Creation—An Instrument Of The Divine Will -- By: Scott Souza

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 07:3 (Summer 1998)
Article: Creation—An Instrument Of The Divine Will
Author: Scott Souza

Creation—An Instrument Of The Divine Will

Scott Souza

God uses creation the way a man uses his hand. Frequently Scripture speaks of the activity and influence of God as the “hand of God.” Other designations also apply. These are more than figures of speech. They put us face to face with a very powerful reality about how the world operates, and they instruct us to look beyond the material and the human systems which operate the world. We can get much better insight into our world and our personal circumstances if we take a close look at some of these figures of speech.

Begin, for instance, with this insight from Solomon: “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Prov. 21:1). The one most free among men, the one most able to accomplish his will, is the king. His will flows as easily as water. Look around, especially in the ancient world, and you will see nearly nothing which impedes a king’s will—especially in his own kingdom. However, his will, which moves so freely, is constrained and directed by the Lord. The image is striking. Here freedom and constraint are combined in the same image.

In contrast, consider Thomas Carlyle’s statement about free will: Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness on the confines of two everlasting hostile empires—Necessity and Free Will” (Essays, “The Opera,” Shorter Bartlett’s, 62).

For Carlyle, “Necessity and Free Will” were in conflict. For the Bible writer they were two parts of the same reality. Carlyle gives them equal power. In Scripture, the greater power is God’s.

A practical implication of the scriptural doctrine is that a will which is irresistible to us is perfectly guidable by God. Like the banks of a river moving a stream of water here or there, he decides its direction and controls it fully. It is a lesson to be taken to heart if we are oppressed by others.

There are negative and positive aspects of such control. “The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord” (2 Chron. 30:12). This “unity of mind” came from “the hand of God.” Here we have a blessing caused by God’s control over the hearts of others.

A negative aspect of such control can be found in 1 Kings 12:24 (and context). When the ten tribes rebelled against Rehoboam and split the kingdom, the Lord refused to allow Rehoboam to quell...

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