Friday, November 3, 2023

God Is in Control (Psalm 68)

"Praise be to the LORD, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens" (Ps. 68:19).

Throughout the discourses of Job we see an underlying acceptance of God’s providence. Job and the others grasped a basic truth that seems to escape modern people: without question, God is in control and ordains all things according to His perfect wisdom. While they struggled with the reasons behind God’s rule, they found comfort in the knowledge that God is always in control.

This concept is foreign to much of our world today. Most people see themselves disconnected from an all-seeing, all-knowing God who is involved in their lives. This modern perspective is greatly due to the influences of existentialism. If a culture holds to a philosophy that man enters into existence alone, without ultimate purpose, then the struggles of life will carry no meaning. Mankind will have no recourse but their own finite, impotent power. Sometimes they cry out to God, but they do not believe that He is involved or concerned about what happens to them. Such hopelessness was foreign to Job and his friends. They knew that God controlled all things and was intimately involved in their lives. God brought them into existence, He providentially directed their lives, through the good and bad.

Just because Job and his friends accepted God’s providence did not mean they understood all of God’s purposes. They struggled with the hardships of life just as we do. While Christians accept God’s control over every-day affairs, they struggle with the purposes behind God’s “dark” providences. Thomas Fuller compares this inability to discern God’s providences to a stick under water: “Take a straight stick and put it into the water; then it will seem crooked. Why? Because we look upon it through two mediums, air and water: there lies the deceptio visus; thence it is that we cannot discern aright. Thus the proceedings of God, in His justice, which in themselves are straight, without the least obliquity, seem unto us crooked.… And why? Because [we] look upon God’s proceedings through a double medium of flesh and spirit, so that all things seem to go cross, though indeed they go right enough.”

Though we find it difficult to understand God’s providences, we must never deny them. It is better to trust God, despite our limited understanding, than deny that He is in control of every situation.

Briefly make a list of things that are happening or have happened in your life, your family, and in your community as well as the world, that you do not understand why God has allowed to happen. Specifically pray about those things. Affirm your trust in God, even though you do not understand His great purposes.