Sunday, January 31, 2016

An Act of God?

January 31

An Act of God?

While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee (Job 1:16)

Many of us rightfully chastise the insurance companies that call natural disasters, “an act of God”. However, God has long been blamed for acts that He really had nothing to do with. When we read verses 6 to 12 of Job chapter 1, we learn that Satan made false accusations against God and Job. He then challenged God to prove him a liar by allowing him to destroy Job’s life. God reluctantly allowed this test in order to remove doubt about His and Job’s character from the minds of the watching angels.
The people during Job’s time had very little revelation of a being called Satan. Therefore, everything was attributed to God including the work of Satan. God Himself, using the modes of expression of the people of that time takes responsibility for Satan’s actions, even though He was not pleased with them (Job 1:11-12; 2:3). As some scholars have noted:

“Since there is no developed picture of a devil or satan in most of the Old Testament, God takes responsibility for everything, even for evil he might have prevented. God stands above opposing deities; his power is unsurpassable, according to the Hebrew Bible. And in that world of competing deities and rival religions, absolute control was essential. In other words, in order to meet ancient Israelites in terms they could understand in their world, God takes ultimate responsibility.”[1]

The Old Testament believers had a good reason for attributing these things to God. They did not have a full revelation concerning the works of the devil that have been given since the time that Jesus manifested in the flesh. However, our Lord Jesus and His inspired writers of the New Testament have given us a fuller understanding of the true personality behind evil, including natural disasters. Therefore, we should stop blaming God, accepting evil, and stand against it by our authority in Christ.

[1] Clark, Douglas R.; Brunt, John C. (editors) Introducing the Bible Volume I: The Old Testament and Intertestamental Literature (New York: University Press of America, 1997), p. 171

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Did God Send Joseph to Egypt? (Part 2)

January 30

Did God Send Joseph to Egypt (Part 2)?

And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. (Gen. 45:7-8)

Yesterday we learned from the passage above that Joseph told his brothers, “So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God”. Many people have embraced a substitute for faith called fatalism due to how they were taught from this passage. However, the New Testament says, “And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt” (Acts 7:9a). But are Joseph’s statements the inspired Word of God? If so, why do they contradict the New Testament?
Joseph’s statements are indeed the inspired Word of God. However, if Westerners do not learn to understand Hebrew idioms, especially the “permissive” idiom so often used by the Hebrews, they will always teach contradictory ideas about God. Richard Twopeny explains:

 “The great point of religion impressed upon the mind of the Israelites was the absolute supremacy of Jehovah in every thing, and his providential interference in every circumstance, which could affect the welfare of their family or people. From whence the transition to that expression was very easy, which describes those actions of men, as his doing, of which he only overruled the event. Thus Joseph says to his brethren, Gen. xlv. 8. “So now it was not you, but God, that sent me here:” by which he does not mean to deny that his brothers had sent him thither, for he expressly says so, ver. 5; but to ascribe the whole to his providence, who had so wonderfully made use of their sin to the preservation of their whole family.”[1] (Emphasis are mine)

God spoke His Word using the language of the people of that time. Our job as His people in this modern age is to take the time to study His modes of expressions so that we do not misrepresent Him when teaching His Word to others.

[1] TwoPeny, Richard Dissertations on Some parts of the Old and New Testaments, Which have been Supposed Unsuitable to the Divine Attributes (London: C and J Rivington, 1824), pp. 16, 17

Friday, January 29, 2016

Did God Send Joseph to Egypt? (Part 1)

January 29
Did God Send Joseph to Egypt (Part 1)?
And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. (Gen. 45:7-8)
Men in their distorted picture of God have attempted to redefine good in order to maintain the Biblical truth about God’s goodness while at the same time teaching doctrines in which God does, what appears to the average human, to be evil acts. As we saw yesterday, statements made by Joseph are often proof-texted to support these ideas. This has served to extinguish an aggressive faith that stands against demonic evil and claims God’s promises.
However, these passages are indeed recorded in the inspired Word of God and must be addressed if we are to put our full and undying faith in the Bible as we should. So how do we address Joseph’s statement, “So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God”? One rule of Bible interpretation is to always interpret the Old Testament in light of the New Testament. Stephen, speaking by the Spirit of God, says this about Joseph’s brethren:
And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house (Acts 7:9-10).
Rather than saying that God used the brothers to send Joseph, Stephen says that God was with him despite the actions of his brothers and delivered him. The Holy Spirit speaking through Stephen never says that God made Joseph’s brothers sin. Stephen states that God was with Joseph and overruled the sinful acts of his brothers.
God is love (1 John 4:8) and love “envieth not” (1 Cor. 13:4). “Envyings” are the works of the flesh and not the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:19-21). Satan works through envy (James 3:14-16). God does not make people become envious (Matt. 7:17-18). Is this a Bible contradiction? No. We will continue to examine Gen. 45:7-8 tomorrow for further understanding of its application.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Abundant in Goodness

