According to Carl Sagan
, there is no God Who created the universe, and therefore there is no God in charge of the universe either. The universe is all there is or ever will be, and as to who or what is running the show is a moot point. We are in fact, according to men like Sagan
, connected to nothing and no one that transcends time and space
. This means that our universe and all those in it are simply adrift, and each man must do the best he can for himself. This is the common, pagan view of life.
It was a movie promotion in Ohio, the premier of the movie The Titanic. There were five survivors from that region of Ohio who showed up for the event. From the stage the five people briefly told their experiences. Interviewed by newspaper men and women, all of them roughly concluded, “We were lucky.” Not one mention of God, not one.
Stephen W. Hawkins
is best known for his “The Theory of Everything
,” also known as TOE
for short. Dr. Hawkins was a professor of mathematics at Cambridge University
, and one of the world’s most brilliant people. He states, “My proposal is the statement that the universe is a closed system
. We don’t need to suppose there’s something outside the universe which is not subject to its law
. It is the claim that the laws of science are sufficient to explain the universe.”
This is our modern world of education, and Dr. Hawkin’s theory is taught expicitly or for sure implicity in the public schools, colleges, and universities throughout the world, including America. The educational process is closed to God, and now students stub their TOE when they enter any classroom in the land. They not only stub their TOE, they stumble and fall and break their heads and seriously injure their brains.
Charley Chaplin once remarked after he found out that there was no life on Mars, “I am lonely.” Sometimes, even the most religious among us, feel that we are all alone, that no one sees, no one knows, no one cares, no one understands, and no one is in charge. Kind of like the fella who felt so lonely, so unknown, so anonymous, that he said, “I probably deserve the medal for loneliness, but who in the world would nominate me?” Now, that is loneliness.
Have you ever noticed how even some Christians are stunned and shaken by everything that is happening these days? It seems that the slightest thing that goes wrong throws some of them for a loop. Do you notice how queasy they are about the world situation? I am sensing these days more than a tinge of desperation in their voices. They appear as if their world is totally out of control, and that there is no God who is in charge of anything anywhere.
DOES ANYONE KNOW I’M HERE?
Pastor Ben Haden tells the story of a young man who worked at a church that Ben has pastored. One Saturday night there was a wedding in the church. The air-conditioning wasn’t working properly. The young man came on duty to supply enough “Freon” to get the air-conditioning operating properly. He worked half the night, and then passed out and became quite ill.
Ben went to see him in the hospital Monday morning. As he walked into this young man’s room, he relates how he saw more flowers in that room than he had seen in any hospital room in his entire life. They were beautiful and they were positioned all over the place – wall to wall flowers. He said to the young man, “The flowers are terrific, you must have a lot of friends.” “I do,” said the young fella, “look at them.”
After looking around, Ben noticed that they were all from the same florist. So he contacted the florist and found out that the young man had sent all of the flowers to himself. Does anyone care? Does anyone think that I matter? Does anyone really know me and my situation? When it comes right down to it:
“ONLY A PERSONAL, KNOWING, AND CARING GOD CAN RESTORE
MAN’S ERODED SENSE OF PERSONHOOD.”
Without that, people celebrate their birthday alone, even in a crowd.
Into that vacuum and void comes the revelation of Jesus Christ into our lives, and the Apostle John makes the stunning announcement about Him in John 2:24-25,
“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them,
for He knew all men,”
“and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning
man for He Himself knew what was in man.”
The Lord Jesus not only knows all men, but He knows everything that is in man. He knows all of the windings, the turnings, the ups, the downs, and the crossways of our emotions. He knows all of the secrets of our minds, both their intricacies and even their confused and confusing entanglements. Fact:
“GOD’S KNOWLEDGE IS AN INFINITE LIGHT THAT SHINES INTO EVERY
CORNER OF MAN’S INSIDES, EXPOSING EVERY SECRET, HITTING
THEM WITH DIRECT AND TOTALLY ILLUMINATING BEAMS.”
