DOES GOD REALLY CONTROL ALL THINGS SO THAT HIS WILL IS ALWAYS ACCOMPLISHED?
PART I OF A SERIES
By Wayne Camp
Scripture: Acts 4:27-28 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
Psalm 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Psalm 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.
Isaiah 14:24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.
Isaiah 46:9-11 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
Nahum 1:3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
Genesis 41:27-32 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. 28 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. 29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: 30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; 31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous. 32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Amos 4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.
Job 36:32 With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.
Job 23:13-14 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. 14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
Genesis 45:5-8 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. 6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 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.
Genesis 50:19-20 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Genesis 29:31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.
1 Samuel 1:5-6 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb. 6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.
Jonah 1:4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
Jonah 1:17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 4:6 And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.
Jonah 4:7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.
Jonah 4:8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.
TEXT: Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
INTRO: I realize there are several passages of Scripture leading into this message. I want to treat in detail and with sufficient Scriptural backing to leave no doubt in the mind of any who believe the Bible to be the word of God that God does, in fact, control and order all things so that his will is accomplished in all events.
My subject is, Does God Really Control All Things So That His Will Is Always Accomplished? Our second text declares that God works all things after the counsel of his own will. We must believe that or declare God a liar. We must believe that or declare that God is not always God over all things. We must believe that or affirm that there are people and things that sometimes control and rule God. If God is not always in control, then that which does control would dethrone him as God and would itself become God.
I heard a man from Channel 5 stations discussing the death of Dave Browns (TV 5 Weather Man) daughter and two children, one of which was unborn. He said, "I want to know where the wisdom of God was when this happened. Why did God permit this to happen?" A drunk, who had previous DUI offences, hit them while under the influence of alcohol. Recently a storm wiped out a small town in Texas. The preacher who preached the funeral of a couple of the victims was quoted in the Commercial Appeal as saying God was not in the storm. He said God was there but that he had nothing to do with the storm. In another instance a little girl who was bitten by a tick and died, and I am sure some would affirm that God had absolutely nothing to do with that event.
When such things happen, we are prone to ask, "Was God in this? Did God do this? At the risk of being accused of painting an undesirable picture of our Great and Glorious God, I am going to deal with the question, Does God Really Control All Things So That His Will Is Always Accomplished? In order to answer this question, I will pose several questions to which I will give a biblical answer.
One of the clearest answers to this question is found in the words of the prophet Nahum. Nahum 1:3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. Please note that Nahum does not specify a specific storm or specific storms. He simply declares that God has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm. That control is so complete that the clouds are declared to be the dust of his feet. Nahum does not equivocate or rationalize. He does not seek to deliver God from a supposed dilemma. He does not worry that someone might think that the God of the Bible is a terrible God. The truth is God is a terrible God. Psalm 47:2 For the LORD most high is terrible. Therefore, Nahum says without hesitation that God has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm.
Josephs words clearly establish that God caused a famine in the days when Joseph first ruled in Egypt. In fact, a number of famines that are mentioned in Gods word are declared to be God-sent famines. Genesis 41:27-32 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. 28 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. 29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: 30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; 31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous. 32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Two things should be pointed out. God had ordered there be seven years of plenty, seven years of bountiful crops. For that to happen he must control the weather. He must give just the right temperatures for the crops to grow. He must cause it to rain at the proper times. He must see to it that bees or other insects that pollinate the crops be in abundant enough numbers to give good pollination. I recently heard that some farmers may have a dilemma. Two mites have invaded wild bee hives to the point they have virtually wiped out the wild bee population. But, in those first seven years God controlled that. If there is to be a bountiful harvest and the fruits are to be stored there must be good weather for harvesting. Every thing essential must be controlled by God so that the thing he has ordered and established will come to pass just as revealed.
Second, things must be reversed in the second seven years. Those things essential to good production must be withheld. Hot, dry, windy weather must so prevail that no harvest is available. Just as God ordered the good weather and established it; he ordered the famine and established it. The only way to deny this is to declare God a liar.
God sent a famine upon Israel in the days when David ruled them as a means of judgment. 2 Samuel 21:1 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. Joshua and Israel had made a covenant with the Gibeonites that Israel would not destroy them. Though Joshua was long dead, God still required that this covenant be observed. Saul slew the Gibeonites and, though Saul was already dead, God sent a famine on the land as a reminder to David and others to stand by such covenants or pay a terrible price.
The words of the prophet Gad clearly reveal that God controls the elements as well as the actions of men and of insects. 2 Samuel 24:11-13 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, 12 Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. 13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. It is not often that God gives his sinning people a choice of their chastisement. In this case he did.
The first alternative was God offered David seven years of famine on the land. Again, if there would be a God-ordered famine it would require that God control the weather and all the aspects of the making of a famine.
