Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The DEEP

When Something Doesn't Make Sense

Look for the hand of God.

Amos 4:6–8

“Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
And lack of bread in all your places;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”
Says the LORD.

“I also withheld rain from you,
When there were still three months to the harvest.

I made it rain on one city,
I withheld rain from another city.
One part was rained upon,
And where it did not rain the part withered.
So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water,
But they were not satisfied;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”
Says the LORD.

This was supposed to get their attention. The LORD brought famine in all your places. The cleanness of teeth is a reference to not eating.

More importantly, He brought a strange pattern of rain that makes no sense. Rainstorms can be localized. That’s normal. What’s not normal is for the rain to fall in the same spot all the time, so that one city will be in drought while there’s plenty of water just next door.

The drought in one city, while a neighboring city had rain, was so that two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water. Imagine the conversations these people would have had. Surely, they wondered why this is happening. The hand of God is unmistakable.

Yet nothing came of it. “Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the LORD. They couldn’t see His hand in front of their face.

They didn’t want to.


And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. — Romans 8:28

We often miss the complexities here. We think this means, “for [comfort] to those who love God.

Thus, we think that Romans 8:28 can’t be referring to something like an annoying, impossible rain pattern. That’s anything but good right?

But God’s higher ways and higher purposes include trials. Sometimes, they are to grow us. Other times they are just to get our attention. They always work together for good to those who love God.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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