If you will:
“GOD IS TOTALLY IN OUR HEADS.”
You know how it is with us sometimes, when we say one thing and we are really thinking something else. Like when we give a fake compliment to someone that we really don’t like. We are not getting away with it, for this reason:
“GOD’S INFINITE KNOWLEDGE MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO
BE DECEIVED, AND HIS INFINITE RIGHTEOUSNESS MAKES IT
EQUALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO DECEIVE US.”
In fact, so infinite is His knowledge of what is in our heads that He tells us in Psalm 139:2,
“Thou dost understand my thought afar off.”
“Afar off” means that He knows and understands my thoughts even before I think them, that is, what I will think in the future. If you will:
“GOD’S KNOWLEDGE IS NOT ONLY OMNISCIENT, BUT IT IS
PRENISCIENT, AND HIS FOREKNOWLEGE OF OUR
THOUGHTS IS MORE CERTAIN THAN
THE EXPERIENCE OR THE MEMORY
OF THEM CAN BE TO US
No wonder David said in Psalm 139:6,
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I
cannot attain to it.”
Neither can I! This is absolutely mind blowing!
GOD KNOWS AND IS OUR EVERYWHERE
It gets ever more awesome! Psalm 139 is one of the most mind-boggling Psalms in the entire Biblical Psalter. Just note for a moment the following in Psalm 139:3 KJV,
“Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art
acquainted with all my ways.”
The word “COMPASSEST” means “SURROUNDS.” The words “MY PATH” mean “MY DAILY, PUBLIC, COMING AND GOING.” The words “MY LYING DOWN” mean “MY NIGHTLY, PRIVATE, LYING DOWN, SLEEPING, AND RISING UP.” The words “ALL MY WAYS” mean “ALL THAT I DO, SAY, THINK.” That pretty well covers everything don’t you think?
Lots of people in the world have this eerie and foreboding concept of God that He is “Watching” them, “Peeking” at them from Heaven. You know, the God Who is the “Great Heavenly Spy” who watches us chiefly for wrong doing, and taking notes and keeping a rap sheet on us every day and night. Believe it or not, this is the national religion not only, but the international religion of religious and unreligious people all over the world.
Of course, all of that is as pagan as can be. The truth is:
“GOD DOES NOT LOOK AT US FROM AFAR AND THEREFORE KNOWS
ABOUT US, BUT RATHER, HE KNOWS US INSIDE AND OUT
BECAUSE HE IS IN US AND ALL AROUND US.”
God encompasses us, surrounds us, and is behind us, right next to us, before us, everywhere, all the time. Listen:
“OUR PROBLEM HAS NEVER BEEN THAT GOD OUGHT TO SPEND MORE
TIME WITH US, BUT RATHER THAT WE CONSCIOUSLY SHOULD
SPEND MORE TIME WITH HIM.”
Remember this, that God surrounds us with His love, care, and protection
at all times – when we are minding the kids
, doing dishes
, making love
, visiting our parents
, sorting out the attic
, sweeping out the garage
, replacing cracked widow-panes
, doing yard work
, or painting the trim on your house
. No matter how big or small your house is, you are going to have to share it with Him.
No wonder then we are told by the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 10:31,
“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do,
do it all to the glory of God.”
For after all, He is standing right there surrounding you. Therefore:
“BECAUSE HE SURROUNDS US, WE MIGHT JUST AS WELL
SURRENDER TO HIM.”
This all makes it much easier to live to an audience of One, now doesn’t it? For you never have to say to God, “Hey, I’m over here!” You never have to yell out to God. “I’m home!’ For after all, He came in with you, just as He left with you in the morning. For that matter he surrounded you in your sleep all night long, so it is never correct to say, “I sleep alone.” No you don’t! Boy is that an eyebrow-raising comment when you say as a single Christian adult to your friends, “I never sleep alone.”
