THE WILL OF GOD
Part 4 of 5
Dan. 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?” So the greatest Gentile ruler gave his finding about the supremacy of the will of God. He found it out the hard way, having been brought down lower than an animal. God has ways of impressing the importance of His will on men, even the greatest of them.
Dan. 6:25-27, “Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.” We have seen above that Jesus gave the will of God as the prime motive of prayer. Nebuchadnezzar gave witness of God’s authority in heaven and in earth; and here King Darius confirmed the fact, after the matter of the lion’s den.
Luke 1:19,20, “And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and an sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.” Here, one of the “army of heaven” spoken of by Nebuchadnezzar. Gave verification of the inviolability of the will of God, and the seriousness of disbelieving His Word. This, of course, was the angel that appeared to the priest Zacharias, concerning the birth of John the Baptist. He doubted God’s Word, and by the hand of the angel was stricken dumb for a spell. Angels know the utter supremacy of God’s will. They are rather like a big brother to us. They don’t put up with the reluctance to obey among us little mortals.
I Tim. 2:1-4, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Here is God’s overall will for this world and passing scene of humanity. What we are to do, learn, think in a natural sense are not that important; not world-moving as important people think they are.
Just recently I was in a paint shop, a man entered and by the imperious look he gave the customers and even the clerk, one knew he was an important person, God’s treatment of every man is according to the above, laid out pattern. Everyone of us is a testimony how God expended Himself to seek us out. His guiding circumstances to get us to salvation: He moved mountains to get us to the truth. We can’t figure it all out, but it was His will, praise Him!
I Tim. 6:11, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” Here is the path of the man of God in a covetous world, that which we saw previously in our discussion of the will of Satan. It does not mean a “cop-out” from all natural responsibilities or endeavors. It is all woven into the fabric of God’s will, though, these natural things, that is. Perhaps in this list just quoted of His will, we might clarify with opposites of each item: righteousness, whose opposite is wrongness; godliness—devilishness; faith–unbelief; love–-hatred; patience–-urgency (the things of the world, oh, so important to the worldling); meekness–aggressiveness. These things seem impractical in a world dominated by Satan; yet being the will of God, who is responsible to back them up?
Rom. 9:15-22, “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?”
Now in this passage we see God’s permission of evil, and opposition to His will. This is puzzling to us in One of supreme authority. We are accustomed to those of authority using their authority at all times. There is a reason for it. As we learn in Exodus, Pharaoh resisted the will of God. He and his army ended up on the floor of the Red Sea. This is a type of Satan, who will end horribly in judgment eternally. God endures old creation, for it all has meaning in His final will.
I Pet. 3:17, “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” God’s will includes suffering. This is strange to our way of thinking. We all have been through periods of suffering – not always at the hand of men, sometimes that of Satan, whose will clashes with the will of God. Who is greater? He will show it, as He often has.
Some suffering is punitive, but not all. In Hebrews 12:5-7 we see, “And ye have forgotten the exportation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him; For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” Hence chastening is also instructive, but it hurt body, soul, spirit, one or all of these. It does not indicate that anything is wrong but that it is growing pain for “every son.” It is the price of sonship in His will.
Eph. 1:5, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” His will is pleasure for Him and for us. Psalm 16:6, “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” Here is the ecstasy of Jesus in eternity. He goes on and says, Verse 11, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” In the permanent things, God’s will is good and happy for all.
Eph. 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:” The final will of God is finally wealth for His sons. It is an immense sharing of the possessions of the Possessor of all things, including the bridehood and all the depths of divine love. Is it not wonderful?