January 24

Abundant in Goodness

And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation (Ex. 34:6-7)

When Moses asked to see God’s glory (Ex. 33:17-23), God gave him a revelation of His character. On the basis of this revelation, Moses was able to successfully intercede for Israel when they sinned and opened themselves up for destruction (Num. 14:17-20). Because of His goodness, God is ready to forgive our iniquities: “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee” (Psalm 86:5).

Sometimes God is depicted by Bible expositors as having a cruel mean streak in the Old Testament. He is looked upon as harsh, unforgiving and quick to judge at the slightest transgression. It is erroneously implied that Jesus had to come for the express purpose of tempering the Father’s desire to bring harsh judgment upon worthless sinners. We are even told by some that Christians should avoid the Old Testament since only the New Testament (specifically the epistles) is applicable.

However, when we look for God’s revelations of Himself in the Old Testament we see anything but a cruel and merciless deity. God did not switch personalities from the Old to the New. He was merciful and forgiving under the Old Covenant just as He is in the New Covenant.

Jesus did not die and resurrect in order to change God’s character or His attitude toward us. Jesus died in order to legally rescue us from Satan’s tyranny, thus providing the Father a legal basis upon which forgiveness can be extended and no one can accuse Him of being unfair to Satan and the fallen angels. Before Jesus, the second member of the Triune Godhead, gave His own life, the animal sacrifices provided a covering which pointed to His redemptive work.

In other words, even in the Old Testament, God provided every possible way to extend His love, mercy, and forgiveness to fallen man. This is an example of abundant goodness. This same God is ever ready to forgive you and love you regardless of what you have done. Embrace His abundant goodness.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Taste and See how Good God Is

January 23

Taste and See how Good God Is

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing (Psalm 34:6-10).

One definition of “taste” is, “to become acquainted with by experience” (Webster’s Dictionary). This idea is brought out in this Psalm when we are told that the man who trusts in God is blessed (which means “happy”). The Psalmist is confident that when one tastes and see how good God really is then he or she will have no difficulty trusting Him.

But how do we go about “tasting” God’s goodness? We are to “taste and see” that God is good by the wonderful things that He does for us. Notice some of the things in this Psalm that is attributed to God’s goodness. The psalmist mentions the angelic protection that God provides to those who fear (reverence and worship) Him. This is a far cry from the false depiction of God we are given by some in which God is behind accidents and every tragic event that comes our way. If that is our experience of God then it is no wonder that some have claimed to have tasted of Him and have been left with a bitter taste in their mouths.

The Psalmist also mentions God’s abundant provision to those that suffer lack.  This provision comes to those who do not seek the provision itself, but the Provider (Matt. 6:33). The reason that so many continue to suffer lack is because they do not seek the Lord. The reason many do not seek the Lord is because they do not trust Him. The reason they do not trust Him is because, rather than tasting for themselves to see how good He is, they have accepted false ideas about God. Many have embraced a distorted definition of God’s goodness that appears to be more in line with the acts of Satan than with what we know to be in line with the universal definition of “good”.

Get hungry for the truth about God. Taste and see how good He really is. You will be so glad that you did.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Exposing Satan's Opposite Malignant Character

January 19

Exposing Satan’s Opposite Malignant Character

The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels (Matt. 13:38-39)

In order to reveal the truth about God, Jesus also had to expose the real culprit behind the ills that we suffer in this world. In the gospels Jesus revealed to us that Satan’s character is so malignant that two of the many titles ascribed to him are “the evil one” (Mat. 5:37; 6:13; John 17:15; 2) and “the wicked one” (Mat. 13:19, 38). Furthermore, the demonic forces that work for Satan and who are the source of much sickness, disease, sin and tragedy in our world are also called evil (Luke 7:21; 8:2). Throughout the gospels Jesus revealed several things about Satan in contrast to God:

