Yesterday, I posted "No But's." While there are no but's to God's truth, there is a time when but becomes a word of hope. it is when it is coupled with God. "But God . . . ."
The story that sticks out to me the most is the one of Jonah. It's nice and short, so you could easily give it a quick read. (Hint, hint.) Short version: God called Jonah to go and preach to the the city of Nineveh. Jonah turns and runs the other way. But God sends a storm to wreck havoc on the ship that Jonah is on. The sailors throw Jonah overboard to appease God. I'm sure Jonah thought he was going to die. But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah was in the fish for 3 days. (Yuck!). When the fish spits him onto the shore, Jonah finally goes to preach to Nineveh. However, when the people repent, Jonah is even more angry. He stalks off into the desert. God makes a vine grow up to give him shade. However, the next day, it is eaten by a worm. Jonah is so angry he wants to die. But the Lord replied, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"
"But God" juxtaposes the difference between man and God. In Jonah it shows Jonah's shallow concerns and God's compassion on 120,000 people.
In other places it shows God's provision:
- Genesis 45:7 "But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth . . . ."
- Genesis 48:21 "I am about to die, but Godwill be with you."
- Psalm 118:13 I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me."
- Acts 2:24 in regards to Jesus "But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."
- Acts 7:5 "He gave him no inheritance here, not even a foot of ground. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at the time Abraham had no child."
- 2 Samuel 14:14 "Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him."
- 2 Kings 13:23 "But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them . . . ."
- Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
- 2 Cornithians 7: 6 "But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus . . . .
- Psalm 64:7 "But God will shoot them with arrows; suddenly they will be struck down."
- Psalm 14:6 "You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge."
- Exodus 9:4 "But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die."
- Numbers 14:9 "Only do not rebel against the Lord and do not be afraid f the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us."
- Pslam 66:19 "but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer."
- 1Kings 19:11-12 Elijah is told to go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord. There is wind, fire, and earthquake. "but the Lord was not in the wind . . . . but the Lord was not in the earthquake . . . . but the Lord was not in the fire." Elijah recognizes the Lord in the gentle whisper.
"But God" -- words of hope.