A Paradox
by Joni Eareckson Tada
“Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?”
Lamentations 3:37-38
The Bible makes two things absolutely clear: On one hand, God sovereignly controls even Satan’s action. On the other hand, God is in no way a sinner nor the author of sin. When the Bible presents us with two truths like these that seem opposed to one another, how are we to handle them? How can we fit them together?
The easy way out is to deny one side or the other and, in this case, that usually means denying God’s sovereignty. But that’s wrong. What we should do is first be sure that both truths are really what the Bible is teaching. Once we’re sure of that, we must humbly bow our reason to the authority of God’s Word, and accept both truths in faith.
The best illustration of this is the doctrine of the Trinity. Scripture plainly says there is but one God, yet it also plainly teaches that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are each God although they are three distinct persons. No true Christian denies any of these truths even though human reason can’t fit them together. Why should we treat the biblical truths about God’s sinless nature and His sovereign control over Satan any differently?
“I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7).
How unsearchable are Your judgments and Your ways past finding out, O Lord. You rule over everything, You are Master over all. Nothing happens without Your decreeing it, nothing occurs without Your permission. And because You hold all things in Your loving hand, I can trust You. I bow to You, worshiping You in awesome wonder.
Joni and Friends
Taken from Diamonds in the Dust
Copyright © 1993
By Joni Eareckson Tada
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.
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