Monday, March 14, 2011
God's plan: a call to balance
But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor.
This passage lets us peek a little behind God's shoulder. It assures Israel that even when their enemies seem poised for victory, God is behind them, protecting them, and assembling the enemies for defeat. The major disadvantage of the enemies is that they do not know the mind of God and do not obey Him.
It would follow then that the major advantage of God's people is obedience to the revealed will of God. From that position they are aware of enough of the thoughts of God to please Him. And God's tender words of protection for Israel come only after He has taken them to task for their disobedience to Him. So God is honoring His covenant with them with this promise of protection, even as He disciplines Israel back to a place of obedient service.
Evangelicals tend to think of God's plan in terms of His love and grace. And that is certainly biblical. But it may just be part of the story. By telling even unbelievers "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life", we may be only proclaiming a half truth. The reality is that God has plans for justice and judgment for those who reject Him (as evidenced in this passage), and we would be remiss not to point out this aspect of God's will.
- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13