The God of Broken Pieces - Truth For Life - March 28
Truth For Life Daily, with Alistair Begg
The angel of the Lord also said to [Hagar], “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude” … And God said to [Abram], “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.”
Have you ever watched children play with a Lego set, building a little house or spacecraft but completely ignoring the plans for its construction? Eventually, with pieces strewn across the floor, they end up with a monstrosity—pieces every which way, doors that open to nowhere—and they come to you, bemoaning the fact that it just doesn’t look right. And so you take the child, the pieces, and the mess, you sit down together, and you say, “Let’s take the plans and this brokenness, and let’s do it right this time.”
When Abraham and Sarah grew weary and restless as they waited for God to fulfill His promise of an heir, they took matters into their own hands. Trying to piece together life on their own, they agreed that Abraham would sleep with Hagar, Sarah’s servant, in order to have a child (Genesis 16:1-4). Their decision sowed discord, chaos, contempt, and unhappiness: after Hagar “saw that she had conceived” (v 4), she became proud and “looked with contempt on her mistress.” Sarah then blamed Abraham for her misfortune, and he responded by wiping his hands clean of the whole mess: “Your servant is in your power; do to her as you please” (v 6). Their lives had become a disheveled mess.
But God overruled their wrong decisions and intervened with mercy and grace. First, an angel of the Lord met Hagar in her need, assured her of God’s presence, and told her God’s promise: “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” Likewise, Abraham and Sarah’s blunder couldn’t derail God’s covenant purposes and steadfast love. God promised that Sarah would bear a son, whom they were to call Isaac, and promised Abraham, “I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant” (Genesis 17:19).
In many ways, God treats us similarly. Like a parent with a dismayed child, He comes and picks up the scattered parts of our lives. He comes to us in our brokenness, with the scraps of our self-effort strewn around us and His plans tucked somewhere off to the side, and He replaces the pieces, points us back to His plans, and restores us to the right path.
How many times has God overruled your blundering? How many times has God come to you in your error and rebellion, in your emptiness and brokenness, and brought about, to His glory, events that are unimaginable? Praise God today for His steadfast love and faithfulness. The words of Moses to Joshua still ring true today: “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
As a thank-you from us for your gift, we'll send along this month's resource: How Christianity Transformed the World by Sharon James
Click here to learn more about Truth For Life
Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.