“God is sovereign, and invariably good; we are morally responsible, and frequently evil.”
This was the quote I read in my devotional this morning and I feel like it is the best summary of my study in the prophets this summer. Even more, it is an accurate summary of all scripture. As such, it is the summary of all mankind for all time and within this statement is the beauty of the gospel message.
For there is none righteous, no not one. All, like sheep, have gone astray. We are dead in our sin, slaves of Satan and under the power of the Prince of this world. The wage of our sin is death and we are all without excuse. Frequently evil and morally responsible. (Rom 3:10, Is. 53:6, Eph 2:1, Jn 3:16, Rom 1:20)
But God, while we were yet sinners, because of His mercy and love, made us alive in Christ. There is therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. He works all things for good for those who love God and who are called according to his purpose. He protects, seals and delivers us from the enemy who once controlled us. We serve a sovereign God who is invariably good. (Eph 2:4, Rom 8:1, 28, Ps. 62:2, Eph. 1:14)
So often when we read the Old Testament and we see the repeated failure of the Israelites, their inevitable compromise, their eventually apostasy and syncretistic idolatry – and we shake our heads in disbelief. How can they so consistently do what God has so clearly told them not to do? How many times will God rescue such a stubborn and stiff necked people?
May we have eyes to see – this is the repeating story of all God’s people throughout all history (i.e. we are no exception!). God is sovereign and invariably good; we are morally responsible and frequently evil. God is rich and mercy, slow to anger and not wanting any to perish (2Pet 3:9). We, on the other hand, are easily convinced to follow false idols and the lure of the world often speaks louder than the voice of God (James 1:6, 1Jn 2:15).
What a great and mighty God we serve who is faithful to His promises and one day will stand to judge the earth. In that day, there will be no more compromise as the hearts of man will be laid bare. And those who have trusted in Christ will share in the glory of God beyond all possible comprehension. There will be a new heaven and new earth. A new predisposition for those who have been redeemed - No longer frequently evil, but like God, invariably good.
In our new reality, we will be eternally worshipful having been faithfully redeemed. May we fix our eyes on this hope. May the world and its lure fade by comparison. May we live, not day to day, but with great anticipation for the fulfillment of the promise made by our sovereign and invariably good creator God. May this blessed hope of tomorrow along with God’s faithfulness in the past, give us great strength and boldness of faith to live today with all joy and peace and assurance in Christ Jesus. (Rev 11:18, 20:11, Is. 45:23, Phil 2:10, Rev 22)
My brother, Jay understood this well. In the midst of his cancer he was asked about the source of his strength and faith. He responded with strong conviction, "I know I will be healed."
At first, we were concerned. Could this be a false hope? What if God does not remove his cancer?
Yet, Jay went on to explain, "You need to understand. I don't know if it is on this side of heaven or the other. All I know is that God has promised that I will be healed and I have faith that He will carry this through."
Blessed hope of tomorrow along with God’s faithfulness in the past, give us great strength and boldness of faith to live today with all joy and peace and assurance in Christ Jesus.
"Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:18-19)