Man Proposes and God Disposes
Man Proposes and God Disposes
In previous blogs we have shown from God’s word that: God Controls Nations, God Appoints Rulers, and God Determines Military Victories. It is very difficult for us to comprehend how God accomplishes His purpose.
In 2 Chronicles 20 the King of Judah Jehoshaphat turned his attention to God as his nation was being invaded by Moab. 2 Chronicles 20:6 and said, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.
Jehoshaphat, like most of us when adversity comes, turned his attention to God. We seem to want God to lift us out of this situation that we find ourselves in. We find it difficult to trust God during the good times as well as the difficult times. We understand that faith is a requirement to be pleasing to God. We forget that trust is also a requirement to be pleasing to God.
Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon (19 June 1834 – 31 January 1892) was a British preacher. It is estimated that in his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to over 10,000,000 people. In one of his sermons entitled “God’s Providence” page 18 Spurgeon said: “Napoleon once heard it said, that man proposes and God disposes. `Ah,’ said Napoleon, ‘but I propose and dispose too.’ How do you think he proposed and disposed? He proposed to go and take Russia; he proposed to make all Europe his. He proposed to destroy that power, and how did he come back again? How had he disposed it? He came back solitary and alone, his mighty army perished and wasted, having nearly eaten and devoured one another through hunger. Man proposes and God disposes.”
In Psalm 2 David is both literal and allegorical, as he describes mankind’s agitation against David on his throne and God’s anointed. It seems futile to David as he observes mankind struggling against God. He compares the nation’s struggles to the roaring sea as he sees the people plotting in vain against God. He continues on as he sees the Kings of the earth oppose God with determined malice, a very deep hatred. Psalm 2:1–3 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
Down shadowy lanes, across strange streams Bridged over by our broken dreams; Behind the misty caps of years, Beyond the great salt fount of tears, The garden lies. Strive as you may, You cannot miss it in your way. All paths that have been or shall be, Pass somewhere through Gethsemane.
All those who journey, soon or late, Must pass within the garden’s gate; Must kneel alone in darkness there, And battle with some fierce despair. God pity those who cannot say, “Not mine but thine,” who only pray, “Let this cup pass,” and cannot see The purpose in Gethsemane.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox, quoted in Clarence Macartney, Great Nights of the Bible
This poem helps us to realize the purpose of the adversity that we encounter in life.
God can and does work in the hearts and minds of government officials to accomplish His sovereign purpose. Their hearts and minds are under His control just as the impersonal private laws of nature are under his control. The government official decisions are made freely and without any regard for the will of God. This seems to be contradictory but in fact is not.
God sometime causes government officials to make foolish decisions in order to bring judgment upon a nation. God has appointed the rejection of good counsel in order to bring His vengeance on a nation. God rules the world by Providence not by miracles. God does not always spare the righteous when He judges a nation though He is well able to do so if He chooses.
Why does folly often prevail over wisdom in the counsel of government officials?