“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Solomon asked this question until it drove him mad. “I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness….” (Eccl. 7:25).

But the question forces itself onto me again. Why? Why are some saved and some lost? Why did Jesus represent some by hard-packed ground, shallow ground, unkempt ground, and good fertile soil? Why am I lost and my neighbor is saved? Why are some converted by the very same convicting words that don’t even faze another? What is the law at work here; what is the overriding principle?

Why did Paul and Moses prove faithful, but Adam and Solomon prove unfaithful? Why does the majority follow the wide path, and only a very small few ever find the true, narrow gate to life? As we search out the “reason of things,” may God keep us honest and close to Him, lest we chase a false path to truth and become convinced of a counterfeit, refusing to let it go until it destroys us.

Where does choice come into play? Is it all my choice that will ultimately save me? Or is there another power at work in all this? We say that that power is Divinity, a supernatural Being, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” (Eph. 1:11).

We say it is the Deity, the One who declares, “So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Is. 55:11). “For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Rom. 9:15-21).

Now, that sounds like control! But is He arbitrary in His universal freedom? No, He is not. The reality is that when detailing His work with Pharoah, “God, …to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” (Rom. 9:22). God wasn’t arbitrary at all, but just and merciful in all His treatment of His son, Pharoah.

Is His control as absolute as Paul makes it sound? No, it’s not absolute. I dare to limit God and His sovereignty because of what He has shown us in His word—He limits Himself. The principle Paul espoused works on a grand scale as well, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient.” (1Cor. 6:12 ). God can do anything He pleases, yet He mercifully and justly restrains Himself. Yet He still declares Himself in complete control. Take for example, the situation of Job.

Let’s look behind the scenes and see what men couldn’t know at the time. Satan comes the second time into the presence of the Son of God, after ravaging His most faithful servant. What’s the first thing out of Christ’s mouth? “Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? And still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”(Job 2:3). Did the Lord God actually lift His hand to destroy His most trusted child of His love? No, Satan did the chastening. But because Christ allowed it to happen, He assumes the full responsibility and feels the full force of His children’s pain.

From this we can gather that God rightfully takes the credit for everything that ever happens, good or bad. Does that mean He is the only one involved? Not from what we see revealed in Job. Thus we can say, that God takes all the credit for the salvation or the eternal loss of all His creation, “longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9). Yet He isn’t the only one involved.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deut. 30:19). “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15 ).

Thus, we can see that choice still remains, our choice. No one else guards our freedom of choice as does God. Not Satan, who immediately tramples it into the ground as soon as we choose him. But in serving God alone can we find perfect freedom. And if we choose His adversary, He lets the devil go only so far and as quickly as is right because of our wrong choices, in order to provide us a fair probationary period of this one life, and all the opportunities that justice demands and that mercy yearns for.

God can take all the credit because He fiercely protects our power of choice and still works all things according to the purpose of His own will. We can trust Him to do this. He has never proved Himself untrustworthy. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.” (Rev. 19:11).

Why will some surrender to God, while others refuse to rest in His love? Infinite power is available to us to overcome this fallen nature of ours and to escape the doom that will come to Satan and sin; yet all of that incomprehensible power hinges on our choice. So, we can say that our choice is all of half of how we are saved. The other half belongs to God, who orchestrates events and the presentation of His truth and grace in such a way to lose nothing. Is He always 100% successful? No. He failed with Lucifer; He failed with Adam. He has failed with billions of angelic and human hosts. But through all time He has ever had His faithful seed who have responded to Him perfectly, much to the chagrin of the devil. So, we see that God can boast of 100% success in His creatures arriving at the quality His will demands, even if He has failed in the quantity of those He willed to be saved.

In terms of numbers, He has failed miserably—for He has a formidable foe. Not that Satan, a creation of God, in all his wiliness can match God’s wisdom, but that he can hurt God where he knows it hurts the most, in His defenseless children. Satan has made the most of God’s failure, shaking his fist at God every chance he could. “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” (Rev. 13:6) “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” (Rev. 12:10).

No one can know the despair the Father of creation knows. But His inexpressible hurt is shown to us in the Bible. “Yet it pleased the Lord [the Father] to bruise Him [His Son]; He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Is. 53:10-12).

At the cross, we see the rage of our Father’s failure and sorrow, taken out on Himself. When Jesus cried with a loud voice, “It is finished!” He spoke of an infinite relief felt by His Father. Satan had lost the Great War; he was seen as the enemy to righteousness and freedom, and God was shown to be their only true protector. “Oh the height and depth of mercy! Oh the length and breadth of love! Oh, the fullness of redemption, pledge of endless life above.”

The Father presides over the universal freedom of choice, and sin, and the Great Controversy. And throughout eternity, when the past has long been blotted from our memories, when every tear He has dried from our eyes, and sorrow and sighing have fled away at the presence of our Father’s amazing love and His glorious new creation, He will remain the only one who harbors the weight of lost loved ones. All those who responded to His work, who accepted His terms and bowed in repentance for His goodness and love, will surround Him forever. He will be satisfied that His kingdom is safe and sound, and to Him will all praise be given.

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” (Rev. 5:13).


Blogger Roseuvsharon said...

I like what you said about God taking responsibility for the good and the bad.

We could use a lot more responsibility and accountability in our society today.

I choose to side with God, and I'm praying that I make that same choice each and every day.

1/12/2007 7:28 PM  
Blogger David said...

Thanks, Sharon. The story of redemption will be our study for eternity. It will be our tree of life that propels us to understanding all the mysteries of this big creation our planet is a part of.

I choose to be there, also.

1/13/2007 1:55 AM  

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