In Tents Again
Marybeth Whalen

"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt; I will make you live in tents again, as in the days of your appointed feasts." Hosea 12:9 (NIV)

Many times in the Bible we read about God giving us direction, pushing us forward and providing us with a future. But have you ever felt like He has taken you backwards instead? Have you ever wondered why?

In today's verse we read about Him telling the Israelites that they were going to take a few steps backwards. They had gotten out of Egypt, moved on with their lives, stepped towards a future, but forgot their God in the process. He determined that the best thing He could do was to take them back to the days they lived in tents, back to the time they celebrated feasts and remembered His goodness. A time, the Bible notes, they were filled with indescribable joy in spite of their surroundings.

God has had to take me back many times, I am sad to say. I get in forward motion, so focused on what lies ahead, that I forget what He has done for me in the past. Living in fast forward gives me little time to rewind, to replay what He has done on my behalf, to rejoice over His sovereignty. Sometimes He has to take me back—not because He is punishing me, but because He knows how spiritually forgetful I can be. He simplifies my life for me, weeding out the distractions so I can refocus on Him. He puts me in "tents" again so I can remember where I started.

Maybe today you are feeling like you are in "tents" again financially or professionally. Maybe your marriage seems to be in "tents" again. Maybe you are going through something with a child that feels reversed when what you really want is to move ahead. Let God take you back, and trust that forward motion doesn't always mean growth.

Sometimes going backwards is what He knows is best for you. Trust the direction He is taking you. Settle into those "tents" and look for Him to dwell among you as He did with the Israelites. Instead of grumbling and complaining about where He has you, choose to feel His nearness and soak in His love. Sometimes He puts us in "tents" again because there is something He once taught us that we need to relearn. What might that be for you?

Dear Lord, I don't like going backwards. I want to move ahead but I know that isn't always what's best for me. I trust the direction You are taking me, even if it means going back. I want to draw closer to You and I trust Your guidance. Please reveal Yourself to me in "tents" again. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

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Becoming A Woman of Influence (CD) by Marybeth Whalen

Come Along: The Journey into a More Intimate Faith by Jane Rubietta

Application Steps:
Think of a time when God took you backwards. What did you learn from that time? Did you draw closer to God? Journal about that experience and write down today's verse.

Reflections:
Do you accept when God takes you backwards? Do you seek to learn whatever it is He is trying to teach you or do you rebel against where He has you?

Power Verses:
Nehemiah 8:17, "The whole company that had returned from exile built booths and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated like this. And their joy was very great." (NIV)

Exodus 29:46, "They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God." (NIV)

© 2010 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

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12 Comments:

Blogger KARUNIA said...

Yes.. That's right we don't know what's going a head. Stay in His way is very difficult because we still use our human mind. Praise God.. He never leads us alone even we feel no body stay with us. He Promises is true and will come at the right time as our comfort.
Thanks for share :-)

Blogger mommyof2 said...

Thank you once again for this devotion. I came across one of your devotions last week when I was going to a new doctor etc. You may not remember this but I certainly do and your kind words and others who commented helped me greatly. In about one hour I will be leaving for another appt. hours away from home and having another test. It's amazing that HE led me to your devotion on another day that I am going through something where it's hard & everything seems so uncertain and I definitely don't feel as if I am going foward. I don't know if this could be called a "tents" experience but it is certainly something where I need to trust HIM and believe that HE knows what HE is doing, just like you said in the devo.

Thank you again for bringing me to HIM in prayer as I travel this tough road. Also, thanks for your prayers and those others who prayed for me last week Tuesday, those prayers helped me immensely!

Blessings to you this day!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praising and thanking you, Lord, for helping mommyof2. Please continue to give her the grace, strength and peace that she needs today. Give her doctor the wisdom that he needs. In Jesus holy Name we pray. Amen

Anonymous Jolene said...

Just what I needed to hear this morning. Going through a "tent experience" with my daughter and some recurring health issues. It drove me to my knees in prayer last night and God answered with some relief. Thank you Father!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear God,
Thank you that you always know what is best for me. Help me to walk in your best. To seek it out fervently and to think on the things that bring you glory. I want to honor you with my life and I know recently I haven't been doing what you want me to do. Give me the strength to walk in your goodness.
amen

Blogger Familyof6inTX said...

As a current tent dweller (with my mother in law no less) thank you for the reminder that God does have a purpose for my situation. I have learned a lot about myself and what I really value through this situation, but I am ready to move out of my tent.

Thank you so much for this devotion this morning. I am on a "wildnerness journey" right now and even though I don't like some of the things I have to go through, I know there is purpose in the pain and that He will bring me through everything I go through...good or bad!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mommyof2 you are in my prayers. God is truly with you. You are a great example of faith and I admire that and pray that God will be with you every step of the way.

Blogger Kelsie said...

Thanks for this devotion. I've been on a healing journey with my chronic migraines. I've recently seen some improvement, and I got super excited. But this week I started feeling back-to-"normal". Today is the worst, and I feel like we've made little progress. It's hard, and I admit I'm a bit discouraged. I know I need to trust God that this is for my good. Reading this today helps. Lord, teach me what I need to learn through this. Give me the grace to praise You through the tough times. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really hit home for me. But I am greatful that God has my best interest at heart.Reflection, & growth. It was encouraging & refreshing. Thanks for wisdom shared.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! God's timing once again through you in amazing. This is exactly what I needed today. I believe it is not only true for me but for our country. This not only gave me focus but reassurance that I am where I am because God wants my attention on Him. It also gives me peace that He is in control.

Anonymous Brooke Espinoza said...

Thanks for sharing! We don't always understand why God leads us somewhere, but what I've found true in my own life is when I trust God I will experience the blessings I otherwise would have not experienced by doubting the Lord to provide--taking matters into my own hands.

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