(Friends: While walking the other day, I dropped the cap of my water bottle after taking a sip. My immediate reaction involved the thought, "Wow, I sure don't feel like bending over to pick that up!" However, as I stooped to retrieve the cap, a thought occurred to me: "Is God involved in something like this?" He is, and this series of messages addresses the Bible's teaching regarding our Lord's loving involvement in our lives.)
"The Bottle Cap"
Part 2 - Character First
When considering the matter of God's finely tuned involvement in His creation and in our lives, we begin not with His capability, but with His character. Rather than the wonder of how our Lord can be present and accounted for in all things, we must first consider His nature, disposition, and way. What kind of God is He who "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will?" (Ephesians 3:11).
Love provides the primary Scriptural answer. We know this because the Bible declares, "God is love" (I John 4:8; 16). Moreover, God's first commands to human beings originally created in His image involve love. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30-31). If God made us in His image and our primary responsibility involves love, we must logically conclude that love - as defined by Scripture - constitutes the fundamental characteristic of who and what He is.
The reason such truth must guide our consideration of God's working in all things involves the necessity of never suggesting our Lord to be responsible for sin or evil.
"He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He" (Deuteronomy 32:4).
Our Lord's character always and forever governs His capability. He must act in accordance with His attributes. This provides the fundamental Biblical definition of holiness, namely, our Lord's actions always conform with His being. "Thou art good and doest good" (Psalm 119:68). He is eternally sanctified, as it were, to His perfect nature and character. "The Lord is righteous in all His ways and holy in all His works" (Psalm 145:17). As we address the matter of God's finely tuned, universal working in all things, we therefore determine to interpret this Biblical truth in accordance with he pristine purity of His character, nature, and way . We choose to neither directly or tacitly indict the living and true God with even a hint of responsibility for sin and evil. "As for God His way is perfect… God cannot be tempted with evil… God cannot lie" (II Samuel 22:31; James 1:13; Titus 1:2).
All bets would be off, as it were, if the plainly stated Biblical declarations above were not true. It would be utterly terrifying if God worked all things after the counsel of His own will, but was not "righteous in all His ways and holy in all His works." If He were not guided by the nature of His love (again, love as defined by Scripture), He could not be trusted. This would indeed be the most fearful of realities. If God could act arbitrarily or capriciously, we would likely never have existed, or if we did, would already be perishing in the flames of His judgment fires. Thankfully, such conjecture has no bearing on truth or reality. Those who trust God through the Lord Jesus Christ may therefore joyfully affirm His fine tuning of all things, while also diligently avoiding the assigning of blame to Him for sin, evil, and wrong.
Does this raise numerous questions regarding God's loving involvement in all things? Absolutely! Are there answers to these questions? Absolutely! Will we ever fully understand all the answers? Absolutely not! Nor do we need to have complete knowledge of how a perfect God works all things after the counsel of His own will, while never being responsible for sin. 'The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong unto us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law" (Deuteronomy 29:29). Scripture unequivocally proclaims the wondrous truth that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in an eternally pristine spiritual and moral character of perfection. We must believe and affirm this truth with all our hearts, and in all our understanding, interpretation, and communication of Biblical truth. Whatever it means that our Lord works all things after the counsel of His will, we can be sure that His character always - always - guides His capability. And we can fall to our faces in joyous wonder and gratitude that God's fine tuning forever flows with His faithful trustworthiness...
"And I saw Heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True."
Tomorrow: How Wise? How Powerful?
Weekly Memory Verse
"The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and godhead" (Romans 1:20).