Struggle of Wills

A lot of Christians who were fine with the idea that President Donald Trump came to power via divine will are now having trouble accepting the same about President-elect Joe Biden.

In God’s moral will, he wills us to do certain things and avoid other things. God wills us to avoid sin. We have free volition of action, and our wills are bent against God, toward sin. God knows all of this. He contemplates it in His sovereign will.

God’s sovereign will means He is ultimately in charge of all things. He has planned out the history of the world in order to glorify Him.

So, for example, in Genesis, Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery and tell their father that Joseph is dead. Joseph, in Genesis 50:20, declares, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

It was against God’s moral will that Joseph’s brothers should treat a child of God so terribly. But God, as part of His sovereign will, used that injustice by Joseph’s brothers to bring about the salvation of Abraham’s descendants.

Or consider this passage from earlier in Genesis as God reveals a bit of his plan to Abram:

“Then the Lord said to Abram, ‘Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.'” Genesis 15:13-16 English Standard Version.

God already foresaw and had worked into His plan the injustices of Joseph’s brothers, using that act to get Abraham’s descendants to Egypt, where they would stay for 400 years. In the New Testament in both Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2, God makes it very clear that no ruler comes to power except as part of God’s sovereign will. The leader being referenced at the time was Nero, the Roman emperor who would ruthlessly persecute and kill the Christians.

We now know that Joe Biden’s presidency is part of that plan, just as Donald Trump’s was. We now know just how shallow American Christianity is that some have chosen to believe the end of Trump’s presidency could be Satan disrupting God’s plan.

For all the bad acts of history, such as the Holocaust; slavery; and the things you personally see as bad that others may not, focus instead on the cross. On the cross, an innocent man died taking on all the sins of the world. So many sins were piled up on that one man at that one time that the sun went dark as the Father turned His back on the Son.

In the garden, at the beginning of time, God had already spoken to Satan: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15, New International Version. That offspring, on the cross, fulfilled that promise.

All bad things are already woven into the fabric of human history as part of God’s sovereign will to affect His plan for our salvation. That includes the awful leaders of mankind coming to power, from Nero to Hitler. It includes all the bad acts of humanity, from plague and genocide to the death of an innocent man on the cross who had been born in a manger.

It includes the election of the President of the United States.

All these acts push history along to its ultimate resolution in Christ’s return, and “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28, English Standard Version.

To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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Last Updated: Thursday, Dec 17, 2020 13:57:18 -0800

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