December 28, 2007

God is in Control and Will Be This Time Next Year

It is January 4th, four days into the new year. There remains only 361 days in this calendar year and yet by this time next year, we will still be under terrorist watch alerts; health care professionals will still be wringing their hands over the rate of pregnancies to unwed mothers; CDC officials will still be baffled at the rise of sexually transmitted diseases due to a wholesale, cultural lack of self control; the ridiculous cost of health care will continue to soar; George Bush will still be blamed for everything wrong in the world, global warming will continue to be hyped in spite of objective analysis and the price of filling your gas tank will still be inflated by the manufactured pressure of supply and demand.

But the big news story of 2008 will be who will sit in the White House having obtained the nod of the American public with the expectation that whoever it is, will make a significant dent in these monumental issues.

I hate being Mr. Dismal but I have been alive long enough now to see presidents come and go and while there have been minuscule changes for the better concerning the common good, the world has not improved nor will it. And that will not change no matter who sits in the Oval Office--my humble opinion…

The longer I live, the more clearly I seem to see the hand of God involved in the affairs of mortal man. Good leaders improve things here and there, or at least palliate symptoms of the diseased human spirit, but root causes are rarely if ever addressed and God is increasingly a concept better left in a closet.

When Nebuchadnezzar of the Old Testament--the King during Daniel's life--was recalcitrant and was sentenced to punishment by the Supreme Creator of the universe. Daniel records the following: "This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers, and the decision is a command of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes…"

This exact phrase is repeated four times in the short book and the point ought to be clear.

God is in control; not Republicans; not Democrats; not conservatives or liberals and the next leader of this wayward country will be the one--for good or bad--placed there by the hand of God. That is not necessarily comforting but it should be encouraging. There is a God and His will, will be done. One way or another.


Blogger Matt Sargent said...

As much as I agree, there are many who would see this outlook as fatalistic and use it as an excuse to check out of their civic and moral duty to be good stewards of our government. I've heard some waffle from saying we have to vote for the most moral candidate to saying we must vote for the most qualified/experienced person. While I've also been wishy-washy on this, I've come to the point that I will "vote my conscience" in the primaries (GO HUCKABEE!!) and will vote for the lesser of two evils if necessary come next November. If Hillary (or any other undesirable candidate) makes it into office, I will not give up on my little realm of influence here in snake-navel, Maine - but I will certainly have given it my best shot at influencing the affairs of the nation.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Servant said...

''The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord, He turns it wherever He wishes'' Proverbs 21:1

''God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable cousel of His own will to the praise and the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy'' (Westminster Confession of Faith)

I pray that God , by His grace, continue to reveal to you, by His Word, His absolute sovereignty in ALL things. His will is never, never, subject to the will of men.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Matt Sargent said...

Proverbs 3:27 - "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, When it is in the power of thy hand to do it." We have a representative government - in theory, everyone from our President down to the lowliest Ward Clerk is our employee. We are not subject to a theocracy, monarchy or dictatorship (yet.) If we've been given the freedom and responsibility to have a say in who makes and enforces the law of the land, then we need to be as "wise as serpents and harmless as doves." Do I believe God is totally sovereign? You bet. Do I also believe that man is a free moral agent, responsible for the choices he makes? Indeed. Are these seemingly paradoxical ideas in contradiction to one another? No more than the concept of God being three and yet one at the same time. Or the fact that I am already sanctified and seated in the heavenly places with Christ (according the to the Bible) and yet I am also admonished to "work out my salvation with fear and trembling." I've wrestled too much with the hyper-Calvinstic mindset to be comfortable in that camp. I also don't want to live in daily fear of losing my salvation. The tension between God's sovereignty and my free will creates the perfect "high-wire" balance that keeps me from stumbling and falling to my doom: either paralytic fear or high-minded callousness. There are plenty of things that should give any spiritually discerning believer heartburn - enough so that it spurs us on to love and good works. At the end of the day, God is still in control and gets all the glory. I have to wonder, though, how many will hear those long-awaited words: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

5:10 PM  
Blogger Servant said...

matt sargent, take a deep breath.
Your straw-man argument ie: fatalistic dogmatic hyper-calvinism has no purpose here except perhaps, though not intentionally, to diminish the proclamation by Cripe that God is absolutely in control. Certainly I am not advocating that this removes or even minimizes our reponsibility to live obedient and godly lives.
As a great preacher from the past once said:
'' I believe in predestination, yea, even in its very jots and tittles. I believe that the path of a single grain of dust in the March wind is ordained and settled by a decree which cannot be violated; that every word and thought of man, every flittering of a sparrow's wing, every flight of a fly...that everything, in fact is foreknown and foreordained. But I do equally believe in the free agency of man, that man acts as he wills, especially in moral operationsÑchoosing the evil with a will that is unbiased by anything that comes from God, biased only by his own depravity of heart and the perverseness of his habits; choosing the right too, with perfect freedom, though sacredly guided and led by the Holy Spirit...I believe that man is as accountable as if there were no destiny whatever...Where these two truths meet I do not know, nor do I want to know. They do not puzzle me, since I have given up my mind to believing them both.''
Unless I misunderstand Cripe's post I think the point is that as God's children we should be anguished even infuriated at the direction and place this once great nation is at. But as God's children we, like Paul, can be ''content in all things'' and we need not be surprised that our nation and the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Matt Sargent said...

I can "amen" that! :)

8:49 AM  

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