NO SECRETS FROM GOD
I have so appreciated the words of the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 23:23,
“‘Am I a God Who is near,’ declares the Lord,
‘And not a God far off
It is impossible for us to be secretive about anything with God. When it comes to our carefully guarded public image, you can forget about that with God. He sees right through it because He knows exactly how we act in private, and what we do in private defines who we really are. How does it feel to be absolutely denuded and stripped of all mystique?
My, my, does this lend more than a note of realism to our story! How is all of this for a reality check?
Why is it impossible for us to hide anything from God? Because of what Jeremiah says next in Jeremiah 23:24,
“‘Can a man hide himself in hiding places, so I do not see him?’
declares the Lord. ‘Do I not fill the heavens and
the earth,’ declares the Lord
That’s why! It is simply this:
“HIS ALL-AWARENESS AND ALL-KNOWINGNESS IS TIED
TO HIS ALL-PRESENTNESS.”
In other words:
“HE THAT ALWAYS AND EVERWHERE STANDS BY US, MUST
THEREFORE SEE AND KNOW ALL ABOUT US.”
If you will:
“IF YOU WOULD GO SOMEWHERE AWAY FROM GOD’S KNOWLEDGE,
YOU MUST FIRST GET AWAY FROM HIS PRESENCE.”
Which of course we are no more able to do, than we can get away from ourselves!
Certainly, one of the greatest encouragements for sinning is the whole idea of secrecy, not being noticed or seen. You know, the old “Catch Me If You Can” game that kids play. Or better yet, “Hide And Go Seek.” Fact:
“BEING CONFIDENT OF CONCEALMENT IS A GREAT
INDUCEMENT TO SIN.”
This, men suppose, gives them the kind of independence and secrecy that jungle cats and even house cats cherish. In that regard, the whole world abounds in cats. That is exactly what is expressed by the psalmist in Psalm 64:5,
“They hold fast to themselves an evil purpose; they talk of
laying snares secretly; they say, ‘Who can see them?’”
“BECAUSE MEN DON’T SEE GOD, THEY SUBCONSCIOUSLY
CONCLUDE THAT GOD DOESN’T SEE THEM
Kind of like the foolish ostrich bird with his head in a hole and his rump in the air, thinking to himself that he is safe from the view of the hunter because the hunter is not in his view. This for us all gets blown away by the Word of God in Psalm 90:8,
“Thou hast placed our iniquities before Thee, out secret sins
in the light of Thy countenance.”
NOTHING IS OUT OF CONTROL
It seems that way from time to time, especially in these times. But hear this:
“NOT ONLY DOES GOD KNOW ALL THINGS, HE HAS POWER OVER
EVERYTHING THAT HE KNOWS.”
That is why he is THE ALMIGHTY GOD. So it was that God said to Abraham, the father of all believers,
“I am God Almighty.”
He is not only all-mindful, He is all-powerful. He sees all, knows all, and controls all. Now get this:
“EVEN AS THERE IS NO WANDERING OUT OF HIS OMNISCIENT SIGHT,
THERE IS NO SLIPPING THROUGH HIS OMNIPOTENT FINGERS.”
It goes without saying that today, this very moment, the seas of our lives are being blown tumultuously by the winds of chaotic circumstances in our world, and there appears to be no let up in sight. The tsunamis of our lives and of contemporary world history seem to be rolling out of control.
The darkest of ages
has descended upon science
. Despite the advances of technology, we are living in the darkest period in mankind’s history. It puts the Middle Ages to shame
. Today we have more Bibles than ever before, but they are still not read, even inside the church. The Bible is no longer allowed to be consulted when a challenge to our faith appears. The result – massive deception
Not only an age of deception, but of despair at any early age. To the teenager in our homes and public schools, the world looks meaningless, empty, hopeless, and out of control. One of the most amazing, tragic phenomena in modern society is the rash of teen suicides. Did you know that self-inflicted death is the leading cause of death among persons between ages 13 and 19, and the rate is rising among chilren as young as 6.
A 12 year old boy hangs himself after being disciplined at school. A 16 year old shoots himself while visiting a friend. Another boy takes his own life with a borrowed .357 Magnum. What in the world could make these young people feel so hopeless and helpless about life that he or she feels that death is the only way out.
