Now I Know

What the Gospel Teaches Us through Jethro (Exodus 18)

In Ex 18:7-11, when Jethro brought Zipporah, Gershom, and Eliezer to Moses in the wilderness, after Israel had defeated Amalek, Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Upon hearing this great testimony of the Lord, Jethro blessed the Lord and said, “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly He was above them.” He didn’t know that the Lord was the greatest until he heard the testimony. But then he proclaimed, “Now I know.”

Naaman said the same thing after he had been healed of his leprosy. He returned to Elisha and said, “Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel,” 2 Ki 5:15. However, there was evidence that God had been working in Naaman’s life long before Naaman finally realized how great God really is.

The Lord had blessed Naaman, “because by him the Lord had given deliverance to Syria,” 2 Ki 5:1. But, evidently, Naaman didn’t know that God had been helping him in those victories. God also blessed Naaman with the little maid, 2 Ki 5:2. She’s the one God used to let Naaman know that Elisha could heal him. God also blessed Naaman when Elisha intervened and sent the king word to “let him come now to me,” 2 Ki 5:8. And God blessed the servants’ counsel in 2 Ki 5:13, to keep Naaman from leaving in a huff. Finally, after he was healed, Naaman proclaimed, “Now I know.” Now I get it. There is no God like the one in Israel. He’s the One who did this.

God had been working in Naaman’s life for quite a while, but Naaman didn’t know it until God did a really big thing in his life and healed him of his leprosy. Naaman missed all the “little” details of God’s providential care in his life. That’s the way it is with us sometimes. God’s been doing all kinds of things to care for us and yet we don’t seem to notice until He does some big thing.

In 1 Ki 17:9, God commanded a widow woman to take care of Elijah. God was working in her life. In 1 Ki 17:13-16, every day during the drought, God was providing meal and oil for her. Then her son died, 1 Ki 17:17. When Elijah prayed for the child, God revived the soul of her son, 1 Ki 17:22. But it wasn’t until 1 Ki 17:24 that the woman finally said, “Now I know.” “Thou art a man of God and the Word of God in thy mouth is truth.” Really?? In 1 Ki 17:14, Elijah said, “thus said the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail…” The widow saw daily evidence that “the Word of God in thy mouth is truth.” She seems to have missed all the miraculous “ordinary” things God was doing daily in her life. She didn’t “get it” until God performed a really big miracle and raised her son.

This same problem was also true in the disciples’ lives. In 16:30 the disciples said, “Now we are sure… we believe that thou came forth from God.” God had been working miraculously in their lives for over three years. They had seen the Lord calm storms, cleanse lepers, heal the maimed, cause the lame to walk, raise the dead, and even raise Lazarus from the dead after he had been in the grave four days. It’s as if all these miracles had become sort of commonplace in their lives. And then finally they could say, “Now we are sure.”

Conclusion: Here’s the deal. God has been working in every detail of your life. He has been taking care of many “little” details like He had been doing in Naaman’s life and the widow’s life and the lives of the disciples. You don’t have to wait until God raises you from the dead or does some really great miracle in your life to then say, “Now I know.” You should know now by all the “common” things God has been doing in your life, every single day, that He is God. Look for what God’s doing in your life now and know now that He is God.

 

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