If you’re like me, you have some childhood and early adolescent memories of listening to certain songs that gave you a magical impression of seamlessness ... Read More
We can’t read white letters on a white page. Light needs a dark background; think of all the nuances of shade an artist uses.Without the human race falling into sin, grace would not be apparent. God has purposed to use the Devil as an unwitting errand boy; “Those who will not be God’s sons become His tools,” said George MacDonald. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He made man, made woman. He placed the two Trees in the Garden. Since He knows the end from the beginning, He knew Eve would take Satan’s bait. Why didn’t He show up and rescue her, or give any prompt to Adam?
God knew exactly what was going to happen, since He is omniscient. He created the first man and woman knowing full well they would fall, since Jesus is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
This doesn’t mean God authors sin. He gives freedom, and creatures in their freedom choose to misuse it. But He “means evil for good.” Joseph said, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good,” and later Joseph says, “It was not you (his brothers) that sent me here to Egypt – it was God.” He saw God working in all things and even in the completely evil actions of his brothers.
Job – Satan took God’s bait (again, God’s omniscience knew that he would) and ran off to wipe out Job. This was meant by God to purify Job of the last little bit of self-righteousness.
There are other passages in the OT that are odd. God says, “Who will be a lying spirit in the mouths of the false prophets for me?” A spirit speaks up and says, “I will.”
Imagine what this world would be like without any suffering at all.
We’d never experience hatred of evil. We could not choose to love even though we felt like hating the person. No one would ever go on a mission trip. Without the potential of suffering, courage cannot be exercised. Jesus would never have been born.
The Devil is our resistance training.
A sword has to be heated to white hot levels and then hammered out on the anvil again and again before it gains an ability to be trusted by the swordsman.
God is building a people He can trust to never do what Lucifer did. They will become the Bride by seeing firsthand the results of Lucifer’s mindset: “I will be like the Most High.” That mindset can be summed up in one word: Separation. “I am a separate being from God with my own purposes and wants and desires. Not Thy will, but My will be done.”
That’s the mindset we as believers have got to burn out on. That’s the source and wellspring of sin in the believer: “I am a separate self who must find fulfillment, worth, meaning, security by my own devices.” Rather, the mature believer sets his mind in this way: “I am an indwelt cup who has been given everything I need for life and godliness. Worth, meaning, security, fulfillment – all are mine, here and now, in Christ, because I am a new creation, Blood bought and washed son of God, an heir of righteousness.” These truths must be eaten and digested and become part of us.
Winner of 147 Grammys (or so), Ron Block is the banjo-ninja portion of Alison Kraus and Union Station. When he's not laying down a bluegrass-style martial-arts whoopin' on audiences around the world, he's taking care of his donkey named "Trash" and keeping himself busy by being one of the most well-read and thoughtful people we know.