Archive for sovereignty

Predestined With Free Will: Nations and Their Foreign Policy

Posted in Jude, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2019 by paulthepoke

Psalm 115:2-3 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.

God claims He is the One who controls the destiny of nations and history. He is the ultimate authority.

Do politicians and countries choose their foreign policy? Sure they do. Countries make strategic decisions and direction. In today’s world, we are currently watching politicians discuss “peace and security in the Middle East”. Do you think world leaders are consulting God and His will in their potential actions? Do world leaders even consider God as they plot their course?

Will nations be held accountable for their decisions and how they relate to God’s chosen people? Yes they will. God will have a response.

Isaiah 17:12-13 Ah, the thunder of many peoples; they thunder like the thundering of the sea! Ah, the roar of nations; they roar like the roaring of mighty waters! The nations rumble on like the rumbling of many waters, But He will rebuke them and they will flee far away, and be chased like chaff in the mountains before the wind, or like whirling dust before a gale.

The attitude exhibited in Isaiah 17 is consistent with today’s world leaders. They talk tough and threaten each other with guaranteed destruction. Nations impose economic sanctions and create various trade deals with their partners. Their design is to protect their interests and inflict hardship on their adversaries. Israel’s enemies threaten to shove the Jews into the Mediterranean on a daily basis. Kingdoms against kingdoms are promising to blow the hell out of each other.

Despite all these human instruments of death and tragedy, God compares the nations and their bravado to chaff and dust. He is the wind. God is the gale. Chaff and dust have no control. These light weight particles are at the mercy of air currents. He is the wind who steers the nations. To quote the song from Kansas, “All we are is dust in the wind.”

Nuclear weapons and 21st century instruments of warfare are no match for God and His plan for history. Humans love thumping their chests and showing off their explosive toys. Which country can bring about the most destruction? These are ultimately no match. God will preserve Israel.

Isaiah 54:15-17 If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from Me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from Me, declares the LORD.

In Psalm 79, we see this mindset in the world today. People question whether or not there is a god let alone the God of the Bible. A time is coming when the world will question Israel whether or not their God is real. But, God will respond.

Psalm 79:10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes!

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Jude: Predestined With Free Will

Posted in Jude with tags , , , , , , , on December 16, 2018 by paulthepoke

Jude 1:4a For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation…

Sneaky, ravenous false teachers were known and predestined before time. That is what Jude and the text are saying. The vocabulary and grammar state the following.

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…who were long… This is the adverb πάλαι/palai. Its meaning is of old, former; long ago.

These “persons” were beforehand marked out. This is the root word προγράφω/prographo in the Greek. The prefix “pro” meaning before is attached to “grapho” meaning to write. The verb tense of the term προγράφω/prographo indicates it was written with binding results. When it was written long ago, it was written once and for all. It was written a long time ago before these folks were even a thought and it is a done deal. The results are not changing.

Some will argue this may not seem very fair God to create someone for the express purpose of being a false teacher then sentence them to judgment. Remember these people, as well as us as individuals, have free will and freedom of choice. And with our choices come consequences. This is the problem with the critic, specifically the atheist. These folks want no part of consequences for their actions.

Romans 13:2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

As fallen and broken people, who are we to challenge or question the will and authority of God? He created and gave us life. We all have chosen to sin. We are all under the physical death penalty in this life.The question is when that death will occur. In our condition, do we really want to be in the business of challenging God?


A great example of God’s sovereign will and individual choices is Jeremiah 18. God’s divine plan go hand and hand with free will. God knows our choices before we were made. He knows the end from before the beginning. Our individual wills are nothing in comparison to the will of God. As individuals, we overvalue the impact of our free choice.

God is the potter. We are figuratively and literally lumps of clay.

Jeremiah 18:4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he made it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.

Jeremiah 18:10 …if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.

Yes, God’s will is supreme. Suppose we did not have the freedom to make choices. Without free will, would there be a need for commandments? NO! We were not created to be mindless robots or taskmasters of an all-powerful God. Commandments were written by God to appeal to our sense of volition. We can choose to obey just as well as we can choose to disobey.

Jeremiah 18:11 “So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds.”’

Jeremiah 18:12 “But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

With choice comes responsibility and consequences to a just God.

Isaiah 5:15-17,21 God’s View on Pride

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , on July 24, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 5:15-17 So the common man will be humbled and the man of importance abased, the eyes of the proud also will be abased. But the LORD of hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness. Then the lambs will graze as in their pasture, and strangers will eat in the waste places of the wealthy. 

Isaiah 5:21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight! 

V. 15 The context of the verse is all of humanity. It does not matter if you are an everyday Joe or a hot shot. The idea of the grammar in Hebrew is men are being brought to humility. The point is repeated a second time to make sure the idea is understood.

V. 16 God is set apart, separate, or holy. He has the moral clout to execute justice. He is a truthful, capable, and justified ruler.

V. 17 There is debate whether the language in this verse is figurative or literal. Hebrew Linguists indicate the text literally reads, “Young rams, and ruins, fatlings, resident aliens, will eat.” Will strangers really eat in places where the rich used to live? Will the rich have their places destroyed? The bottom line is this. Animals and people are eating in locations that are not their usual places to dine.

God takes pride seriously. Just ask King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The king was full of himself and thought he was the source of all of his success and power. Nebuchadnezzar had not finished his statement on his self-proclaimed greatness when Daniel 4:31-33 provides a reminder of who is in charge.

“While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’

 “Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws…

Some would say this is just a crazy story from the Bible. You may want to consider there are real psychological disorders where people think they are animals. Check out zoanthropy and lycanthropy. More specifically, boanthropy is a condition where individuals think they are cattle. The king’s diet was grass like cattle. The king was not accustomed to a diet of grass.

This episode did ultimately result in a change of attitude for King Nebuchadnezzar. He came to understand God was in charge (Daniel 4:34-37).

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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