“What a mess!” How many times have you said this about person who has made a wreck of his life? How often have you said it about a family in constant turmoil? How recently have you said these words about what is happening in Washington, D.C.? The messes little children make can’t compare to chaos adults create.
There is a great deal of disorder and confusion in our country. And though it may be worse now, has there ever been a time when things were perfectly settled? What about other nations? Every country has its share of trouble. Even the great nation of Israel in the Old Testament was plagued by moral and political problems. The history of God’s people is the story of one crisis and scandal after another.
Reading about the corruption of governments in the Bible is much different than listening to talk shows and newscasts or reading social media posts. It’s not that the Scriptures overlook the evils of the times they describe. The Word of God is very open about how bad leaders were, how hard times were, and how hopeless situations seemed.
But here is the difference. Here is what you won’t hear from the secular media. Even in the midst of human chaos, God still works His will. In ways we can neither see nor understand He accomplishes His plans and purposes in spite of the obstacles people cause.
But there is more. God not only works in spite of man’s disorder, but He also brings about His aims by using the wicked intentions of powerful men. He set a stubborn Pharaoh on the throne and showed His great power in overcoming him (Exod. 9:16). He used a proud Babylonian king to punish His own people (Jer. 25:9). He held the Assyrian empire like a rod in his hand when that nation had no intention of fulfilling God’s will (Isa. 10:5-7). He used the hypocrisy of Jewish leaders to offer His Son as the sacrifice for the sins of the world (I Cor. 2:7-8). Only the all-wise, all-powerful God can do such things.
Think about it. God displays His power and wisdom more when He accomplishes His purposes in the mist of chaos than He does in times of order. God showed his glory in the Bible when men like Moses, Daniel, and Paul worked with Him to bring about those aims. But how much more does the Lord show his glory when He works His will with men who fight against Him—without forcing them and taking away their free will? If God does something great with people who cooperate with Him, how much brighter does His majesty shine when He does His will with those who resist Him? Jesus could have waited until the sea was calm to call Peter to walk on the water, but he told him to walk when the wind and waves were boisterous (Matt. 14:26-32).
We serve a God who brings good out of seemingly hopeless messes.
-Kerry Duke