What they don’t know and what they are not being taught at home or school is that the God of love, purpose and power for their lives rules over all the affairs of nations and of men. What they have never experienced is Psalm 97:1,
“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice.”
I am reminded of the words of Dylan Thomas:
“DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT.”
God’s will for us is to fight on, not to ever give up. We are never to be quitters. For Romans 8:31 promises us:
“IF GOD IS FOR IS, WHO IS AGAINST US?”
Footnote #1 – Nothing Is Out Of Control
At the same time we must remember:
“IT IS FOOLISHNESS FOR US TO THINK THAT GOD WILL TAKE
RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR LIVES WHEN WE GO
ON LIVING IRRESPONSIBLY.”
For instance – an obvious example. Our lives will financially remain an out-of-control piece of work when we refuse to control a piece of plastic. If you will:
“GOD WILL NOT BLESS OUR FINANCES WHEN WE INSIST UPON
BRINGING A FINANCIAL CURSE UPON OURSELVES.”
“GOD WILL TAKE CONTROL FOR GOOD WHEN WE
EXERCISE CONTROL OVER THE BAD
Southwest Airlines, which is in the news right now for planes with metal fatigue, held a contest on one of its flights. The person with the most credit cards won. The guy who won had sixteen credit cards in his wallet.
Listen, the fruit of the spirit is SELF-CONTROL
, and that means controlling everything about ourselves, starting with those things that are controlling us.
Talking about overspending and overindulgence, I am reminded here of the Danish philosopher by the name of Soren Kierkegaard, who once told the story of a flock of geese that was starting to head south to escape the blast of wintry winds.
The first night they landed in a farmer’s yard and filled themselves with corn. Next morning they flew on, that is, all except one. “The corn is good,” the big goose said, “so I will stay and enjoy it another day.” The next morning he decided to wait another day before flying south. Then another day, and another, and so it went.
Then came the inevitable day when the winds of winter were so severe that waiting longer would mean death in the frozen wastes. So he stretched his wings and waddled across the barnyard, pickiing up speed as he went. But alas! He as too fat to fly and he had waited too long. (I think that the moral of the story is clear and needs no comment.)
Footnote #2 – Nothing Is Out Of Control
I am reminded of something author Kurt Vonnegut once told a university graduating class about his lifelong philosophy. He simply said, “Regardless of how bad things are today, they will be worse tomorrow.”
We are told that people’s fear of the future has changed. Once people feared that they would die too soon. Now they fear that they will die too late. That is, they will have outlived their assets and will spend their last years in poverty.
Many people are discovering today that life really does begin at forty. today’s forty year old can possibly look forward to another half-century of productive living. Of course, says the cynic, the way Social Security is going we will have to be productive for another half-century.
“SIMPLY BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT BRING ITS
SPENDING UNDER CONTROL, WE MUST MAKE SURE
THAT WE DON’T LIKE THE GOVERNMENT BORROW
43% OF EVERY DOLLAR WE SPEND.”
The time for us to spend less on ourselves and give more to the Kingdom of God is right here and now. It will be the only way for Christians to prosper in the midst of what is coming.
Footnote #3 – Nothing Is Out of Control
“AS MODERN SCIENCE ADDS YEARS TO MEN’S LIVES, ONLY
FAITH IN GOD CAN ADD LIFE TO OUR YEARS.”
Some of you know that Samuel Clemens, or Mark Twain as he is better known, was not a happy man. Particularly in his later years, he was quite crusty and cynical. Twain was married to a woman named Olivia Langdon. When they first married Olivia had a simple but devout faith.
At first the young couple read a chapter from the Bible every day and prayed at meals
, but soon this was abandoned due to Twain’s disinterest
. He had little if any faith at all. Olivia gave up some of her religious convictions, too
, as time went along. Then Olivia and Mark traveled across Europe with her husband and listened to his friends who had forsaken what faith they had in God
Later, when sorrow struck their home, three of their children died, and Twain said to his wife, “Livy, if it comforts you to lean on your faith, do so.” Her pet name for Twain was “Youth.” She said to him, “I can’t, Youth; I haven’t any.”
