Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Restrained or Unrestrained, Evil-minded Men Can Only Work for our Welfare.

Like many in his time, Guido de Bres suffered the pains of persecution because of his belief in Reformation theology. On May 31, 1567 he was hanged to death after being tried before the Spanish Inquisition. But before he died, he penned this words:

"We believe that this good God, after he created all things, did not abandon them to chance or fortune but leads and governs them according to his holy will, in such a way that nothing happens in this world without his orderly arrangement.

Yet God is not the author of, nor can he be charged with, the sin that occurs. For his power and goodness are so great and incomprehensible that he arranges and does his work very well and justly even when the devils and wicked men act unjustly."
(The Belgic Confession, Article 13)

We have seen in the previous post that God is sovereign even over the wills and desires of evil-minded men. Why then does he not restrain ALL wickedness?

Why did he not subdue the wills and desires of Joseph's brothers when they were planning to sell him to merchants. Why did he not subdue the evil plans of Potiphar's wife when she was falsely accusing Joseph of attempted rape?

Genesis 50:20
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (NIV)

It is because God is infinitely rich in wisdom that he could use even the evil intentions of men for the fulfillment of his perfect purposes.

The greatest crime in world history is that when men crucified God's Son. God has all the power to subdue the wills and desires of the religious and civil leaders of that time but he did not. He could even send multitudes of angels to execute judgment upon these men while they were arresting Jesus at Gethsemane, but he did not.

For it was his will to give his Son for the redemption of souls-- a purpose that he has foreordained even before the foundation of the world.
Acts 2:47-48
Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. (NIV)

Restrained or unrestrained,
evil-minded men can only work for our welfare.

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