  • Satan is the evil one who brings temptation to sin. God is the One who delivers from sin (Matt. 4:1-11; 6:13; Luke 4:1-14).
  • Satan is the evil one who brings sickness and disease. God is the One who heals (Luke 13:16).
  • Satan is a liar and murderer who brings persecution and seeks to kill (John 8:44).
  • Satan brings deprivation, death and destruction. God gives His own life for us (John 10:10).
  • Satan has a kingdom that subjects people to his demonic torments. God has come to rescue them (Matt. 12:25-29; Luke 11:17-22).
  • Satan is the one who attempts to hinder us from our God-given missions (Matt. 16:22-23).
  • Satan has a certain amount of power to harm, but God has given us authority over him and his power (Luke 10:17-20).
  • God gives His Word because He desires our salvation. Satan steals the Word to keep us from being saved (Luke 8:12).
  • Satan desires to sift God’s servants as wheat. Jesus prays for us so that our faith will not fail (Luke 22:31).
  • Satan enters into people to betray others (Luke 22:3; John 13:27).
  • Satan is responsible for natural disasters (Luke 8:22-25; 9:51-56).
  • Satan is the “ruler” (prince) of this world, but Jesus has conquered his domain (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11, 33).

Jesus gives us a clear expose of the enemy. He is the exact opposite of God. While God is loving and good, Satan is mean, hateful and evil. What a contrast.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

God is Love

January 17

God is Love

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him (1 John 4:7-8)

A deranged man has finally tracked down his wife. She left him some time ago because of his consistent pattern of physical and emotional abuse. Afraid for her life she has kept herself hidden. But he loves her so much he must find her. Now that he has her he tells her, “I love you too much to let you go. If I can’t have you then no one can.” He then pulls out a gun and kills her.

Some seem to believe that this is the kind of “love” that God has—one in which He abuses us physically and emotionally and then kills us when we try to get away from Him. Many of our sermons from the pulpit have helped to reinforce this false idea about “love” as it relates to God. Is this what it means for God to be loving?

Notice that God manifests His love toward us by sacrificing Himself. He sent His only Son in the world to die for sinful creatures that were in rebellion against Him (Rom. 5:1-8). God is not looking to hurt us and proves this by His ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. Since God is love then He is unable to do anything that could hurt or harm others: Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13:10).

Within His love God gives us genuine choices. We can accept or reject His love on our behalf. He does this without coercion. However, He does warn us about the alternative, which is slavery to Satan and sin. Nonetheless, God, in His love, begs and pleads with us to choose Him because only through voluntary submission is He able to protect us from the one who actually does desire to do us harm.

God’s love is an unselfish love that looks beyond its own desires to see what it can do for others. God’s love is an “others-focused” love. This is completely opposite of Satan’s distorted substitutes that seeks to gratify its own needs and when it is done with its object, the love is gone (2 Sam. 13:1-20). Wouldn’t you rather have the love that looks to heal rather than hurt others? Receive God’s love. He permeates love because He is love.

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Satan Is the Source of Tribulation and Persecution

January 16

Satan Is the Source of Tribulation and Persecution

“...It is like the people who hear God's teaching, but then the devil comes and takes it away from their hearts. So they cannot believe the teaching and be saved ...they don't have deep roots. They believe for a while. But when trouble comes, they give up.” (Luke 8:12-13; New Century Version)

Many blame God for bringing trials, tribulations and persecutions their way. God has specifically stated in His word that He is not the source of our troubles (James 1:13). Trials, tribulations, and persecutions are designed to turn us away from God’s word. Satan uses these devices to tempt us into giving up on God, believing that His Word will not work on our behalf.

The Holy Spirit has given the body of Christ much revelation in the past years. We have had much teaching and insight into the deep truths of God’s Word. He has shown us how to walk in victory in every area of our lives. BUT YOU CANNOT HAVE VICTORY WITHOUT A BATTLE.
Satan knows that once we allow God’s Word to become a part of us then we will pose a strong threat to him and his kingdom. When we embrace a significant truth from God’s word, he will send his demonic forces after us to take that truth away. If he can send enough negative circumstances to get us off the Word of God, he will do it.

That is why we are encouraged to stand on God’s Word even in the midst of trouble. No matter what the circumstances look like, no matter how contrary they are to what the Word of God says about them, continue to stand on the Word. God will see you through: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalms 34:19).

God has promised to deliver us from the problems that Satan will send our way. He has promised to manifest his blessings in our lives that we are trusting Him for. Trust Him for deliverance.  There is no way that we can escape tribulation or persecution, but we can be the victor and not the defeated

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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Does God Give us Bad Things in Answer to Prayer

January 9

Does God Give us Bad Things in Answer to Prayer

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? (Luke 11:11-12)

“Don’t ask God for patience because He will send you trials.” “I asked God for a brand new car but he gave me a second hand Volkswagen in order to humble me.” “I prayed for my uncle’s healing but the Lord took him home. I guess it was just his time to go.” “I asked God for a healthy baby but He gave me a mentally deformed child to help me learn to be compassionate.” “I asked God to use me in ministry. He allowed me to have a crippling accident so that I can minister to disabled people.”