How tragic and terribly sad. I spoke to one close to me the other day, and asked him if he was leading his family in devotions on a regular basis, and he sadly said, “No, not regularly.” Which answer means, “No, not at all.” I firmly encouraged him to do so, for only when our faith is built up will we stand strong when things break down. God forbid that we should hear the words from our wife or children, “I can’t, Youth, I haven’t any.”
CHRIST IS HEAD OVER ALL
In the Middle East growing furor which is leading to the coming of the anti-Christ, the great tribulation, and the battle of Armageddon, no restrictions seem any longer to be enforceable, and no laws seem any longer to be applicable. It is humanity gone beserk! Why, the Wild West of yesteryear looks like a ladies’ sowing club compared to this blood thirsty age.
Of course, God told us in His Word that this time would come, and that this would be the case. We read words in Psalm 2:1,2,4,5 that are more relevant today in this contemporary moment than ever before:
“Why are the nations in an uproar, and the people
devising a vain thing
“The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers
take counsel together against the Lord and
against His anointed.”
“He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.”
“Then He will speak to them in His anger, and terrify
them in His fury.”
Listen to Jesus in Matthew 28:18 KJV,
“All power is given to Me in Heaven and in earth….”
Jesus did not say, “Some Power.” He said, “All Power.” Take all of the nuclear weapons and arsenals of the world, compared to the power of Almighty God, they are only arsenals of BB guns, cap-guns, dart guns, water guns, and rubber-band guns. God will not only have the last word, He shall fire the last shot which shall dissolve all of the nations and kingdoms of this world. But God’s Kingom shall endure forever, as we read in Luke 1:33,
“… and His Kingdom will have no end.”
Nothing and no one in these seething days of unrest and international turmoil is random or ungoverned. Did you hear that? Nothing and no one is out of control. Lunatics abound yes indeed, but no loose cannons. There are crazies like Qaddafi and Ahmadinejad who have lost their minds. But they are not dangling loose ends whatsoever in HIS-STORY. We read of Jesus Christ our Lord in Colossians 2:10,
“…and He is the head over all rule and authority.”
You think that things look bad as they are. But if Jesus Christ’s vigilance slipped even momentarily, the entire earth would spin ouf of control, and we would be as helpless as a fly on the wall before a six-foot-wide fly swatter.
Nontheless, for many people at best:
“GOD IS A PEDDLING PEDESTRIAN PASSING BY ON HIS HEAVENLY
BICYCLE FROM TIME TO TIME, AS THIS OVERSIZED DOG CALLED
HISTORY WOOFS AT HIM AND NIPS AT GOD’S HEALS
WHEN HE GETS TOO CLOSE.”
“HISTORY IS NOT SOME HUGE, MINDLESS, HYPER-SPASTIC DOG ON A
LEASH PULLING AND DRAGGING MAN IN EVERY CHAOTIC
AND UNWANTED DIRECTION.”
“HISTORY IS A SMALL DOG ON A LEASH HELD BY GOD ALMIGHTY,
AND LITTLE-DOGGIE HISTORY IS CONTROLLED BY GOD
AT EVERY STEP AND IN EVERY DIRECTION
AT EVERY MOMENT.”
In short to change the metaphor for a moment:
“ON THE STAGE AND IN THE DRAMA OF WHAT WE CALL HISTORY WE
ARE, COMPARED TO THE LEADING ACTOR-GOD, THE MOST
PERIPHERAL OF SUPPORTING ACTORS AND
ACTRESSES, GOOD GUYS AND VILLAINS.”
And in the end:
“ALMIGHTY GOD WILL RECEIVE THE ALL-GLORY ACADEMY AWARD
FOR MASTERFULLY TURNING WHAT APPEARED TO BE A
TRAGEDY INTO AN ETERNAL TRIUMPH FOR HIMSELF
AND FOR HIS PEOPLE.”
