Humans instinctively desire worldly confidence through higher education degrees or promotions within society. Scientific medical research has developed medications and vaccines for whatever ails us, and we have the comfort in our government to bail us out of the hard times. If we work hard and pay our bills and taxes, we feel we have this “life thing” figured out. This plan sounds plausible until we realize we may not, in fact, have all of the answers. Scientists have bounced around theories of creation, the size of galaxies, the possibility of life on other planets, and the cures for certain diseases for generations, only to gather that what was once accepted scientific fact was utterly flawed and discredited by another study.
Despite all the revolutionary scientific enlightenment, the world still has unanswered questions and focuses on attempting to discredit the Word of God. The believer came to know of His lost condition by recognizing “he didn’t have it all figured out.” Initial attempts to live the best life possible being a law-abiding citizen, providing for and treating his family with respect failed because the guilt of sin was confounding. Similarly, the religious man could not overcome that missing something no matter how many churches he visited and sent tithes to. The enmity of sin was still a present barrier between man and the Heavenly Father.
Here are 4 reasons it’s good that God is on the throne, and we are not:
1. Our Flawed Idea of Love
The strongest love that we as humans can fully comprehend with a worldly mind is the affection toward our natural child. This love is initiated at conception and follows throughout the child’s life. The bond is so strong that the attached adoration cannot be duplicated. It goes beyond the love for a spouse as this love does not transcend and remain the same following divorce or other dividing circumstances. Still, this parental love for a child originates from relational attachment as the child was conceived by his or her parents. This type of love would warrant justification in understanding our feeble minds. But for God, man would have a flawed and very limited concept of love.
The love of God is not dependent upon man’s state as a saint or a sinner. God doesn’t love the dedicated pastor more than the beggar on the street corner. God’s love was so great that He sent His son to die upon the earth in the cruelest of fashions so that He would be a Savior to man, who was His at odds. Romans 5:8 tells us, “but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Our attachment to our loved ones would justify a sacrifice of our own flesh and blood, but certainly not for a stranger’s deliverance. God loved us, even at our most distanced relationship from him, and desires constant communion now following the elimination of the enmity in the relationship.
2. Lack of Long-Suffering and Mercy
Man has a long memory when it comes to mercy and longsuffering. If something does not happen in our prescribed timeline, we automatically think it’s either not going to happen, or the promisor is slacking. In 2 Peter 3:9, he realized man’s impatience and wrote, “the Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
David in Psalm 86:12-17 gives praise to the Lord because of his great mercy directed to him personally. This mercy was reflected by this personal deliverance of his “soul from the lowest hell.” His long-suffering was not exhibited by a single deliverance or act of salvation; it was continually necessary. Man feels forgiveness or mercy can be exercised once, and then the onus is upon the offender. Further, man desires black and white guidelines that limit the number of times an individual is bestowed mercy.
Consider the mentality of man when Peter asked Jesus in Matthew 18:21-22, “how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Even though Jesus answered with an ascertainable specific number, the point was that forgiveness was required as many times as necessary. We serve a Savior whose entire spiritual platform is founded upon grace and mercy. In Psalm 78:39, Asaph explained the greatness of the Lord’s compassion and mercy by noting, “for he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passes away, and come not again.”
Man’s approach to such disobedience would use his weakness as a justification for complete judgment. However, in all his exhibition of long-suffering, God used it as a reason for his mercy. The world’s initial treatment of Saul’s transformation into a new man, Paul, reflects the world’s “short leash” for long-suffering and mercy. To that end, Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15-16, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” The world’s flawed concept of mercy using fleshly determinations for revenge and judgments will endure without the acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior.
3. Flawed Salvation
If man developed a plan for salvation, it would be flawed in both its effectiveness and duration. Most would agree that the world, in fact, has developed a plan for eternal abode in heaven based upon good works. Spurgeon wrote of two moats fortifying the castle of man’s sense of religious goodness. The first is based upon good works, and the second is the moat or protection of participation in the ceremonial rites of the church, such as the Lord’s Supper and baptism.
The consciousness of a works-driven man is soothed by these barriers. Often these objective activities indeed fortify or give credence to man’s carnal plan of salvation. It is precisely this works-based plan of subjective goodness that the Holy Spirit must penetrate before the sinner is able to appreciate his lost condition. The plans of man are reactionary. God, however, set forth a plan for man’s fall before even the earth’s creation. What does it matter? Consider the development of vaccines and medical treatment. Each was developed in reaction to an illness or disease which had already beset man. Reactionary planning is limited to the specific circumstances of the occurrence which precipitated the need for a cure. Thus, man’s plan of salvation would have to be developed over time, changing with the winds and the morals of society.
The initial plan would deal with the sins of the most deprived in man’s hierarchy of sin. Man’s plan of salvation, therefore, would have to be based upon either status or worldly goodness, requiring a period of time of good behavior and abstinence of said sin. God, however, knew that man was incapable of righteousness on his own. The creator knew the “wiring” and sinful tendencies of man as exhibited by even the first creation, which chose rebellion and attempted equality with God. Thus, He provided a means of forgiveness and salvation through the perfect sacrifice of His son.
4. He Knows What He Is Doing
If the first year of the pandemic taught us anything, it gave us the realization that man has no clue as to what he is doing because his ways and abilities are limited to either experience or what is visibly present. From Adam onward, man has had a man-made sin infection. The law and the sacrificial system gave mankind a way of identifying sin and the means for temporary forgiveness. Man, however, needed an effective “vaccine” for the judgment of sin, which was given through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit convicts the sinner and provides guidance for salvation and righteous living.
In John 6:1-6, Jesus and his disciples were followed by a great multitude “because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.” As he sat with them upon a mountain nearing the time of the Passover, Jesus asked Philip, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Our all-knowing Savior was not at a point of confusion or despair, not knowing how the provision was going to be made for this great mass of people. He was testing his devoted disciple. The question posed is not dissimilar to the inquiries of our world regarding provision during seemingly destitute times. Philip, in worldly reasoning, concluded, “two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.” Andrew then caught the eye of a boy, “which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes” but reasoned “but what are they among so many?”
The responses by both disciples reflect how man contemplates providing for the masses. One considered the cost and the need for rationing. Andrew considered the worldly principle of “other sources of funding” when he saw the boy with the five loaves present, but immediately dismissed the idea because of insufficiency as well. Verse six, however, contains the great truth of our Savior. After asking the question, “where are we going to get the bread to feed all of these people?”, John wrote, “and this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.” Indeed, our Lord knows what He’s doing.