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  • Writer's pictureElpidio Pezzella

No Divine Purpose can be Withheld

I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.

Job 42:2 NKJV

The New Year has arrived a few days ago, accompanied by the usual trail of greetings and various greetings. Many believers use to dedicate verses and enrich a card with a biblical quote. I hope you too have received your fix. If so, there will have been no shortage of these verses to remind us who is the One who can give us better days and what can make them unique. Among the most recurring is this one:  “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26). This is the prayer entrusted to Moses and transferred to the priests for the whole people, the so-called "Aaronic blessing," anything but a propitiatory formula. The most solemn moments of Jewish communal life, even today, end with it. It remains firm that the blessing proceeds from God, the only one able to bestow it, and that we can only declare and invoke it. Specifically, several expressions help us define its horizons: to keep, to feel the shining face of God upon us, to receive God's grace, to have peace. The central concept of this formula is precisely peace (shalom), a term that expresses not only the prosperity of a time when there are no wars, but the perfect harmony that comes from the fulfillment of the LORD's will. And shalom is urgently needed by the whole world, including Israel.

To Him my gaze turns confidently, using the verse taken from Job and addressed to me in this recent period, "I acknowledge that you can do all things, and that no design of yours can be thwarted." With our efforts, though immense, we do not always succeed in achieving our goals, having to deal with external realities and sometimes even measuring ourselves against spiritual opposition and resistance. Job is certain that no divine plan can be prevented. Therefore, our endeavor should be to move within His designs, to place our will in His, for "He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens" (Revelation 3:7). I find the last verse I received at the close of the festivities more than fitting: "Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him" (Genesis 26:12). The patriarch was intent on leaving the land because of the famine, but he was restrained by the LORD who had a different plan. Famine is synonymous with a temporary difficulty, before which the most common reaction is immobility. When faced with the problem, most of us stand still. Genesis, on the other hand, reminds us how the patriarchs in the face of a famine set out. Isaac wanted to do the same before he was stuck and urged to stay in Gherar. This is the time to recognize that He can do anything and act in full confidence.

If Job must restrain his tongue lest he sin, Isaac will not restrain his hands. His stay in the Philistine country is active: he "sowed." Although he finds himself in the midst of a hostile people, watched and controlled, even opposed and threatened, God's plan cannot be prevented. And he who sows does so with the certainty of reaping a fruit, regardless of time and without distinguishing between day and evening, for every moment is a good one. Indeed, Ecclesiastes will advise, "Sow your seed in the morning, and in the evening do not give rest to your hand, for you do not know which of the two will succeed better: whether this or that, or whether both will be good" (11:6). Isaac's sowing had something extraordinary about it; it followed a precise divine order. He kept to the directions, and the LORD blessed him, causing him to reap a hundredfold. And this is what I wish to aim for in the days to come, and the same I hope you can do in perfect harmony with God, the only true creator of the blessing and multiplication of what little we will have the strength and courage to sow. Only a seed of faith and His grace have enabled us to come this far, blessing the name of the Lord and continuing to invoke His help. May the Bible verses and these short meditations be a valuable dispensation for dealing with any possible kind of famine.


Weekly Bible Reading Plan # 02

January 08, Genesis 20-22; Matthew 6:19-34

January 09, Genesis 23-24; Matthew 7

January 10, Genesis 25-26; Matthew 8:1-17

January 11, Genesis 27-28; Matthew 8:18-34

January 12, Genesis 29-30; Matthew 9:1-17

January 13, Genesis 31-32; Matthew 9:18-34

January 14 Genesis 33-35; Matthew 10:1-20

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