When the drama of history is complete, Jesus Christ will receive the glory-awards for best Writer
, best Director
, best Actor
, an best everything
. Even Satan and his followers
will have to admit, “Now , that is some kind of story
.” Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that not only is Jesus Lord, but the writer and director of the best true story ever written
. And His followers will be there to applaud Him forever.
Let the Holy Spirit massage all of that deeply into our scalps. Anything less than all of that is unbiblical and false.
GOD’S CONTROL – BEYOND COMPREHENSION
As Christians we walk with the same Jesus that the disciples walked with, that Jesus who rebuked violently wind-blown and storm-driven seas causing them to become instantly calm. We read in Matthew 8:25-26,
“And they came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, ‘Save us Lord;
we are perishing.”
“And He said to them, ‘Why are you timid, you men of little faith?’
Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea,
and it became perfectly calm.”
The Lord God of Heaven and earth controls both with but a word. But then that should not surpirse us when seeing that He created the entire universe with a word.
“Okay for them,” someone says, “but what about my storms? No one seems be in control on my behalf.” Yes, I know exactly what you are talking about. Our precious daughter-in-law MaShelle, our dear oldest son Mark’s wife, struggled with cancer for three years before the Lord took her unto himself at age 36. It was a most agonizing journey, and she died a most difficult death physically speaking. She wasted away to 90 pounds. We saw our son with their two young daughters walk through this dark valley of unspeakable pain and sorrow. We miss her so very much to this very day, even though we know she is with the Lord in glory.
I have found over the years that it is not only a waste of time, but also a mentally and emotionally debilitating exercise, to try to figure God out. You know, the way He does business, the way He operates, the things He brings to pass. Oh, I have tried to figure Him out to be sure, and it is natural to each one of us to try. But it is so often an exercise in futility. Why? Because of what we read in Isaiah 55:8-9 where God says to us:
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your
ways My ways,’ declares the Lord, “
‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My
ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts
than your thoughts.’”
Or again in Romans 11:33,
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge
of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His
ways past finding out.”
First of all, we humans believe that if we were in control, we would always do it the right way. No fuss, no muss, no bother! The Bible tells us that every way of man is right in his own eyes. (Proverbs 21:2) I have learned that in many cases, when I thought I had it all figured out, and I was sure of the way I should go, it turned into a big bust.
We don’t know the end from the beginning, only God does. We read the strong words of God in Isaiah 46:10-11,
“…For I am God, and there is none other; I am God, and there is
no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning….”
Amazing! God declares the end of all things, even the end of the world as we now know it, from the very beginning. How can He be so sure of the end before it has even begun. Because of what Isaiah says next in Isaiah 46:10-11,
“And I will accomplish My good pleasure…truly I have spoken;
truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely
I will do it.”
God is so cocksure of the ending from the beginning, not only because His prescience sees into the detailed future, but because His purposeful power controls the futue and will bring every detail into being.
Second, God tells us right out that His ways are not our ways, and that His ways are past our understanding. We cannot fathom them. That is why it is such good, sound wisdom to follow this advice:
“NEVER JUDGE A TRAGEDY OR TRIAL ON THE DAY
THAT IT OCCURS.”
Do you think that Christ’s dying on the cross made sense at all to the disciples on what we call Good Friday, which for Christ was the most awful Friday He had ever seen. Did it even slightly seem to them to be the gateway to a glorious future in Heaven, or did it seem more like Hell had been unleashed?
For that matter, is there anyone of us who can fully explain the cross? Why did God choose the cross? Why did it have to be the cross? How can the cross be the perfect way of salvation? We only accept by faith that it was and is.
Third, we live in a life and world where it is so difficult for the average person to truly see things in terms of the eternal. Why? Because everything around us and everyone around us seem to be so momentary, so temporal! It is hard, even for Christians, to take a spiritual view of all things when we live in such an unspiritual, physical world.
