God moves people. We usually think of Him moving people on the inside. He surely does. His Word pierces deep into our soul (Heb. 4:12; Acts 2:37). But the Lord moves men on the outside as well—literally.
Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave and he was taken to Egypt. But God’s hand was involved. Years later Joseph told his brothers, “So now it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Gen. 45:8). God had a purpose for this tragic separation. By sending Joseph to Egypt the Lord saved the small nation of Israel from famine.
When the Hebrew nation later grew into a strong people, the Lord led them to the promised land. The first Canaanite they encountered was Rahab the harlot. She had heard of the great miracles God had done in Israel (Josh. 2:9-11). She saved her life and the life of her family by welcoming the Israelite spies by her faith. The New Testament commends her twice—once for her faith and once for her works (Heb. 11:31; James 2:25). This happened because God took the Hebrew people from one home and moved them to another.
Though they themselves did not realize it, the Babylonians were used by God to punish Judah. In this way Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean king was the “servant” of God (Jer. 25:9). Daniel was one of many who were taken by the Babylonian army to Babylon. There he interpreted the dreams and visions of kings. What would the Bible be without the book of Daniel? Yet he did not go to this strange land on his own. He, like other deported Jews, had no plan or desire to go to Babylon. But the Lord had a plan for him and many others—the Chaldeans, the Persians, the Jews, and the millions who have read this book over the centuries.
The Lord puts people together at the right place and at the right time for purposes all His own. Only after much reflection can we see a glimmer of how different people and events connect to bring about great good. Sometimes this takes years.
We are living in a time of great change. One of these changes is a shift in the population. People are moving from one state to another, sometimes in large numbers and quite rapidly. Who knows whether the providence of God is behind this transition? That is what Mordecai asked in Esther 4:14. We do not know the hidden ways of God, but we do know that He is not just watching and waiting to see what will happen on earth. His mighty hand and His all-seeing eye are continually at work in it. Whatever God is doing behind the scenes, it is for good in our lifetime and beyond.
One wonderful fact is certain, however. A shifting society means challenges but it also presents opportunities, especially open doors to teach the gospel. While the world is in an uproar because of all the changes that are taking place, we see the possibility of saving souls.
Here is an interesting note. As I was writing this article, a couple unexpectedly came to me with questions about learning more about the Bible. They are from China!