Why Did God Create an Unjust World?

Why Did God Create an Unjust World?

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, 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.” Isaiah 46:9-10 If you assume that God created the world, you cannot be convinced that He is just by looking at what He created. Assuming that I am correct in this observation, why did He do this? Remember, all relationships require reciprocity, and reciprocity requires the exercising of the will. You cannot have a relationship with a robot or a manikin. He created people in order to have a relationship with them, and because He is the Creator, and they are the created ones, submission to His will is essential for the relationship to exist. God created all people with a desire for autonomy. This desire was not the product of their sin, but the reason they sinned. If He had not created them with a desire for autonomy, they could not have chosen to have a relationship with Him. Having been given the choice, they rejected Him in their quest for autonomy. The heart of your relationship with God centers around the question of who you think should decide what is good and evil,1 what is in your best interest and what is contrary to your best interest. If God senses that you do not believe in the core of your being that He alone should define good and evil, He will not have a...
False Impressions

False Impressions

“Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night; for it is written, `I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’” Matthew 26:31 If, prior to the betrayal of our Lord, the disciples had discussed how they could most completely misunderstand the events surrounding Jesus arrest, trial, and crucifixion, they could not have done a better job. What they perceived and what happened were exact opposites. They looked at the unfolding events as a tragedy of the first magnitude; dashed hopes, unfulfilled expectations, the destruction of their dreams. In reality, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ provided the basis for their hope of heaven and a life of purpose here on earth. This illustrates how wrong your perception of events can be. If you are like I am, you can look back on your life and see things that happened to you that you thought were counter productive to your best interest, if not a tragedy. Later you discover that it proved a blessing in disguise, as illustrated by the person who was angry because he missed his flight, only to find out later that the plane crashed. Conversely, you remember things that you initially thought were pure blessing, only to later discover were just the opposite, as illustrated by people who felt blessed that their spouse agreed to marry them, only to discover that they had entered into an unfortunate alliance. Pray that God will deliver you from bad decisions and circumstances, and then give Him thanks when events unfold in a way that make...
Your Thought Life

Your Thought Life

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7 In one sense, you are the sum of your thought life. What you think reveals what you are. Although how you look forms externals that disappear upon death, what you think you take into eternity with you. All permanent change in your life takes place by altering your perception of reality. You respond to the opportunities and imperatives of life on the basis of two things: First, what you think you can do. If you do not believe you are capable, you will not try. A man who does not believe that he can swim does not voluntarily dive into deep water. Second, what you believe you ought to do. Some things in life you may believe that you can do, but do not believe you ought to do. For example, you may believe you can wash clothes, cook meals, work in the garden, or paint the house, but this does not mean that you believe you ought to. In order for you to perform according to the expectations of God, you must believe you can do what He says and that you ought to do it – i.e., the particular command applies to you. Foundationally, you must believe that what God expects from you He will empower you to do, and that your faithfulness in meeting His expectations will make an eternal difference. If either or both of these are not firmly in place, you will not perform. For this reason you must saturate yourself with the Word of God. For in His Word you will...
Balaam’s Sin

Balaam’s Sin

Balaam’s Sin “…which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” 2Peter 2:15 When Christ addresses the church at Pergamos, He charges them with the sin of Balaam: “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”1   Numbers 22-24 records the incident where Balak, the king of Moab, requested God’s prophet Balaam to curse Israel on the Exodus. God refused to allow Balaam to curse His people, and so Balaam counseled Balak to engage in sexual promiscuity with Israel, thereby ensuring God’s curse. Jude and Peter tell us Balaam did this because he lusted after the wealth promised by Moab. Lust and covetousness are essentially the same; when you lust you covet, and vice versa. The object of your coveting determines what you call it. For the football player it may be being inducted into the pro hall of fame; for another it may be becoming the richest man in the world; for those in academia it may be becoming president of an Ivy League school; and so forth. Although it may be difficult on occasion to distinguish between a legitimate desire and coveting, whenever you break the commandment of God to attain your goal, you know you have committed the sin of Balaam. Balaam was endowed with a marvelous gift; God made him His prophet, which meant that he could...
Neither Poverty Nor Riches

Neither Poverty Nor Riches

“…give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me. Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Proverbs 30:8-9 Most wealthy people handle their wealth poorly, allowing it to warp their values and hurt their lives. Admitting this to be true, most people who are not wealthy nevertheless feel that they are an exception; they can handle wealth. The love of money finds its origin in our desire to avoid the pain of financial insecurity. The phrase “he is financially independent” means that he is insulated from the gyrations of an uncertain economy. God does not want you “independent,” but rather dependent upon Him. People perceive money as the key to freedom, and thus their goal is in conflict with God’s goal for them. The servant of Christ understands this tension between his appetite and God’s will, and prays for the balance between poverty and riches. He knows in his depravity that he can err in either direction of greed and pride; in his greed he steals and in his pride he renounces his need of God. He asks and receives not “because he asks amiss that he may consume it upon his lusts.” (James 4:3) Agur, the writer of this proverb, offers a prayer that is an accurate test of a man of God. He seeks for deliverance from both extremes, knowing that greed can easily overpower his conscience. He throws himself upon the mercy of God, asking that the Lord give him...