Comfort & Comment
IS THERE a God? Not merely a superhuman force, but a knowing person? Not merely a god in a society of gods, but a single, sovereign Being? A Being whose power insures his promises? A God who saves?
Isa. 45:5, 7, 9, 21. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me … I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these things … Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker … There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
In time of war when the innocent suffer by aggression, when ruthless rulers suppress the Church of Christ, and when the vilest men are exalted, can God control the world? Perhaps in an abstract sense he can, but does he?
I Chron. 29:10-12. Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thing; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
But certainly God’s plans have been frustrated. To be sure, we cannot trust in man and we will not trust in Satan; but how can we fully trust in God if he has let the world get out of control?
Psalm 115:3. But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Psalm 135:6. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in the earth. Isa 46:9, 10. I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning … saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
But God cannot do absolutely all his pleasure. The designs of wicked men frustrate him. God may make the best of a bad situation, he may overrule and repair the damage, but he cannot control the actions, and he certainly cannot control the thoughts of his enemies, for is not the person of man inviolable?
II Sam. 17:14. And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Abithophel. For the Lord had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the Lord might bring evil upon Absalom.
But can God actually control the thoughts of his enemies? Is not man’s wlll free and independent of God?
II Chron. 10:15. So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God, that the
Lord might perform his word, which he spake by the hand of Ahijah.
Ex. 34:23-24. Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge they borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord they God thrice in the year.
And does God still control? May we still hope in his promises? Or has he changed, and does he no longer care?
Job. 42:2. I know that thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of thine can be restrained. R.V. Psalm 37:1. Fret not thyself because of evildoers. Psalm 46:1-2. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear.
Psalm 47:6-8. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.