21 NOVEMBER 365 Days with Calvin

Glorifying God’s Strange Ways

And when David enquired of the Lord, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. 2 Samuel 5:23

suggested further reading: Judges 7

There was a reason why God commanded David to go behind his enemies and not to attack them directly. For our faith must be proved in various ways, and if David had always conquered his enemies in one way, he would not have been so keenly aware of the help of God.

There was another benefit in David’s recognizing that God could smite his enemies both from the back and from the front. He could punish them one way now, and another way later, thereby cleverly surprising them. When one means fails us, God has more than a million more in his hand to offer us. That is what David recognized.

Likewise, let us carefully recognize that when God uses different methods that we do not understand with our own minds, we must humble ourselves and adore his wisdom. When he is hidden from us and we cannot see the reason why he acts as he does, we must turn everything over to him and accept as good everything that he declares to be his will. This is how the foolishness of God overcomes the wisdom of the world (1 Cor. 1:25).

When we cannot understand why God does something, we show arrogance in our nature when we presume to be his judges and boldly condemn him. Men have tried all sorts of trickery to find ways to contradict God, but they only remain confounded. Well, then, that is the point: God takes care of his people in such strange ways that we cannot understand why he uses various approaches. But when God’s way seems foolish to us, let us learn to receive with deep sobriety and reverence what we know has proceeded from him.

for meditation: God often chooses to accomplish his will in ways we did not expect and may not like. In such situations, however, we see that it is God who is accomplishing his will, not us. He does not need to follow our plans or obey his council; we must follow his. In this way he keeps us humble and dependent on him. Is there an area of your life where you are struggling with this truth today?[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 344). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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