Monday, February 3, 2014

God in the details

The idiom "the devil is in the details" didn't enter the English phraseology until the late 1960s but it didn't take long for it to become a common expression. This sinister little saying refers to a mysterious element, a catch, hidden from view, tucked beneath the exterior of the bigger picture. The thought behind this phrase is a good one but why must this hidden element be cast in such evil terms? Why does the devil have to be in the details? Couldn't it be God who is in the details?
The funny thing about this little saying is that it didn't start out by referencing the devil. In fact, it actually did start with God in the details. Back in the 1800's a French writer named Gustave Flaubert is credited with coining this phrase: "the good God is in the detail." Now that is an idiom I could embrace. Because isn't it true? Isn't God intimately involved in every facet of our lives? 
The story of Noah is a beautiful picture of God's attention to detail. Before the flood ever arrived God went to Noah and gave him a warning of what was to come. The coming destruction that was upon the human race would take the world by surprise, but not Noah. He was blameless and righteous so God was going to save Him and preserve both man and animal by his obedience. 
After given warning, Noah was given well planned, detailed instructions. In Genesis 6:15-16 God told Noah exactly how big to make the ark. "This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks."Then just a few verses later God told Noah who to bring on board, "You will enter the ark - you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them." (v. 18-21)
The devil was certainly not in the details of Noah's story. God was in the details. He devised the plan for the earth's destruction but, before He brought forth the flood, He secured a way to preserve the upright. He laid out a very particular plan to ensure that man, animal and food were not forever lost. God had the perfect plan for preservation and He gave Noah the blueprint for its implementation. In obedience, Noah followed God's instruction to a T and survived the flood on the ark, just the way God had intended. 
The question seems to ask itself, doesn't it? Is the good God still in the detail? 
Psalm 102:27 tells us, "But you remain the same, and your years will never end." Scripture reassures us that we have the security of the God of Noah. The same God who provided details, instructions and a plan for safety for Noah back in the very first book of the Bible is the same God you and I bow down to and serve today. He has not and will not change. His power can never be diminished. His years have not come to an end. 
God took care of Noah with the ark. Later in Genesis He preserved Joseph even when the young man was sold into slavery and thrown into prison. God did not abandon Joseph. He had every detail in the palm of His hand, preparing Joseph for the appointed time when he would be used to once again preserve mankind. In both the lives of Noah and Joseph God was intimately involved in the paths they walked, yet one got to see the blueprint and the other didn't. It is true that God doesn't always reveal the details to His followers but there is no doubt that He has them written and is bringing them to fruition. 
You may not get a sneak peak at the details of your life but don't despair, they are secured. God has worked out for your good every feature of your life. Eeven the most minute detail is not too small for His all-loving, all-powerful eye to see and care for. In His ultimate goodness, God is revealing the details of your life in perfect order and in His perfect timing. When you surrender your life to Christ and walk in obedience to God there is no sinister devil in the details. No, God Himself is the author and perfecter of the details of your life. 

No comments:

Post a Comment