The only way to reconcile the idea of a God that is extremely good with the way the world is today is to understand that God’s will is rarely accomplished. How else could you explain all the evil in the world? You couldn’t. If God caused this evil or allowed this evil then He would be evil.
For example, what if you pushed your son out in front of a car? Would that be evil? Yes. What if your son ran out in front of a car and you could have stopped him but didn’t? Would that be evil? Yes, very evil. But what if your son ran out in front of a car and you did everything in your power to keep it from happening, but was unable to save him? Would that be evil? No, it would be righteous. You would be praised for your effort, even if you were unable to save him. Why is the same not true with God? Shall not the judge of all the earth do right? Would not God judge us if we acted in the first or second manner of the father in this illustration? And would He not praise us if we acted in the third manner? He would. Yet, why do people throw everything off onto the will of God as if He had done these evil things for some great unknown purpose of His own? I don’t know why. It is an insult to God who is the Father of justice and righteousness and all that is good.
Its strange to me that people cannot see that the ENTIRE bible is a story of a loving God reaching out to a stubborn people who continually refuse Him time and again. Its a story of a God who is very slow to judgment and very quick in mercy. He reaches out time and time again, but finally brings judgment (and that against His own desire) to those that commit such great evil. Jesus sums it up very well in this one statement:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen [gathers] her brood under [her] wings, but you were not willing! Lk 13:34
Don’t you see the heart of God here? He wanted so much to gather the people under the protective wings of a loving God, but instead was forced to bring judgment on them by means of the Romans.
Even so, God desires to do so much for the world and even more for those who love Him. But so often His will is hindered. Noticed that Jesus teaches us to pray like this: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. If God’s will was always accomplished on earth, why in the world would Jesus teach us to pray that way? No, God’s will IS done in heaven, but rarely on the earth.
There was a time on earth were God’s will was being accomplish very successfully. It was the time when Jesus was here. And notice God’s will in action: the sick were healed, the blind received sight, the deaf received their hearing, the maimed were restored, the demon possessed were delivered, the mentally handicapped were restored to soundness of mind, those who died young were raised from the dead, the poor were fed, the depressed received joy, and, most importantly, the spiritually dead were given eternal life. It was the will of God in action! Glory to God. And if God’s will was being perfectly demonstrated today we would see the exact same things!
The sad thing is that God’s will can be demonstrated today as it was in Jesus’ time. Didn’t Jesus say, “the works that I do, you shall do also?” He did. But our faithlessness and our sinfulness and our laziness and our desire for worldly things have kept us from walking in the perfect will of God. In fact, there are very, very few people who ever walk in the perfect will that God has for their lives. I am included in that bunch. However, with God’s help we can be different.
In the bible you will see that all that God does, he does through men. Men are his partner in carrying out His will. However, if God cannot find a man to carry out His will then His will is not carried out. This fact is demonstrated all throughout the bible, but must notably in this passage in Ezekiel:
So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Ez 22:30
Notice that is was God’s will for the people to be saved, but He was forced to destroy because He found no one to stand in the gap. Notice how He even goes through the effort of looking for somebody. Isn’t that interesting? Why did God need a man to keep him from destroying the people? Well that’s a whole different subject, but the fact is that he needed that man and could not find him.
The point is that God’s will is not accomplished so often because of man. Men are the weak link in the chain. But, oh, if man will get it right. If man will submit to God and allow God to mold him and shape him into what God desires, what great things we would see. It would be a cause of great praise and glory to God! Amen!
Oh, that God’s will would be done on earth. How awesome it would be.