Weekly Devotional 4-6-20 Not the Cause but Active In
Last week we suggested that God does not cause the many things that plague man, i.e., illnesses, hardships, pain, sorrow, disasters of nature, earthquakes, strife between persons, wars, and even death. We suggested that disasters of nature and earthquakes are resultant of the worldwide flood of Adam’s day. That flood changed the topography of the earth, altering earth’s phenomenon, and reduced the density of the ozone layer that surrounded (surrounds) the earth. We suggested that many of the illnesses that plague man are resultant, in one way or another, to these changes and are not direct causes of God. Indirectly yes, but not directly. God did curse the earth and man because of Adam’s sin (See Genesis, Chapter 3) not in vengeance but in love of man. God knew what would result from man separating himself from Him i.e., adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like (See Galatians 5:19-21) and determined that man would not be allowed to live separated from Him forever. He could have ended Adam’s life immediately when Adam sinned and started over, but that would not have satisfied his love for Adam nor Adam’s offspring, humanity.
To satisfy His love of man, He allowed Adam to disobey Him, bringing all the above mention tragedies but had preordained that He would sacrifice Himself to undo man’s separation from Him and bring an end to sin and its consequences. He predetermined that He would become a man and die as a man to redeem man back to Himself. The gospels of Matthew and Luke tell us how God became that man and the apostle John in his gospel, elaborates on His life. More importantly, he elaborates on His death. This is capsulated by verses 16 and 17 of chapter 3. He wrote: “16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” And we read from the book of Romans 5:8-19 →
“8 But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned– 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
In His love for man, God gave Himself in the person of Jesus Christ for man’s redemption and justification. But, man in his fallen state (the indirect result of Adam’s sin) has no desire for true God but is self-centered and self-willed. He wants to be autonomous (self-directed) under no authority but his own. The problem is, he is a creature with a fallen nature, a nature that is motivated by selfish desires, not being able to recognize God. Man’s fallen nature and selfish ambition is what is behind all the motivations mentioned above (Page one-paragraph one). But still, God loves man and desires that man be in a right relationship with Him. But unless man’s desires are changed, that cannot be realized. So, as mentioned last week, God works among and in man to create that desire. He does this in various ways. He has given His Spirit (The Holy Spirit) as a witness to man; He testifies to man through nature and His provision, and He also allows accidents, hardships, pain, illnesses, sorrows, storms, and even death to cause man to want relief.
Certainly then, God wants persons to turn to Him for restoration (for salvation) so that He may shower them with His love. Consider 2nd Peter 3:9 and 1st Timothy 2:1-4).
2nd Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
1st Timothy 2:1-4 “1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
So yes, God wants and is active in the salvation of lost man. He first creates in man a desire, He speaks to them of His being through nature and catastrophes, and by his Spirit. This creates in man, even though not necessarily recognizable, a void. And lastly, but not least, He reaches out to man by proclamation. The proclamation of man himself. That is, by redeemed persons.
Redeemed persons cannot keep silent. We find burning within us a desire to tell others about Jesus, our redeemer. The apostle Paul is an excellent example of this. Consider, for instance, an excerpt from his letter to the Romans; “1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh” (Romans 9:1-3).
It is the goodness of God that created this desire in Paul, and it is the goodness of God that creates this desire in all those whom He redeems.
So dear friends, God is not the cause of disasters, of hardship, pain, sorrows, strife among men, wars, nor even death, but He is active in those things to bring us to Himself.
Transforming power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man