Wednesday, February 04, 2015

God Always Wins

Michael slays the dragon. Raphael

God uses our enemies to accomplish His will. In Judges we learn that God would use the nations around Israel to test them. Whenever Israel fell into sin, God allowed an enemy to chastise them. When they cried out to God, they were delivered by a champion. One of those champions, Samson, was self-centered and cavorted with the women of Israel's oppressors. Yet, God used him to accomplish His will, despite Samson's lack of cooperation.

The Jews' exile to Babylon was a sad event for Israel but it put Jewish houses of worship in places where the gospel would one day be preached. The Roman empire provided safe roads and a common language (Greek) to help spread the gospel. The expulsion of the Christians from Jerusalem increased the speed at which the gospel spread.

Not all things are good but the Bible assures us that “all things work together for good for those that love God.” (Romans 8:28)

In every church you will find destructive people who have an agenda driven by something other than the gospel. These are the weeds that Jesus said the enemy sows among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30), the goats that will one day be separated from the sheep (Matthew 25:31-46). In his book, “Well-Intentioned Dragons” Marshall Shelley writes:

Within the church, they are often sincere, well-meaning saints, but they leave ulcers, strained relationships, and hard feelings in their wake. They don’t consider themselves difficult people. They don’t sit up nights thinking of ways to be nasty. Often they are pillars of the community – talented, strong personalities, deservingly respected – but for some reason, they undermine the ministry of the church. They are not naturally rebellious or pathological; they are loyal church members, convinced they’re serving God, but they wind up doing more harm than good.”

People wonder why bad things happen to good people and why good things happen to bad people. There is no answer to this except that God allows things to happen to accomplish his perfect will.

After Job had lost everything in a test of this faith, he declared:

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

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