Monday, August 08, 2005

Evil Kings Make Good Pawns

In 2 Kings 14:23-27 there is a perfect illustration of Proverbs 21:1 ("The king's heart is like channels of water in the hands of the Lord, He turns it wherever He wishes"). In verse 24 it says Jeroboam II, "did evil in the sight of the Lord, he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam." Not departing from the sins of Jeroboam was a serious offense because we find out later in 17:21-23 that sinning like Jeroboam was the reason Israel was cast into exile. So, that being said we should be shocked to find that verse 27 says "[God] saved them by the hand of Jeroboam (II) the son of Joash." Though Jeroboam was an evil King the Lord used Him to restore the border of Israel (14:25) in response to the affliction of Israel (14:26). Of course Jeroboam II had no clue he was being used by God to respond to this affliction.
So, God is in control of even the most evil world leaders accomplishing His good purposes (Rom. 8:28). Also, God many times sees fit to answer prayer through those who rebel against Him.
I guess this post doesn't really call for much interaction. I just came across this passage this morning and wanted to jot down some thoughts.


The Rambling Taoist said...

So, how did God work through Saddam Hussein? Just wondering.

JonathanRBrooks said...

We cannot know what God intends to do in every situation, though we can know that He intends something. What I am claiming the Bible teaches is how God operates in the world. Proverbs 21:1 says, "The king's heart is like channels of water in the hands of the Lord, He turns it wherever He wishes." Also, Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purpose." So, when you put those two verses together the logical conclusion is that God is workig for the good even in the actions of evil kings. We may not know what that good is, but we can trust that He is in control. A great example of God working for the good in the most grevious of circumstances would be Christ on the Cross. God intended Christ to die to bring about salvation for sinners, an immeasurably great act of grace. Yet, there were also evil men that put Christ on that cross. (Acts 2:23, "this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.") So, again, people will be held accountable for their evil actions,yet, in God's providence, those acts also accomplish a great end.

That is not, however, to downplay the suffering that took place in Iraq under Hussein. It was awful and evil. But, we can trust that even in that suffering God has a greater purpose, though we may not fully understand it. I am reminded of Jesus' disciples asking Him in John 9:2-3 why a certain man was born blind. They asked if it was because of his sins or his parent's sins. Jesus replied, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in Him." This blind man would have suffered much without his vision, but Jesus made it clear that it was all part of God's perfect plan. So, while I hesitate to give specific answers to why God brings certain things to pass, I do not hesitate to say that it is He, in fact, that is bringing them to pass.

Trey, I would love to hear back from you and discuss this further!

The Rambling Taoist said...

This blind man would have suffered much without his vision, but Jesus made it clear that it was all part of God's perfect plan.

The above sentence is one of the reasons I am NOT a Christian; I'm a Taoist. Why worship an entity that one believes can randomly inflict people with all sorts of afflictions?

For me, there's a ready explanation as to why some people are born blind. It has to do with genes, chromosones and brain connectivity. Something didn't connect where it was supposed to. It's not part of ANY plan.

Anonymous said...

In the Bible it clearly teaches there is a time for all things!

Great post! It seems that some people can't handle things when it does not go their way. Stand fast to your beliefs, this "Not a Chirstian" poster was brought to you for a reason though I am not sure why.

Study to some thyself Approved! My prayers and thoughts are with you. You seem to be a person that is constantly striving to move closer to God. Keep up your works.