Many churches and theologians have developed a view of God as distant, out of touch with mankind. One famous theologian even developed a doctrine that allows God the role of Creator, yes, but a Creator that is like a clock maker. Just as a clock maker makes a clock, they say God made the world, wound it up, and ever since has been letting the world run its course all by itself.
The God these churches and theologians describe is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is a God that orchestrates all events. Of course, we know that God does not make man sin nor is God the cause of man’s sins. Yet, God knows all about man and his sinful nature and factors these things into His overall plan for mankind:
Job 33:14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
The Bible reveals that man’s thoughts and inward desires will ultimately be in submission to God’s will:
Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
God not only controls the direction of man’s desires and the path he takes in life, but He also controls the roll of the dice:
Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.
All games of ‘chance’ are actually governed by the sovereign will of God. This is one of the reasons that God’s elect people do not involve themselves in gambling. We know that God controls the outcome and so we do not want to be in the position of tempting God by asking Him to have the dice fall together in a way that would be beneficial to us.
God’s complete sovereignty over the affairs of men can be seen especially in the historical record of His people written about in the Bible. In the book of Esther we read of recorded events that go far beyond the realm of coincidence (by the way, Esther is also a very unusual book because the name ‘God’ is not found within any of its chapters---yet God is very much in evidence in its story through His providential will).
In the book of Esther, Mordecai cares for Esther, his uncle’s daughter. Mordecai also refuses to bow down to an evil man named Haman. Haman is lifted up to a high place of honor. All is going well for him. Yet he is infuriated by Mordecai’s continued refusal to bow down and honor him as he feels he rightly deserves. Finally, Haman determines to hang Mordecai the Jew on a specially built gallows. It was his plan to go into the king and make this request early the next morning. From all appearances his request would certainly be granted and Mordecai his hated enemy would be destroyed.
It so happens, that the night before Haman was to come see the king, that the king Ahasuerus could not sleep. He called for the book of records of the chronicles of his kingdom to be read to him. Since his kingdom was so vast we can imagine that the book of records must have been a very big book with numerous entries. But it wasn’t long, and it was found written therein that Mordecai had revealed a plot of two of the king’s chamberlains to assassinate the king.
Mordecai had in a way saved the king’s life. The king asked what honor and dignity had been done to Mordecai? And the answer was that nothing had been done to honor him.
At that very moment, just as the king decided to show some honor to Mordecai, Haman came into the court to make request of the king that Mordecai might be hanged on his recently built gallows. But before he could ask the king for permission to hang Mordecai the king asked him what should be done to a man the king delighted to honor. The wicked Haman immediately thought it must be him that the king was thinking to honor, so he told him the man should be dressed in royal attire and an honorable prince ought to lead him through the city crying out, ‘thus shall be done to the man the king delighteth to honor.’ The king then commanded Haman to do exactly that for Mordecai the Jew. Haman was stunned and did as he was commanded.
We see from this true historical account that God was in complete control of the events taking place within the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians. We also see another principle at work, which is that God’s providential will serves to help and protect His people as they determine to keep His commandments and obey God in an evil world. God moved in the lives of king Ahasuerus to marry a Jewess named Esther (although he didn’t know she was a Jew at the time) and He also worked by not allowing the king to fall asleep on a certain night.
It was God’s providential will that allowed Joseph to be sold as a slave by his brothers. And then to labor as a slave in Egypt in Potiphar’s household. It was God’s providential will that later permitted Joseph to be wrongly accused and cast into prison for things that he did not do. And it was God’s providential will to trouble the sleep of Pharaoh, from all we know an unsaved man, and to give him disturbing dreams. And it was God’s providential will to have Pharaoh share his troubling dreams with his butler, who coincidentally (not really) happened to remember just at that moment his fault in forgetting a young Hebrew man that was able to interpret dreams.
Surely after being lifted out of prison and exalted to second in command in all of Egypt (only Pharaoh would be greater) young Joseph ceased to fret over the will of God for his life. And especially as he later would be the helper and deliverer (from the famine) of his father and entire family of Israel) his struggles over the course of many years all began to make perfect sense in the scheme of God’s perfect will. After his father’s death, Joseph comforted his worried brethren:
Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
The Bible tells us that all things work together for a good purpose for the elect children of God:
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will ofGod. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
It’s not fifty percent of things work together for good. Or even most things work together for good for the elect of God. But it is ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD for God’s elect (them that love God).
Throughout history Satan has stirred up his emissaries to come against God’s elect. From Joseph’s brothers to Job’s friends to Mordecai’s nemesis the wicked Haman; and yet, again and again, time after time, the end result is always that which is good for the child of God. That which is the best possible outcome for them.
We can be sure it is the same in our modern day as it was in the days of Joseph, and Mordecai and all the saints of old. The same God is orchestrating all things, from whisperings in the night while we sleep to all the seemingly random occurrences we experience as we live our lives day by day in a world hostile to God and His kingdom.
(Note: the above is taken from a response to a question in EBF’s Sunday Q & A group:https://www.facebook.com/groups/EBFSundayopenQandA/)