We can rest in the truth that God is sovereign over all the affairs of men. Nothing escapes His notice and nothing happens without His either decreeing it or allowing it. Even the wicked are in existence because God has so chosen. Proverbs 16, verse 4 reads, “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”
There is nothing that exists that was not made by God.
John 1:3 - “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”
And everything that God has made was made, not only by Him, but for Him.
Colossians 1:16 - “. . . all things were created by him, and for him.”
Everything exists because of Him and for His pleasure.
Revelation 4:11 - “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Even the wicked. God created the wicked. To be sure, He did not create them wicked. That they did themselves. God does not create sin. Sin exists when creatures choose to exercise the free will God gave them to violate God’s righteousness.
Speaking of Satan, the LORD said in Ezekiel 28:15, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
Of humanity, Paul wrote in Romans 512, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world . . .”
Even the wickedness of man serves God’s purpose. God puts the wicked to use to fulfill His purpose and plans in this world. He used Pharaoh to punish and prepare Israel for the Promised Land. He used the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar also.
The greatest work of God ever was carried out by the wicked. God’s redemption of man through the death of Christ on the cross.
Acts 2:22-24 - “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”
Sometimes it may appear to the eye of unbelief that wickedness has triumphed or is triumphing, but rest assured, God is on His throne!
Psalm 103:19 - “The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.”
Proverbs 17:3 - “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”
A fining pot is used to subject metals or others substances to very high temperatures for the purpose of melting them. When they melt a scum forms on the surface called dross. This is an impurity in the metal that is considered worthless. It is removed through the melting process to make the metal purer and, thus, better.
Solomon says that as men put silver in the fining pot and gold in the furnace for the purpose of making them better, so God tries our hearts to remove those things that are rubbish in order to “purify unto himself a peculiar people” (Titus 2:14).
Our faith is much more precious than gold and Peter tells us that God will try our faith so that it “might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). He goes on to tell us not to think it a strange thing when we are tried in a “fiery trial” but to rejoice because we are blessed to partake of Christ’s sufferings and will be glad for the trials when his glory is revealed (1 Peter 4:12-13).
Trials will come. They are inevitable. And they are purposeful. They are designed to make us holy and more like Christ. They are not enjoyable, else they wouldn’t be called trials. In fact, the word “crucible” which is a fining pot comes from same root as the word “cross.”
Job was tried in a very difficult fire of affliction, false accusations, betrayal, and very heavy personal loss. He could not perceive God in any of this, yet he responded to this trial of faith by saying, “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:8-10).
If you are being tested today, consider the words of Job and of Solomon and know that it is God who is trying you, not your boss. Not your spouse. Not your child. Not your neighbor. Not your enemy. God is trying you. He is trying you to make you better, not bitter.
God bless! The Lord willing we’ll be together again tomorrow and I’ll catch up with Proverbs 18 and 19.
Grace and Peace,