The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Passing Through Providence"
I mentioned yesterday the accident in which we were involved this past Monday. A lady struck our car from behind, and was honest enough to confess she was using her cellphone at the time of the incident. This led to our consideration of God's involvement in all things in our lives, along with the corollary truth that this involvement does not imply He determines human sin or irresponsibility. This raises a fascinating and essential Biblical understanding.
"The LORD hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil" (Proverbs 16:4).
"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man" (James 1:13).
First, the subject addresses the importance of understanding the "line upon line, precept upon precept" protocol of Scriptural interpretation (Isaiah 28:10). No verse or passage stands alone. All must be interpreted in the light of other Scriptures. If we read Solomon's assertion that the Lord "made the wicked" without considering James' definitive declaration that God is never responsible for sin, we might conclude that God created the wicked to be wicked. This is not the case. James and other Biblical writers clearly affirm God is not responsible for any sin committed by human beings. We must rather conclude that the Lord made human beings with freedom, and determined He would work through both the best and worst of our chosen actions to fulfill His ultimate intentions in Christ. Regarding our accident, the Lord did not cause the lady who hit us into acting irresponsibly (being on her phone while driving). He did know her actions would take place, however, and by His wisdom and foreknoweldge wove His purposes into the incident for our good (Romans 8:28). Solomon and James (among other Biblical writers) unite to reveal both aspects of truth - God's working; human freedom - regarding this vital aspect of doctrine.
Is this completely understandable to our minds and hearts? Certainly not, which leads to another aspect of doctrine. Namely, God is God, and we are not. How His working in all things and our freedom coordinate far transcends human comprehension. We do not need to fully understand, and waste much time and mental energy if we attempt to do so. We rather do well to simply accept the truth that the wonder of God's ways enables Him to work out His purposes without dictating every action of those whose faithfulness serves to aid, but whose unfaithfulness fails to hinder His ultimate intentions. This presents our Lord in terms faithful to the fullness of Biblical teaching, and enables us to embrace the high view of God that He does not need to move human hearts as mere pawns on a chessboard in order to fulfill His ultimate intentions. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" (Romans 11:33).
A final consideration regarding doctrine involves further contemplation regarding the truth of our Lord's perfect spiritual and moral character. "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:30). We can commit no greater error than to assign even the slightest hint of responsibility for sin and evil to the living and true God. Indeed, sin began in the human race when Satan implied the Lord acted unjustly in forbidding the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:4-5). Every temptation bears this kernel of deception regarding God's moral perfection. Thus, we must form all doctrinal understanding in the light of strongly emphasizing that all responsibility for sin belongs to the sinner. Our Heavenly Father may work mightily in all things, including the darkness of sin and wrong. But He is never the cause of evil. No more important understanding of Biblical truth can reside in our hearts and minds as we seek to honor the Lord and communicate Him rightly to one another, and to the world.
"All His works are done in truth."
"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."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."