The second alternative was God would let David and his people be pursued for three months by an enemy. I would remind the reader that this would require that God stir up an enemy against them to do the pursuing and would then have to stop that pursuit when the three months ended. This would involve absolute control of God over those enemies.
The third alternative was three days of pestilence. This meant that God would have to cause some disease to break out and affect a lot of people.
David cast himself and his people on the mercy and wisdom of God. Rather than choose his punishment, he trusted God to do what was right and merciful. God gave him the three days of pestilence. The Lord sent a pestilence that killed 70,000 men in three days. Those who are always trying to deliver God from being part of such things need to read their Bibles and believe what is found there.
It is graphically clear that God was in control of the storm that came when Jonah was on the ship headed to Tarshish. Jonah 1:4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. The storm was terrible. The men on the ship despaired of life. It was a God-sent, God-controlled storm that did exactly what God ordained it do. He hath his way in the storm.
It is evident from the words of Job that the Lord sent the storm in which his children were all killed. Job 1:19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Later in this same book, as will be seen later, Job attributes all that befell him to God doing what he had appointed for Job. Job 23:13-14 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. 14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
Gods control of the weather is again revealed when he brought the east wind to blow and dry out the Red Sea so the children of Israel could cross on dry land. Exodus 14:21-22 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. God not only controlled the sea and its waves and waters by causing them to go back; he caused a strong east wind to blow all night so that the children of Israel were able to go across the sea on dry ground the next morning.
On another occasion, God brought an east wind that blew locusts all over the land of Egypt during the days of the ten plagues. Exodus 10:13 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. Some times God controls the wind to do his people good as at the Red Sea. On other occasions he controls the wind for judgment as he did when he used it to blow locusts all over the land of Egypt. He controls it as he wills and for what he pleases. He is absolutely sovereign over the wind.
The Psalmist glorified God for his use of the wind to accomplish his judgment on people of other nations than Israel. Psalm 48:7 Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind. I can just hear some weak-kneed preacher trying to deal with this verse. The Psalmist candidly and unequivocally declares that it is God who breaks the ships of Tarshish. He did not merely permit it to be done. The psalmist declared he did it. When those ships go down and many are drowned, we do not need to deliver God from the predicament by saying he was there but had nothing to do with the storms. Let us just do as David, give God the praise and glory for his wonderful power and sovereignty over the wind and other of the elements.
Isaiah distinctly sets forth Gods control of the winds as he wills. Isaiah 27:8 In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind. Note that this rough wind is Gods wind. It is not the devils; it is Gods. When it pleases him to do so he stayeth it so that it does not blow. It is logical to assume that it blows when he wills also.
Jeremiah declared that God would use the wind to bring judgment upon Israel. Jeremiah 18:17 I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity. . Israel had fallen into terrible sin. God was about to judge them. He would use an east wind to scatter them before their enemy.
Gods control of the lightning, the rain, and the wind is set forth by Jeremiah in very convincing terms. Jeremiah 10:13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. Note from whence the winds are brought forthout of Gods treasures. He makes the lightning. He makes the rain. He brings forth the wind out of his very own treasures. Time and time again after a tragic storm there are many preachers who make it their business to help God out of a predicament by denying that he had anything to do with the storm or the flood. While I pastored in Louisiana there were two floods that got into our building. A number of preachers who were interviewed attributed the floods to the devil and sought to acquit God of having any part in the flood. The Bible declares that such things as lightnings, rain, and tornadoes are brought forth by God. He rules the winds, the rains, and the lightnings and they obey him.
The Psalmist also glorified God for blessing the people by causing winds to blow favorably. Psalm 78:26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. The Psalmist is describing the blessings of God upon Israel in the wilderness. He tells how God sent manna and quails for them to eat. One of the ways was to cause and east wind and, sometimes, a south wind to blow and bring in their food. For God to be able to use these winds as he wills he must be in control of them at all times.
In the case of Jarrel, Texas, and the tornado that leveled it, let me ask you to consider this question from the prophet Amos. Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? The evil intended here is not sin, per se. It is trouble such as comes when a storm or flood comes. Amos poses a rhetorical question which infers that if there is trouble (evil) in a city it is because the Lord has sent it. If that evil be a storm, the Lord has sent it. If it be a flood, the Lord has sent it. God sends rain and withholds rain as it pleases him to do. Amos 4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. Matthew 5:45 He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
His control of the elements is of great comfort to his people. Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
As I am concluding the preparation of this portion of this message for publication, there is a line of thunderstorms approaching. I have been hearing the thunder and seeing the lightning already. I have looked at them on doppler radar and it appears some pockets of pretty severe weather may be headed our way. How I would fear them if I did not know God was in perfect and complete control of them. He has his way in the storms and since all things work together for my good, I will fear no evil from this storm. It can only do Gods bidding and no more or less. His grace is sufficient.
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Last updated on Friday, March 04, 2011