By Patrick Hawthorne
It’s that time again…Time to step on another sacred cow. I take no pleasure in stomping these critters but I cannot allow them to get fat and sassy in my presence if I can help it.
The sacred cow for today’s stomping is the idea that God either causes OR allows bad stuff to happen to you to bring about His own glory. You might know this critter by its given name, God’s Absolute Sovereignty. The main thought behind Absolute Sovereignty is that God can and will do what He pleases to whomever He pleases. Unfortunately, much bitterness towards God has been the result of this type teaching. If you don’t believe me, read the Book of Ruth.
Naomi (meaning pleasant) lost her husband and two sons before she ever got a grand baby. This loss, which she assumed was the sovereign will of God, caused so much bitterness in her heart that she demanded people call her Mara (meaning bitterness). Naomi blamed God for all the bad that had happened in her life. She even went so far as to say that God judged her. Does this sound familiar? This is what a lot of the teaching on God’s absolute sovereignty produces…anger and bitterness towards God. Let’s look at this a bit closer
1) Does God put sickness or evil on people?
To understand this is a simple matter of employing Biblical common sense. Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil and GOD WAS WITH HIM! (Acts 10:38). For the Father to put sickness on people to teach them a lesson or to glorify Himself would mean that He is working directly with satan and working against His assignment for Jesus. For the Father to now turn and say, “I will cause sickness or evil to come on this person,” goes against the very mission He assigned Jesus. He would, in fact, be nullifying the blood sacrifice of Jesus. Look at Luke 4:18-19
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Remember when the Pharisees accused Jesus of being the devil because He cast out demons? Jesus said that a kingdom divided against itself would fall. God cannot cause sickness or evil to come on someone because He would be dividing His Kingdom.
2) God may not have been the cause of the evil but He ALLOWED it to happen!
This is the part were a large majority of the Body of Christ is hung up. “I know God did not cause my loved one to die, or to be hurt, but He certainly did nothing to stop it.”
I know this is tough to understand. I certainly wish I could wave a magic wand and command all the bad to go away, but bad things happen and bad things happen to good people. But, did God allow it? The answer is yes and no. The answer is yes in the sense that He gave man free will to choose. To remove free will is to make pets, not sons and daughters.
To further understand this, we must go back to the beginning with Adam and Eve. They had paradise and everything good, including the will to choose. Prior to the fall, dominion was given to Adam. With the fall, resulting from a bad choice, dominion was turned over to satan. We see this transfer of dominion in the testing of Jesus. (Matthew 4:8-9).
“Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
It wouldn’t be a temptation if it wasn’t satan’s to give. But make no mistake; the dominion that was turned over to the devil was won back by the sacrifice and blood of Jesus. However, the effects of the fall still plague us until such time as the Lord returns.
The fact of the matter is we live in a cursed world. Bad things happen because of the fall. Sometimes this may be because of bad personal choices or because the earth is travailing or for some unforeseen reason in which we don’t know the answer. However, this I do know; God is not the author of your misery. Remember, it is satan who comes to steal, kill and destroy…NOT GOD! (John 10:10).
Read the end of Ruth and you will see that God was able to take a bad situation and turn the bad to the good. Be blessed.