Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

The Doctrine of the Divine Decrees. Part 17.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Point 4. The distinctions between what God permits and what He desires. There is the distinction between God’s desires in the decrees, like election, and the rejection of God’s desires.

God desires to bless His people, but they desire other things manifested by their negative volition toward doctrine.

1. In respect to His permissive will, God determines not to hinder the course of action which His creatures pursue; but He does determine to regulate and control the boundaries and the results of such actions.

a. All of his sons and daughters perished in a mighty windstorm, JOB 1:18-19.
b. He lost all of his family livestock to nearby raiders, JOB 1:13-15.
c. He lost all of his servants to a firestorm, JOB 1:16.
d. He was inflicted with painful sores from head to toe, JOB 2:7.

Through his perseverance, God made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before, JOB 42:10.

Satan had to seek permission from God in order to destroy Job’s household and to inflict pain upon him.

This conversation between God and Satan teaches us an important fact about God - He is fully aware of every attempt by Satan to bring suffering and difficulty upon us.

Either way, He will never allow us to suffer more than what we can handle, 1CO 10:13.

JOH 13:7 “What I do you do not realize now, but you shall understand hereafter.”

LAM 3:22-23 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. {They} are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.

2. God’s permissive will is His will to permit whatsoever He thinks fit to permit or not to hinder; while what He wills or determines to permit, He also intends to regulate and not to behold as an idle unconcerned spectator.

The divine permission of evil in the human race also extends beyond the one sin of Adam.

It is written that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart to the end that a demonstration of His divine power might be fully displayed.

It means that God brought in circumstances and situations that He knew would cause Pharaoh to harden his heart.

JOB 1:21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

By the demonstration of Pharaoh hardening his own heart, the whole multitude of the Egyptians came to know something of Jehovah, EXO 14:4.

JOS 2:10 Rahab said to the two spies, “For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt,”

This does not mean that He violates human volition; it simply means that He brings in the events which He knows will cause certain responses.

As a revelation concerning God’s attitude toward sin, the fact is obvious that God commanded Adam not to sin, and yet, unless Adam did sin, there would be no need for the Savior who was decreed to die in eternity past.

The will of God will be accomplished even through man’s negative volition.

Would we ever realize the tremendous impact of God’s grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, patience, and kindness, if mankind never fell?

This is not to say that God needed sin to reveal His glory; however, He decreed for sin to exist from the free will of His creatures and then He turned the curse into a blessing.

Likewise, God said to King Saul that if he had kept the commands given to him, his house would have been established forever, 1SA 13:13.

1SA 13:13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.”

By decree it was determined and prophecy foretold that the everlasting throne and kingdom for Israel was to come through the tribe of Judah and not through the tribe of Benjamin, to which tribe Saul belonged, GEN 49:10.

GEN 49:10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”

God’s desire was to bless Saul, but He permits His creatures to reject His desires.

In the controversy between Jehovah and Satan, Job 1-2, Satan admits that he can bring no testing upon Job apart from the permission of Jehovah; and it is stated that Jehovah gave Satan this permission.

After the sin has been committed, the one who sins could say: God is to be blamed.

Martyrs could have prevented the sin of murder on the part of their slayers had they but recanted from their position relative to the truth in question which was following the word of God and TLJC.

Even Christ Himself could have prevented an uncounted number of men from the measureless sin of the crucifixion of the Son of God, had He come down from the cross.

All this suggests the obvious fact that the mere avoidance of sin is not always the primary issue. The primary issue is that God is glorified.

It may be concluded, then, that sin is in the universe by the permission of God who hates it perfectly and who, being sovereign, had power to keep it from manifestation, had He chosen to do so.

And that He did not hinder the manifestation of sin, demonstrates that He, being what He is, must have a purpose in view other than the averting of sin.

ISA 46:10-11 “My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned {it, surely} I will do it.”

You are a responsible, rational, freewill individual who lives in the twenty-first century. In giving us volition, He also decreed that our decisions, whatever they might be, would certainly take place, even those that are contrary to His desires.

“Understanding must precede execution.”

The main problem of having no motivation is wrong priorities.

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