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In his book, “The Clock of the Sevenfold Will of God”, our late founding pastor, Rev Dr Timothy Tow listed the seven aspects of God’s will as follows:

1) Directive
2) Cooperative
3) Punitive
4) Preceptive
5) Permissive
6) Desiderative
7) Decretive

In order to help us understand how God’s will operates in our lives, the author used a graphic presentation in the figure of a clock. As in any clock, the moving hands tell us the time. He added: “The moving hands over the face of a clock are sustained by the power inside the mechanism of the clock.” A layman will find it hard to understand the complex workings of the clock’s mechanism, but the one who makes the clock knows all about its intricate parts and functions.

 

Similarly, as finite beings, we may not understand God’s providence behind the events that He has allowed, but it comforts us to know that He rules sovereign, even in life’s adversities.

The writer asked: “What ‘time’ is it on the clock of God’s will for your life? If we study it clockwise we will not only see how easily God’s will can be known, but also have a clearer perception of His higher will, His eternal decrees before the foundation of the world.”

Let us consider the seven aspects of God’s will, as listed in the book:

1. Directive
God’s revelation of His will is progressive. “Before the Bible was written, God came to man in theophanies, appearing as a Man to man. Abraham entertained three heavenly visitors and in the midst was the Lord Who confided to Abraham what He was about to do to Sodom (Gen. 18)” (The Clock of the Sevenfold Will of God).

In Genesis Chapter 12, God appeared to Abraham and directed him: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee” (v 1). We are not told how God spoke to Abraham – it could be through a dream, a vision, angels, or an audible voice. But we are told that the patriarch obeyed God’s will without hesitation: “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went” (Heb. 11: 8). Genesis 15: 6 tells us that Abraham “believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness”.

Rev Tow commented: “For his quick obedience to do God’s will Abraham received the honour of being called the ‘Friend of God’ (II Chron. 20: 7; Isa. 41: 8; Jas. 2: 23)” (ibid).

In another account of God’s call, He spoke to Moses while the latter was tending sheep on Mount Horeb: “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed” (Ex. 3: 2).

Having “seen the affliction” and having heard “the cry of the children of Israel”, God gave His servant a mission to deliver them from their Egyptian “taskmasters”. Moses was commissioned to go to “Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt” (Ex. 3: 7, 9-10).

Foreseeing the many obstacles he might face, the fearful patriarch gave his excuses, but God overcame all his objections (Ex. 3: 11 – 4: 17). Despite his initial reluctance, Moses obeyed God’s call: “And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand” (Ex. 4: 20).

In heeding God’s will, Moses was mightily used of the Lord, not only in the deliverance of God’s people from Egyptian bondage, but also in their forty-year wilderness wanderings.

Conclusion

Before the Bible was written, the Lord spoke to His people through dreams, visions, angels or even an audible voice to direct them to do His will.

In our present day and age, does God reveal His will to us in the same manner as He did of old? No. Today, God speaks to us through His written Word which is perfect, infallible and inerrant. We do not need dreams, visions or voices.

As we seek God’s will for our lives, let us look to God’s Word to guide us in our daily walk. May God’s Word be “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119: 105).
(… to be continued)

– Pastor