A Tiny Clue Reveals the Trends of the Future
"A tiny clue reveals the trends of the future" is a Chinese saying. It means that a wise person can tell how a certain event is going to progress by observing how it begins. The Bible is full of events or promises like that. Jesus Christ In Matthew 6 said these words: "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (v.26, NIV) "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?" (v.28-30)
What Jesus Christ teaches us is that, since God even takes care of the usually unnoticed creatures, He will pay more attention to us—the more valuable creatures. By drawing our attention to God's love for the lesser creatures, Jesus Christ is assuring us that God will provide more abundantly for us. With the similar idea, one of the reasons Abraham's stories was held in such high esteem in Israelite and Christian's minds is because God fulfilled even the tiniest details of His promises to Abraham.
For instance, when God first called Abraham out of his father's house in Genesis 12, He promised that "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."(v.2-3) Everything on this list was fulfilled either in Abraham's lifetime or in the future. God further promised Abraham in chapter 17 that Sarah will bear him a son whom shall be named Issac. Sarah "will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her." (v.16) Again, everything on the list was fulfilled. Genesis 25 tells us that God even honest His promises to Ishmael. (v.12-18) Genesis 25 gives us some new information about Abraham's family which the readers didn't know earlier. He has another wife who bore him six more sons. We don't know a lot about them, but we do recognize some of them. For example, some Ishmaelites or Midianites ("The terms seem to be used interchangeably here and in Jdg. 8:24."1) were involved in the trade that sold Joseph to Egypt in Genesis 37. (v.28, 36) In a smaller scale, Abraham did become the father of many Canaanite nations. "A tiny clue reveals the trends of the future." If God fulfilled His promises in the smaller scale, we could expect that He will fulfill all His blessings to Abraham, that is: "all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12:3) That particular and the greatest blessing was fulfilled through the one offspring of Issac (Genesis 17:19, note that "offspring" is in singular) in Jesus Christ. (Cf. Galatians 3:16) That is why Paul says "that those who have faith are children of Abraham." (Galatians 3:7)
It is the same with us. God doesn't take any of His promises lightly. When Jesus Christ called us to carry out His Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 and promised that He will always be with us "to the very end of the age," He will make it happen. In fact, He has already fulfilled it through the giving of the Holy Spirit to all Christians. "A tiny clue reveals the trends of the future." God has given more promises to His people. Revelation 21 tells us that one day we will be with God in eternity. Based on His track record, we have the confidence in mind that He will fulfill this promise for us.
Share with your devotional partner about a prayer answered by God. Pray for each other that we will constantly recount the blessings in our own lives as well as His faithfulness to Abraham. So we will always remember His grace and love for us even in times of trouble.
1. G.J. Wenham, New Bible Commentary, P.84