Man thinks he is in control, but is he?
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Humans (and governments composed of humans) have free will, or else they could not be held accountable for their actions. However, in my view, God is "in control" in the sense that, regardless of whatever decisions or actions those humans or governments may devise or carry out, God (in His omniscience and omnipotence) has unlimited ways or alternative means by which He can still accomplish His ultimate will. This is indicated in passages such as Isaiah 46:9-11, Job 23:13, Daniel 4:35, and Ephesians 1:11.
God created the heavens and earth, including all life that exists on this planet (Genesis 1). God brought every human being into existence (Genesis 2). He knew us before we were formed in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). He knows the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30). Every day ordained for our lives has been written in his book before a single day has come to pass and he knows the exact moment that each of us will die (Psalm 139:16). We also know that God has the capacity to control because of three incredible attributes of his character. God is All-Powerful, All-Knowing and Present Everywhere. All-Powerful The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress. Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for you. This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, the maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself. All-Knowing I made known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say "My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please." From the east I summon a bird of prey, from a far-off land a man to fulfil my purpose.What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Present Everywhere "Who can hide in secret places so I cannot see them", declares the Lord. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the Lord. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens you are there; if I make my bed in the depths you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. The most vivid example of God being in control in the Old Testament is recorded in Daniel chapters 1 to 4. King Nebuchadnezzar ruled the Babylonian kingdom, which was the most powerful nation on earth at the time. The historical record in this book shows how God directs the King through his servant Daniel and his three Jewish friends. The most vivid example of God's control over governmental affairs is the explosive growth of the Christian church. The Jewish leaders thought they had quashed the rebellion led by Jesus with his crucifixion, but his resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit led the apostles to spread the gospel throughout the Roman Empire. Despite persecution and martyrdom, God enabled these early Christians to reach the whole Empire. Once Emperor Constantine became a Christian, most people would consider themselves Christian, and the Roman Government reflected the Judeo-Christian values espoused in the bible. So what is God's will and purpose for human life in our world today? In my view, God's activity is driven by the following biblical principles: 1. God is not willing that any should perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2. Thy kingdom come - God wants his rule and reign to be present through Christians in every facet of human society, including government 3. Thy will be done - God wants his kingdom to advance upon the earth to reclaim what was lost by our fall into sin 4. The kingdom of God is represented by the four pillars of his throne - justice, righteousness, love and faithfulness (Psalm 89:14), while the kingdom of Satan is represented by - evil, wickedness, corruption and decay. The battle is waged every day between good and evil until Jesus comes again to complete the victory. God rewards the good and punishes the evil. 5. Jesus will come again to complete the victory and God will then judge all evil & wickedness with perfect justice and eternal punishment in hell.
It is easy to say that God is in control and then do nothing in the face of evil whether by governments or persons. As Edmund Burke once said words to the effect that "Evil persists when good men do nothing." If people had protested against the rise in the Nazi led government in the 1930s then maybe the holocaust may never would have eventuated. If the church made a stand against abortion in the 1950s-1960s then maybe tens of millions of babies would have had a life. The church needs to pray fervently to God against unfair laws but also make a stand against these laws and for what they believe is in line with God's word.
The verses I value as important enough even to memorize are Psalm 22:28; 62:11; 115:3; Proverbs 21:1; Daniel 2:21; and Matthew 28:18 as far as God being in control. God may allow us to be governed by wicked rulers, but their hearts are ultimately in His hand. This can be clearly seen in the reign of king Manasseh over Judah. After years of sinful rebellion, Manasseh "implored the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers....Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God" (2 Chron. 33:12-13). Don't doubt God's power to save even the most ungodly leaders. - SMF The most interesting to me of the 6 verses I cited above is Proverbs 21:2. ◄ Proverbs 21:1 ► The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. “Rivers” mean irrigating channels (Ps 1:3), whose course was easily turned (compare De 11:10). God disposes even kings as He pleases (Pr 16:9; Ps 33:15). So says JFB. Proverbs 21: also mentions “in the hand of Yahweh.” Even though kings hold great power (Prov 14:28; 16:15; 20:2), they are ultimately under the jurisdiction of God’s power over the entire earth. --Faithlife Study Bible (Pr 21:1) See also Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:31-32, 35—Mr. Maas mentioned Da 4:35, and Grant Abbott hinted at it; so did Jennifer Rothnie in her comment to Tim Maas) and Cyrus (Isa 45:1-7; Ezr 6:22; Ro 13:1-6). --NIVSB Right now in the USA turbulence and transition are occurring. Some may see this as wickedness being in control. I tend to agree. Why would a God (who is supposed to be in control) allow this? To increase our trust in a good, all-wise, sufficient, sovereign and even loving Father.
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