What a reputation God has been given for answering prayer by giving us things that hurt us. Certainly we rationalize it to make the bad that God supposedly gives to appear as if it were something good—a blessing in disguise, but deep down inside we know that these things lead us to expect very little that is positive. Many people hear these types of testimonies and do not want to pray. They think that God might slap them with the very opposite of what they have asked for.

As far as I am concerned, this has been a sneaky deception of Satan to hinder prayer in the body of Christ. Why pray if God will only make things worse in order to humble you, teach you a lesson, or punish you for bothering Him in the first place? Only a masochist will attempt to ask anything from this kind of God.

This is why Jesus came to show us a different picture of our Heavenly Father. God is not looking to harm people. He wants to help us, bless us, and deliver us from the plans of Satan for our lives. He will not give rocks for bread, snakes for fish, or scorpions for eggs. When people approached Jesus for healing, He did not kill them or inflict further sickness upon them. He healed them. Jesus and the Father are ONE. He does not do evil in answer to requests for good. When you pray, trust God to only give you good things. Reject and stand against all satanic substitutes.

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Is God the Creator of Good and Evil (Part Three)

January 8

Is God the Creator of Good and Evil? (Part Three)

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isa. 45:7)

Yesterday we learned that Isa. 45:7 must be understood from a “permissive” rather than a “causative” sense. Some passages make this point clear. Deuteronomy 28:15-28, for example, uses the typical punitive language for disobedience and it ascribes to God the tragedies that would fall upon Israel such as “I will destroy thee…. I will smite thee....I will send enemies.... I will send pestilence... etc.”
However, these are simply Hebrew idioms which ascribe to God as doing the thing which He only permitted. Interpreting Scripture with Scripture, we see that God is not the author of the disasters (evils) that came upon Babylon. He permits these disasters due to their sin.

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.” (Deut. 31:16-18).

The word “evils” in the passage above is the Hebrew word “ra”; the same word used in Isa. 45:7. Interpreting Scripture with Scripture we see that evil comes when the Lord is absent. This is the proper understanding of the phrase “I create evil”.

Examining Isa. 45:7 in light of the above, we see that God is light (1 John 1:9; James 1:17) and creates darkness when He withdraws and darkness prevails. God offers men His light in spite of their rebellion (Isa. 50:10; John 8:12; 12:46; 1 Pet. 2:9) but men reject it because they hate it (John 1:5-11; 3:19-20). Therefore, Isa. 45:7 is permissive in that God is allowing men the consequences of their choices. God is not the author of physical or moral evil. Evil comes when the source of good that protects from evil is forsaken. This is permission and not causation.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Is God the Creator of Good and Evil? (Part Two)

January 7

Is God the Creator of Good and Evil? (Part Two)

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isa. 45:7)

Yesterday we learned that some theologians believe that Isaiah 45:7 teaches us that God is the creator of “natural evil” (as judgment). While it is a step away from making God the author of moral evil, further examination of this passage vindicates God from authoring any evil.
God is the source of only good (Psa. 85:12; 86:5; 106:1; 107:1; 118:1, 29; 135:3; 136:1). He is not the source of evil or its results. Evil produces evil (Matt. 7:15-20). The fruit of evil is death and destruction (Ps. 7:14-16; 34:15-21; Prov. 1:31; 22:8; Gal. 6:7-8; Hosea 8:7; 10:13; Jer. 12:13). God is not the giver of evil fruit, but Satan is (John 8:44; 10:10).
In the context of Isa. 45:7, the Lord was at war with Babylon and He was letting them know that as a part of His judgment upon them He would allow calamity or trouble to come their way. The calamities are the result of judgment upon nations like Babylon that oppose God (Isa. 45:24) and who will reap what they have sown (Ps. 7:14-16; Gal. 6:5-6).
So why does God say that He is the creator of darkness and evil in Isa. 45:7? This is resolved as we learn the language of the Bible. To understand the problem of evil we must understand the Hebrew language and its “permissive idioms”. The language in Isa. 45:7 must be viewed as “permissive” rather than “causative”. Dr. Walter C. Kaiser writes:

“Even though much of the physical evil often comes through the hands of wicked men and women, ultimately God permits it. Thus, the Hebrew way of speaking, which ignores secondary causation in a way Western thought would never do, whatever God permits may be directly attributed to him, often without noting that secondary and sinful parties were the immediate causes of the disaster…. It is God who must allow (and that is the proper term) these calamities to come.[1]

Evil is the result of people removing themselves from God’s protection, thus receiving the consequences of their choices in a morally ordered universe. God’s responsibility as far as evil is concerned is only to the extent that He created laws of sowing and reaping.

