“…the One Who is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will...”
God is working and moving in complete accordance with His perfect will.
There are times it is easy to accept this truth and be content with it. It is easy to accept this truth when things are going well and good things happen in our lives or in the world around us. “Oh look,” we say, “Isn’t God grand that everything is working out so nicely and beautifully!” “Isn’t God’s timing just perfect? That could not have been resolved as well except for God having his hand in it.”
There are times when it feels impossible to accept this truth. Disaster strikes in our lives or in the world and, suddenly, the Devil’s will seems to be in control. “The Devil is getting the upper hand today with all the terrible things going on.” “Where is God? Why doesn’t He do something? Doesn’t He care? How can God be all-powerful and let things like this go on?”...
I prefer to call the Devil the Adversary because that is truly what he is. He is the Adversary of God. He was created as such since we are told in John 8:44, “He was a mankiller from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, for truth is not in him. Whenever he may be speaking a lie, he is speaking of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
It is quite difficult for me to swallow and accept God’s sovereignty over some of the most terrible things that go on in this world. I become so very angry at the injustices of man upon their fellow man. I am currently reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin and find myself infuriated at the behavior of those who treated their fellow man like they were nothing more than some piece of property only because the color of their skin was different. The abuses and heart breaks I read of the Negroes during that time breaks my heart. It is no different when I read or speak of any such things whether they happened in the past or in the present.
However, I firmly profess and believe in the truth of God’s total sovereignty. God is completely sovereign and in control. If He is not, then He cannot be GOD. If He is not, He may as well just be some “god” among thousands of other false gods. If God is “perfectly on time” in one incident and the Adversary got there ahead of Him in another incident, then He is not God. Yes, there is an Adversary and his agenda is to create havoc and destruction, but that Adversary cannot do anything further than God’s hand will permit him.
I am convinced that a great number of people today have trouble believing in God or trusting in Him because He has been made out to be some namby pamby god that really can’t do much. Through erroneous teachings, He has been portrayed as weak and ineffective and certainly not as One in complete, sovereign control and having His perfect will. It has been taught that “the Devil” and “man’s free will” are stronger than God’s power and will. God’s hands seem to be tied behind His back. Poor God, what will He do? By many teachings of our modern day, people are convinced that in the end “the Devil wins” and God fails. Who wants to believe in or trust a god like that? Not me! That kind of god is no god worth my worship or anyone else’s.
Job knew better. As he suffered the loss of all his property and his children, he said to his wife: “Indeed should we receive good from the One, Elohim, and should we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10) Some Bible translations change the word “evil” to something milder in connotation, like “adversity”. However, the original Hebrew word is “ra” which literally means evil.
Job knew and believed in God’s sovereignty. He knew that, ultimately, God was responsible for the destruction that had befallen him. While God had not done the deeds Himself, the Adversary whom God had created long before had brought them about. In the beginning of Job’s account, we read of the Adversary meeting with God and of their dialogue about Job. It is clear God is aware of all that the Adversary is doing in Job’s life, but for God’s reasons and purposes, that neither Job nor us could fully understand, God’s will is for the Adversary to create chaos in Job’s life.
No, it is not easy to accept that if God really wanted to, or that if it really was part of His perfect will, He could stop a disaster or tragedy. However, we only see such a microscopic part of the picture, and the finished picture is larger than our imaginations can comprehend. What may seem like a senseless tragedy to us is all part of a grander and perfect outcome designed by God. Humanly speaking, horrible things happen every day. But if we look at them in the light of God’s character of unfailing love, His greatness and power, and His ultimately redemption of all things and of everyone, we will see something different.
I believe it’s much worse to be convinced God is weak and ineffective than to trust that He is absolutely sovereign, even over the evil in the world. If He is so weak that He is not sovereign over the good AND the bad, then He is not worth believing in. If He is not ultimately sovereign over the evil, then evil will never be conquered and things will not all be set right in the future. If that is the case, what hope is left?
The Creator of all is sovereign and completely in control of His creation. He is operating everything in accordance with the counsel of His will.
“I am Yahweh, and there is no other. Former of light and Creator of darkness, Maker of good and Creator of evil, I, Yahweh, make all these things.” (Isaiah 45:6-7)
For more reading on God and good and evil, you can read a previous post on this site called “The Knowledge of Good and Evil”.