Daily Devotional

August 10, 2016

God in Control

And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath-jearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the LORD; come ye down, and fetch it up to you. – 1 Samuel 6:21

My father had a small dairy farm in Minnesota. Spring was the busiest time of year because the new calves were born and had to be cared for along with their mothers. Usually the calves were kept with the cows to be nursed naturally for a period of six to eight weeks, and then we taught them to drink from a bucket.

After the weaning, the cows and calves were put in separate pens. Then our barnyard became a very noisy place! At dinnertime, the cows would be bellowing for their babies and the calves would be crying for their mothers. None of them accepted the new arrangement gracefully; it was not a natural situation. We sensed that their instinct to stay together was so strong that if one of them had been freed from its pen, it eventually would have found the other, even if miles had separated them!

In the story that our focus verse comes from, the Philistines had taken the ark of God from the Children of Israel, and for months God punished them for stealing the ark. In an effort to end their punishment, the Philistines hitched a cart to milch kine that had new calves, and the calves were shut up and remained in the city. Then the Philistines loaded the ark of God on the cart, along with a trespass offering for taking the ark in the first place. They sent the cart away and said that if the milch kine went to the Israelites instead of the calves, they would know that the Lord’s hand had been against them. When the milch kine started out on their journey, no man led them, yet they made their way to the Children of Israel because God had so ordained.

God was trying to draw a picture for the Philistines to show them that He was in control. He could cause the milch kine to ignore their natural instincts, because He gave them their natural instincts! What was thought to be impossible became possible with God, and He can do the impossible for us, too. He is in complete control of all things. Do you have an impossible situation that is causing you heartache? Pray for the impossible; God is well able to answer.