[1] Kaiser Jr., Walter C. Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1996), p. 306

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Is God the Creator of Good and Evil? (Part One)

January 6


Is God the Creator of Good and Evil? (Part One)


I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isa. 45:7)


Based on this passage some have declared that God is the creator of all darkness and evil. Did God actually create evil as He did the earth, the heavens, angels, animals, and humans? Can evil even be considered a created thing? Such an idea contradicts other Scriptures concerning the nature and character of God. For example, we are told that God is “Light” (1 John 1:5). If there is no darkness in God then how could He have created it? Jesus said only that which is in a person is what comes out of Him (Matt. 15:18-20; 12:35).

Other passages teach that God is a God of peace, who only desires peace, and not evil (1 Cor. 14:33; Jer. 29:11). If God is the author of peace and only wants to give peace rather than evil, how could He be the creator of evil? The Bible also makes it implicitly clear that God hates evil and that He has absolutely nothing to do with it (Psalm 5:4; Prov. 8:13; Jer. 44:4-5; Prov. 6:16-19; Zech. 8:17; Deut. 28:31; Hab. 1:13; Job 34:10-12). If God hates evil then why would He create it? This would appear to be an extreme contradiction.

To solve what appears to be an apparent contradiction, based on the above, some commentators say that God is not the creator of moral evil, i.e. sin, but that He is the One who directs calamities and disasters in His providence. Certainly God is not the author of moral evil (1 John 2:16; James 1:13; Eccl. 7:29) and theologians are correct in stating that the “evil” in Isa. 45:7 is not the evil of sin but of its punishments.[1] From this theologians attempt to vindicate God by saying that He is the creator of the disasters, troubles, woe, and hardships which are the punishments for evil.

However, I do not find this to be very helpful. It still makes God responsible for certain types of horrendous evils that harm and destroy, which contrasts with a number of statements by Jesus concerning Himself (John 10:10; Luke 9:51-56). Can one still trust God if He is not the author of moral evil but is still the author of “natural evil?” We will delve further into this tomorrow.

[1] Other translations render Isa. 45:7 as God “creating calamity” (New American Standard Bible), “create disaster” (New International Version), “preparing evil” (Young's literal Translation), “I cause troubles” (New Century Version), “sending troubles” (Bible in Basic English), “I create woe” (The Complete Jewish Bible), “create hardship” (Peshitta - Lamsa Translation).

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Church Web Page

Our church, Christ's Victory Bible Teaching Center, has a new web page which is now up and running. Lots of new free books and other resources:

Do All Things Happen for a Reason?

January 1

Do all Things Happen for a Reason?

“Did you notice my servant Job?” the Lord asked. “There is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is. He worships me and is careful not to do anything evil. You persuaded me to let you attack him for no reason at all, but Job is still as faithful as ever.” (Job 2:3; Good News Translation)

A friend is diagnosed with cancer, several teenagers are killed in a car accident on their way to college, a child is killed by a stray bullet in a drive by shooting, a man breaks into an apartment and brutally rapes a woman, a child is molested and killed by a pedophile, a great marriage is ending in divorce due to infidelity, a company goes bankrupt and the sole provider of the home loses his job….

The list can go on. Bad things happen to so many people. There is more negative than positive in this world. When these things happen we feel that we need something to say that brings comfort. One of many phrases chosen by our comforters (both Christian and non-Christian) is, “Well, all things happen for a reason”.

The statement usually means that God caused, planned or purposefully allowed someone to suffer a misfortune for an undetermined reason. One may not discover the reason in this life, but in the “sweet-by-and-by” all things will be made clear.

Job suffered a number of misfortunes: his children, his property, and the loss of his health. The first two chapters in Job reveal that Satan was the agent of destruction. Many claim that God had a divine secret plan for all of this and that Satan was merely doing God’s bidding. However, God says that there was no good reason for any of this to happen to Job. God did not design these satanic attacks. Satan, by falsely accusing God and Job, provoked and instigated the whole thing. There was no divine plan.

God has been blamed for Satan’s work even when it was clear that Satan was the culprit. We blame God by saying that He had a reason for allowing it. But God says that there was no particular reason for Job to suffer as he did. He places the whole plan for Job’s ruin on Satan.

Let us stop looking for some mystical good in evil situations. Satan’s work is what it is and is to be resisted, not embraced (James 4:7). Let us stop blaming God by assigning divine reasons for things that God says are completely Satan’s doing and not His.