Monday, October 8, 2018

Our Sovereign Father

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).

The doctrine of concurrence means God is involved in all the human actions in the world. He stimulates the good we do, and He superintends the evil we do in order to fulfill His purposes. He works concurrently with all we do.

A good illustration of how this works is found in Job 1. We read that one day Satan appeared before God and told Him he had been roaming around the earth and surveying the domain that Adam had handed to him. Satan challenged God and said nobody served Him anymore.

God called attention to Job, a righteous man who did serve God. Satan said the only reason Job served God was because God had made it easy for him. “If you let me torment him,” said Satan, “he won’t serve You any longer.” So God gave Satan permission to bring ruin upon Job.

Next, we read that some Chaldean cattle rustlers broke in and stole all of Job’s cattle. How did this come about? Were these Chaldeans really good cowboys who loved Job, but who had become demon possessed and were forced to rob him? Did God force these Chaldeans to attack Job? Of course not. The only reason these cattle thieves had not rustled Job’s cattle before was that God had been protecting Job.

Despite this and other losses, Job did not curse God. Was Job really an evil unbeliever who God forced against his will to be faithful? Of course not. Job was a righteous, faithful man who freely chose to side with God.

Nobody in this story acts out of character. For His own good purposes God allows Job to be tested, and in the end, Job gets back double what he had before. Satan’s purposes and the purposes of the Chaldeans fit with God’s plan. But God is not responsible for their evil. Everyone acts according to his own desires, but all are working together under God’s superintendence and providence.

In the story of Joseph, God so superintended that Joseph became prime minister of Egypt. His brothers acted freely and Joseph’s responses to his situation were also his own. But God worked concurrently throughout. This week, think of the ways God may be acting concurrent with your actions to bring about the good and bad you experience.