I wonder, was it difficult for the prophet Hosea to see things from a spiritual point of view and understand them as they really were? Let alone God doing and building something, it must have seemed to Hosea at best that someone had been maliciously fooling around on the construction site. If God was on a mission, it must have seemed to Hosea as a mission impossible not only, but a mission gone mad.
I mean, let’s get gut-level honest here, sometimes when God is up to something, it seems at first and even half way through more like the gruesome and gut-wrenching stuff of which horror movies are made.
Hosea was a prophet in the 8th century B.C. He prophesied under four kings of Judah, and one king of Israel. He was a man of God, and was singled out in the most unimaginable way to deliver a very hard message.
There is an old expression about GOING OVER FOOL’S HILL. All of Israel had gone over fool’s hill. They claimed to be religious, but they worshipped other gods. They claimed to know the Lord, but they acted like they didn’t know Him at all. They claimed to be obedient, but it was only with their lips.
“How did God happen to choose Hosea,” you might ask. I don’t know why God chooses who and what He chooses. He is God, and we are not. He is in control, and we are not! For sure, Hosea wasn’t in and of himself equipped for the job. But knowing his story, not one of us would be equipped for the job that God called Hosea to do.
Hosea had a wife named Gomer. No, not Gomer Pyle from Andy of Mayberry. This was Gomer the Prostitute. I don’t know whether she bothered to divorce Hosea or not, but we do know that she passed through a number of men. I don’t know whether she was a professional or an amateur prostitute…but she was a prostitute.
The Lord told Hosea, “You go and you buy your wife back. You may think she’s cheap and worth nothing, but put great value on her when you buy her back. Pay a high price. Take her back to yourself and love her as your wife and mother of your children…for that is what has happened in all of Israel, for the entire nation has gone whoring after other gods”
“I want your heart Hosea broken first, before you prophesy judgment to these people. Then you will not speak high and mighty or self-righteously. You will speak as a man who has taken back a prostituting wife. And you will understand what it means to have your heart broken like Mine is broken.”
God has His ways! Oh my does He ever! Do we understand them? Do they even seem sane to us let alone loving? Why don’t we ask Hosea as he buys back his wife-prostitute off the streets and takes her home to his children, one whose name was Loruhamah meaning “I will not have compassion,” and another named Loammi meaning “Not my people.”
To be God’s prophet, Hosea had to live what God was living, even as to be an effective witness for Christ, we are going to have to live what Christ lived.
Listen, hear it good:
“WHEN THINGS SEEM TO BE THE MOST OUT OF CONTROL FOR GOD’S
PEOPLE, THAT IS EXACTLY WHEN GOD IS PERFECTLY,
POWERFULLY AND MOST PURPOSEFULLY IN
We just cannot see it at the time! But we must sink our teeth of faith into the fact that God knows what He is doing, and that He does all things well. (Mark 7:37) More than that, that Christ is Who the Holy Spirit says He is in Romans 9:5,
“He is over all, God blessed forever.”
That may not fit in with our theology, but it is Biblical, and we must therefore change our theology. Nothing, nothing, nothing is ever out of control in our lives or in this world. Nothing great or nothing small! Everything, everything, everything is under Christ’s control, everything great and everything small. For the Word of the Lord tells us that He is over everything, not some things, not most things, but He has power over all things, and is God blessed forever.
Therefore, there is no place for worry, fear, doubt, fussing, fretting, or complaining. I hear God our loving and almighty Father say through the Psalmist in Psalm 46:10 say,
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
That does not mean that we are to shut our mouths and hush up, though at times that is exactly what we need to do. Rather, when He tells us to be still, He means to be calm, to be at peace, because God is God and has everything under control. He is talking not only about peace that passes understanding, but if you will, a peace without understanding. Except that what is understood by faith is that God works all things for good to those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) Therefore we can and must always praise Him, for He is over all, God blessed forever.
(WHO’S IN CONTROL AROUND HERE Pt. 2 coming soon)