The many passages of Scripture that include the phrase “but God” warrant another look. Part 1 looked at the example of Noah, Part 2 looked at the verbs/actions God took, and today, in Part 3, I’m looking at part of Peter’s first sermon in Jerusalem.
Starting with verse Acts2:22, Peter identifies his audience and sets up the message God wanted the people to get:
People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know (NLT).
Following that Peter explains further what God knew would happen. In Acts 2:23 (NLT) Peter says,
But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him.
The people of Israel, especially the leaders, didn’t treat Jesus as God’s anointed One. They totally disregarded His miracles and the signs (as they were described through Isaiah the prophet in Isaiah 35:5-6). Peter tells them that God knew this would happen. God knew the hearts of His people. He knew what would happen.
Guess what?! He still knows what will happen. In fact, He knew, He knows, and He has always known what will happen in the future. My confusion does not mean God is confused. I do not understand and know everything that has happened in the past. I don’t understand what is happening in the present. I don’t know what is going to happen later today, and certainly not by the end of 2020 or 2120. I don’t know why the things of the past, present or future happen. But God does.
God knows everything about me, from my physical illnesses (my diabetes), to my past traumas, to the current world situations (Covid and the effects on our plans), to my mental illness, to everyday life and world events. When I remember to remember (or am reminded by a trusted friend of) those truths, there’s a glimmer of hope in my life.
I would like to say that reading Acts 2:22-23 gives me a lasting calm and peace, but it doesn’t. Momentary peace, yes. Sometimes peace that lasts most of a day. Rarely am I assured of peace for a whole week at a time. I plan on memorizing the first part of verse 23 to give the Holy Spirit a tool to help me recall that only God knows what’s going on and that it’s all a part of His plan.