The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Execution, Amid Opposition"
"Inexorably, invariably, inevitably, and relentlessly, the Lord nevertheless fulfills purposes that shine all the more brightly because He executes His will amid the seeming jeopardy of those who will not do it."
Throughout human history, weak men known as dictators have sought to exercise power by that which actually exposes their frailty and inadequacy, namely, control. Because they cannot win hearts and influence minds, tyrants employ the only means at their disposal to execute their will.
"I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found" (Psalm 37:35-36).
Conversely, the greatest ruler of all does not require absolute control to fulfill His will. The living and true God "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" even as millions of beings He created disobey and rebel against His will (Ephesians 1:11; Psalm 9:16). Human and fallen angelic beings deny God's Lordship, acting in defiance of the One who made them, and who sustains their very existence. Inexorably, invariably, inevitably, and relentlessly, the Lord nevertheless fulfills purposes that shine all the more brightly because He executes His will amid the seeming jeopardy of those who will not do it.
Consider the greatest example of the truth we consider, the cross of Calvary. Was it the sin of devils and of wicked human beings? Absolutely. "The prince of this world cometh… Ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (John 14:30; Acts 2:23). Was it also the righteousness of God in sending His Son to the cross, fulfilling His eternal purpose and providing redemption to all who will believe? Absolutely, "by the determinate counsel of God." Without determining wickedness, which Scripture states He cannot do because of His perfectly moral character, our Heavenly Father nevertheless executed the promise of His Son's redeeming and atoning death for sin (II Samuel 22:31; James 1:13; John 3:17). Thereby, God fulfilled the narrative in the scope of His eternal counsel, while at the same time not controlling the wicked hands that unwittingly served His counsel.
Waste not a moment considering how such a seeming enigma operates in terms of eternity working within the confines of space and time. Spend much time in falling to your face before the One who does not require the dictatorial control of all things to successfully coordinate all things for the glory of the Lord Jesus. Only weak, tawdry, and doomed dictators act in such a manner, destined to crash on the rocks of catastrophic failure. The living and true God requires no such intimidation, suppression, and oppression. He does not have to dictate in order to direct all things for the successful fulfillment of His eternal purpose in the Lord Jesus. As the Apostle Paul declared of such wondrous execution, fulfilled amid so much opposition, "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).
Presently we wonder, "Lord, how do You do this?!" Very likely in eternity, we will ask, "Lord, how did You do that?!" I suspect the answer will be the same in both epochs: "My child, You would not fully understand even if I tried to tell you!" On both occasions, we do well to fall to our faces before the God who can be known, and whose ways can be understood. But not completely, and never to the degree that we do not wonder in the light of the blessed axiom: "We can know some. We can know more. But we can never know all." An infinite God assures us of this most thrilling of all opportunities in the present, and most joyous of expectations in the eternity that will never fully reveal the glories that await the redeemed in Christ.
I met a traveller from an antique land, who said,
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert.
Near them, on the sand, half sunk, a shattered visage lies,
whose frown and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
tell that its sculptor well those passions read
which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear,
My name is Ozymandias, king of kings.
Look on my works and despair!
Nothing beside remains.
Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
the lone and level sands stretch far away.
("Ozymandias" - Percy Bysshe Shelley)
"Thou art the God that doest wonders!"
Weekly Memory Verse
In the day when I cried Thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.