Weekly Devotional 7-15-19 God’s Purpose
A few years ago, Jack Kelly, creator and editor of Grace Thru Faith, wrote, “I’ve never been able to picture God sitting on His throne saying, “Give this one cancer, that one a car wreck and that other one a handicapped child. Blow these people’s home apart and wash these other ones away in a flood. Starve those children to death.” We have to ask what kind of a God would cause these things? He would not be a God of love! But, if He is sovereign over all things, why then these things? Is it not contributable to Satan and what he brought to man in the Garden of Eden 6,000 plus years ago? God was caused to curse the earth because of Satan.
We read from Genesis 3:14-19. “14So the Lord God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life.15And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.’ 16To the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.’ 17Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: ‘Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. 19In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.'”
Looking farther back in the record we read that God saw everything He had created as being good (Genesis; chapter 1). However, Satan’s deception causing Adam and Eve’s disobedience (sin) brought sorrow, pain, suffering and death. All the conditions of earth were changed when Adam and Eve, believing Satan’s lie, disobeyed God and took of that which was forbidden. Further on in the record of Genesis 6 we read that man had become so evil that God destroyed all land-dwelling creatures, including man, by a flood, except eight persons. God fueled this flood, in part, by breaking apart the canopy that surrounded the earth causing torrential rains to fall upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. He broke open the earth releasing trapped waters. This changed the topography of the earth affecting air currents and ocean tides. This also exposed creation to ultraviolet rays resulting in the molecular deterioration of every living creature. Hence, the aforementioned birth defects of some, and all sorts of disease. Add to this Satan being granted a certain amount of authority to rule, in part, over the kingdoms of this world. This leads us to consider that the things mentioned by Jack Kelly in the opening paragraph above do not come from God. Evil, illness, and injustice are a consequence of sin and Satan.
God, however, is at work. He is restraining evil to a certain extent not allowing Satan to utterly destroy mankind (See 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-7). God is also laying the groundwork for a kingdom on earth through which His anointed, the Lord Jesus Christ will rule for a thousand years. At the end of the thousand years God will create a new heaven and a new earth. We read of this in Revelation 21:1-5a. “1Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’5Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.'”
It was never God’s plan to make His curse of the earth and His curse on Adam and Eve permanent. The curses were necessary to cause man to seek relief. When Adam and Eve sinned, they became persons of self-will and desire. Self-will and desire was passed seminally from Adam to all his offspring, to all of humanity. God had warned Adam of this, but Adam followed Satan’s lie of, “you shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:4-5).
Humanities’ problems, therefore, must not be attributable to God, but to Satan and man himself. However, the apostle Paul by inspiration of Holy Spirit God wrote, “28And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. 31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ 37Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:28-39).
As long as humanity is subject to the natural realm, suffering, pain, and sorrow will be part of humanities experience, but God is at work using these very things to bring man to Himself. He is using these very things to conform those who are His to the image of Jesus Christ, His Son; fitting us for the new heaven and the new earth. Amen!
All Scripture usage is from the NKJB