Saturday, August 23, 2008

God Works All Things After the Counsel of His Will

Doing some work in the Old Testament book of Esther recently has reminded me of the important--and practical--truth of God providentially working all things according to His ordained will.

Regardless of this compromise with human reasoning that some have come up with in recent years that says that God not only hasn't ordained what will come to pass, He really doesn't know what people will do (how can He, they say, if man is a free creature?) God just works things out based on what we do or don't do. If we don't cooperate with His "Plan A", well then He'll come up with "Plan B" and so on. This is called "open theism" and it's blatantly unbiblical! It's purely based on man, in his natural/fleshly thinking, trying to make sense out of man's freedom to do as he pleases and God doing as He pleases.

But the mind of God can only be discerned by the SPIRIT of God, causing us to understand and accept by faith the revealed truth of the WORD of God. And according to the truths and principles of Scripture, God has no "Plan B" and needs no "Plan B." We can know without a doubt that God and His ordained will are at the center of all the events of the book of Esther, as well as all the events of our world today (including all the free choices of man).

Esther records one of the clearest testimonies of God's sovereignty and providence in the Bible. It's one long illustration from Biblical history of the truth of verses like Proverbs 19:21, "Many plans are in a man's heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand" (NIV, "it is the Lord's purpose that prevails") and Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" and Ephesians 1:11, "In Him (Christ) also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will." (See also Genesis 50:20.)

C.H. Spurgeon once said, "Every child of God is where God has placed him for some good purpose." And knowing that God has us where we are in His wise and good providence and knowing His promises to deliver His people (as in Esther), we can wait on Him with confidence, trusting Him to order our circumstances and deliver us in His perfect timing.

Pastor Jeff Ryan
Calvary Bible Church
Rogers City, MI

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