Drinking Deeply

Monday, March 13, 2006 at 5:04 PM

God's sovereignty over evil

In my last post I stopped after the prayer ended in v. 20 of Isaiah 37. Today I went and read the rest of the chapter, and boy was it good!

Hear what the Lord says to Sennacherib:
21Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22this is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him:

"'She despises you, she scorns you--
the virgin daughter of Zion;
she wags her head behind you--
the daughter of Jerusalem.

23"'Whom have you mocked and reviled?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes to the heights?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
24By your servants you have mocked the Lord,
and you have said, With my many chariots
I have gone up the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon,
to cut down its tallest cedars,
its choicest cypresses,
to come to its remotest height,
its most fruitful forest.
25I dug wells
and drank waters,
to dry up with the sole of my foot
all the streams of Egypt.

Put in simple terms, "You boasting fool! Do you think that God does not hear all these claims? You are mocking Him! You think you have done so much. You think you have cut down great trees and conquered much?"

Do not think that we can live a life that denies God and get away with it. God is God, and that means omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. There is nothing outside of God's reach and there is nothing that can stay His hand. You are nothing, but dust.

26"'Have you not heard
that I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old
what now I bring to pass,
that you should make fortified cities
crash into heaps of ruins,
27while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,
are dismayed and confounded,
and have become like plants of the field
and like tender grass,
like grass on the housetops,
blighted before it is grown.

Foolish man! The Lord had planned all your doing from long ago. It is I that brings it to pass and not your own hand. I am the one who is behind this, not you. I am the one who brings about that these cities fall, that their inhabitants are terrorized, that people die and cities are plundered. It is I who is sovereign here. Not you.

Even when you claim to be waging war against God, it is ultimately God who is in control here. There is nothing that will occur apart from what God has decreed. This includes every good work, and every evil deed. Your boasting is worthless. Not only will you fail to escape the wrath of God, but the very grounds of your boasting (in your deeds against the Lord) are worthless, for it is the Lord who has ordained it from the beginning. There is nothing to boast in evildoers. Not only is your evil going to be judged, but your evil has been ordained from the beginning.

28"'I know your sitting down
and your going out and coming in,
and your raging against me.
29Because you have raged against me
and your complacency has come to my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth,
and I will turn you back on the way
by which you came.'

The Lord is in control of even you. The Lord knows your going out and coming in, the Lord knows even your rebellion. It is all part of what He had planned from the beginning. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. Your rebellion will be judged and you will be turned back from Israel, God's chosen people.

For a non-believer, this prophecy can easily be addressed to you. You, by your very life, are living a life in clear denial of God's sovereignty, His authority, and His universality. You are building for yourself a tower that you believe you can stand on. But know this. God is a God who sees every moment. He is one that knows your thoughts. He is one that has ordained from the beginning all your perceived victories, defeats, stands and falls. And He will not be mocked.

Turn! Flee to the cross of Jesus Christ. It is only under the shelter of His wings that there is salvation. You, by every breathing moment are storing up wrath for yourself, and it is a debt you do not want repaid. It is a wage you never want to earn. And if you believe that you're basically good, that you don't need Jesus, that He doesn't really exist, let me tell you one sobering truth. God is real, and one day, and I pray that day would come after God has opened your eyes, you will face Him. And He is painfully clear. Outside of Jesus Christ and His perfect imputation of His righteousness, His bearing of sin on your behalf, there will not be salvation, but an eternity of separation from the source of all joy, hope and delight. A separation from God.

For those who are Christians, recall that you were once like this. That you yourself have nothing to boast in. That you were once by nature children of wrath. No, it was not yourself that raised yourself from the dead. It was not you that opened your eyes. It was not you that softened your heart. It was God's doing.

Remember! It is God who has planned every moment from the beginning of time for His glory. Remember! It is God who deserves all worship. All praise. It is He who rescued you. It is He who saves you. It is He who allows you to have fellowship with Him. Rejoice not in the gifts and blessings you have today, but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven. Rejoice that you know Him and He has called you His own. Rejoice!

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