God provides mankind a choice Pt 2
God provides mankind a choice Pt 2
Let me start with a couple of quotes today.
“Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plan, but God is not helpless among the ruins. Our broken lies are not lost or useless. God comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out His wonderful plan of love.” Eric Liddell
“It is a fundamental principle in the life and walk of faith that we must always be prepared for the unexpected when we are dealing with God.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Lamentations 3:37-38 Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?
This is a very difficult passage for us to understand. It states that God brings about both calamities and blessings. After all don’t we know that God always provides blessings for us? If God is a God of love, how could He allow such a calamity to happen to me? God always wills what is best for us doesn’t He?
Jesus Himself affirmed God’s sovereignty in John 19:10-11….. “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.”…… Jesus acknowledged God’s sovereign control over His life, God’s sacrifice of His son for our sins. This calamity caused Jesus to suffer greatly and to pray. In Matthew 26:39…. “My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
We should be comforted by God’s sovereignty. Whatever our particular calamity or adversity may be, we may be sure that our Father has a loving purpose for it. Isaiah 38:17 “Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.”
God always exercises His sovereignty in such a way as His infinite love deems best for us. Jeremiah wrote in: Lamentations 3:32-33 “but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; 33 for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.” His ways of working out His plan are frequently beyond our ability to fathom or understand. We have great difficulty learning to trust when we don’t understand.
In order to trust God we must know Him completely and apply that knowledge to our lives. God’s sovereignty is exercised in infinite wisdom, far beyond our ability to comprehend. We must acknowledge God’s sovereignty if we are to trust Him. Psalm 9:10 “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”
To know God’s name is to know Him completely. It is more than just knowing facts about God. It is coming into a deeper relationship and understanding with Him as a result of seeking Him in the midst of our personal pain and discovering Him to be trustworthy. It is only as we know God completely that we come to trust Him.
There are a number of Scriptures that reinforce the fact that God is indeed trustworthy. 2 Samuel 7:28; Psalm 111:7; Psalms 119:86; Psalms 119:138; Titus 1:9 and many more.
We must realize that we are in a spiritual warfare. We must know who our enemy is. The following true example provides a good illustration that we must know our enemy.
Aqaba in 1917 seemed impregnable. Any enemy vessel approaching the port would have to face the battery of huge naval guns above the town. Behind Aqaba in every direction lay barren, waterless, inhospitable desert. To the east lay the deadly “anvil of the sun.” The Turks believed Aqaba to be safe from any attack. But they were wrong.
Lawrence of Arabia led a force of irregular Arab cavalry across the “anvil of the sun.” Together, they rallied support among the local people. On July 6, 1917, the Arab forces swept into Aqaba from the north, from the blind side. A climactic moment of the magnificent film Lawrence of Arabia is the long, panning shot of the Arabs on their camels and horses, with Lawrence at their head, galloping past the gigantic naval guns that are completely powerless to stop them. The guns were facing in the wrong direction. Aqaba fell, and the Turkish hold on Palestine was broken, to be replaced by the British mandate and eventually by the State of Israel.
The Turks failed to defend Aqaba because they made two mistakes. They did not know their enemy, and they did not have the right weapons.
We must be careful not to make the same mistakes. Ephesians 6:12 makes it very clear who our enemy is: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world.”
Can we trust God even if we do not understand? Are we convinced that God always does what is best for us?