God is in control !

Last time we looked at why the gospel of Matthew starts with a genealogy. We saw that

  • Matthew links – and indeed contrasts –  the Old and New Testaments
  • God’s people are now those born of God in response to the gospel message of Jesus Christ
  • God’s people are to be holy: set apart to God, and different from the world about them

We remain in the rich and significant first chapter of Matthew to consider the plan and purpose of God.

The genealogy with its exact time spans of 14 generations between period in Israels’ history tell us something crucial about God.

He is in control.

The entire course of history is in God’s hands. God by definition must be supreme in the universe. Events cannot be out of control, but under control.

It is characteristic of the godless worldview that we are alone in the universe, unloved, unguided, subject to chance and to the whims of others. There is no plan and purpose; our lives are only directed by whatever we decide to do. So we do as we please; we do what we want; we do whatever we can get away with –  whatever it takes to get by and get on, regardless of others and regardless of any moral code beyond our own selfish interests.

This is not the mark of God, nor of his dealings with us.

God is our Creator. What is more, he is the ongoing supreme purpose and arbiter of all that happens. He has planned history; he has determined what he wants; and he has told us how we fit in with that by the way we are to live.

We are not alone. We are not left to our own devices with no hope or purpose in life.

14 generations from Abraham to David; 14 generations from king David to the exile from the promised land; 14 generations from that exile to the coming of Jesus Christ.

These are distinct phases in God’s plan for mankind.

The entire history of the Jews before Christ is in the Old Testament. When we read the Old Testament we find there human activity in all its various shades, including evil.

But all those events are worked through according to the purpose of God. God takes account of all the individual decisions and actions then sovereignly works it all in line with his greater, superior plan. Not my interpretation, incidentally, but that of the apostle Paul in the first chapter of his letter to the Ephesian believers.

..according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will

God is never out of control. Men are lost in their sin; men commit evil acts – and they will be judged, and are judged, by God; but God works through this to bring about his purpose.

God allows mankind to expose himself as the sinner he is; he allows men to see that evil is beyond their control; he causes them to realise that God alone can solve and answer the problem of man’s selfish, evil heart.

Why ?

in order that they turn to God, recognise their dependence on God, call to him then see him act, intervening and solving the problem sovereignly.

God wants us to know that we are dependent on him. He actually wants us to be dependent on him. Our problem is that we want to be rebelliously independent of God.

People look at the evil in this world and immediately blame God. All the while they are alright however, they don’t think of God; but immediately they don’t like something, suddenly God is to blame.

Actually the fundamental problem of sin in us, is to blame – not God. And if you consider all the terrible things which happen in this world, you see the evil of the human heart at work.

The mentality of so many politicians, news media and corporate mega business; the everyday selfishness we see in ourselves and those around us.

The true problem is not God, but us. And the blame in fact lies with us, not God.

Look at the physical world God created. It was created in perfect harmony with all that we need supplied.

But what has mankind done ?

The ecological state of the planet is increasingly in question, and the reason for that is the hyper consumption of the greedy human heart supplied by commercial machinery careless of the environment.

Then there is the horrific displacement of human beings by wars.

Hunger and famine in much of the world.

All this is man’s doing – not God’s.

But despite all this,  God cares.

We need to stop and realise the virtue of God’s instruction manual, turn to him and ask his aid. We need to recognise that man’s selfish foolishness has brought so many problems on us. Not God.

It is all too easy to blame God and ignore our own responsibility. That merely reflects our original sin. Disobedience to God’s instructions – instructions given for our own welfare – and putting the blame any where else but where it belongs. With us.

The problem is that we refuse to see the world from God’s perspective. Instead we insist on looking at life from our own limited, self centred, God denying and God refusing perspective.

Born in sin we deny God and we blame God – and yet we know full well that God exists.

So, God came embodying his love, his care, his power in Jesus Christ. The message made flesh.

As Matthew goes on to say in this first chapter of his Gospel,

to save his people from their sins.

And that is the first thing God will start to do in a human heart he wishes to turn to himself. He will cause an awareness of our sinfulness – our selfishness, our rebellion against him who loves us and made us.

In short, come to realise it is God’s view of this life which matters fundamentally and eternally; that our view is limited, foolish and wrong.

Christian Preacher

By Christianity

The personal icon photograph shows God's creation, the world. It reminds us that God is the Creator of all - the almighty, the all knowing and all present - the one who is most important of all. The one to whom we owe all, and the one to whom we will answer for all. The site's header image of the Bible [King James Authorised Version], a map, a light and a compass represent to us that God's word in the Bible is our spiritual map, illumination and guide through this life. Those who obey his teaching will know his presence and power - Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 23

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: