. But because the Lord has not opened doors of success for them, they saw themselves qualified and skilful enough to do that and they never realised that a single lack of trust in God can mean a lot of damage to their vision. And yes, God actually did show them that He is still in charge.
“So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.” (Genesis 11:8)
There is another story that Jesus told us where the subject matter is illustrated. A rich came up one day looking at all his riches and looked on himself as one who has made it all possible for himself. He said
“And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” (Luke 12:19)
There was not a single place where the rich man acknowledged God; he must have been an atheist! No wonder God called him a “fool” because it is the fools who say in their heart that there is no God (Psalm 14:1). The rich fool had plans of making merry but that night the unusual happened. God said to him
“Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” (Luke 12:20)
To understand the context of that passage we may have to read what Jesus said before telling the story
“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (Luke 12:15)
You see that! God wants us to trust Him absolutely! He is not a wicked God who strikes us because we don’t believe in Him. Rather, when we don’t believe in Him we are restricting Him of being in control and we are giving the devil chances of destroying us. Remember, if the Lord doesn’t endorse what we do, we do it in vain! I believe the voice of Jacob will keep resounding in our heads as we go about our various businesses! I believe we will keep hearing the urgent exclamation that Jacob made “I trust in you for salvation, Oh Lord”.
As you go about your various activities today, I urge you to believe in God’s ability to guide you and make ways for you! Doing without God is a dangerous affair! Remain blessed as always.
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