The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
I was sitting at a stoplight a week or so ago when these words seemed to jump off our church marquee at me. For some strange reason, I ended up sitting through two cycles of the light, so I had plenty of time to ponder. As I
waited impatiently sat patiently at the intersection :-), my immediate thought was, "But we still experience evil." Almost instantly, the lessons of the past several years began to flood my mind. Lessons about His Sovereignty. Lessons about His goodness. Lessons about His protection. I reflected on the change in the past few years in my life from "knowing that the Bible is true because that is what I have been taught", to "KNOWING that every word of the Bible is true with all of my heart, soul, and mind."
As I drove on, still pondering the verse, I was struck by the fact that when the Bible says "The Lord will protect you from all evil...", it *MEANS* "He will protect you from all evil." Not *some* evil, not *most* evil, but *ALL* evil. However, right alongside that thought came this one: In the past few years, our family has experienced what can only be seen, by human eyes, as true evil. Particularly our children. How to reconcile the devastatingly painful experiences of the past few years with ""The Lord will protect you from all evil"?
A quote I'd heard somewhere along the way...more than once, I'm sure...came to mind. "Don't evaluate the truth of God's Word based on your circumstances; evaluate your circumstances on the truth of God's Word."
The only conclusion at that point was this one: the circumstances that I have seen as true evil...were not, to us, evil. Genesis 50:20 has been a favoite verse for a long time:
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done,
the saving of many lives."
Other translations use the word "evil" instead of "harm". Yes, evil and harm were done against our family, but although Satan *intended* it for evil, *God* intended it for good. It started out as great evil, but filtered through God's sovereignty and goodness, it came to us as good...whether it *looked* like good or not.
In the intervening days, I've meditated on Psalm 121:7 and these thoughts frequently. Then yesterday Bro. Kent's sermon blew me away. Here are a few of my (very rough) notes:
Jesus inviting us to "Come see the finished work."
*God gives us a Savior who followed the Father's plan with perfect obedience.
He knew exactly what was going to happen. He had known this plan all along. And even knowing the pain and suffering that were to come, He willingly allowed them to crucify Him.
Albert Schweitzer--believed Jesus going to the cross was an accident. It was no accident...it had been planned since before Creation. He knew exactly what was going to happen. He had known this plan all along. And even knowing the pain and suffering that were to come, He willingly allowed them to crucify Him.
*God gives us a Savior who is in control.
Never for one minute did He lose control; NOTHING happened that was not perfectly according to His plan.
He was fully cognizant and aware the entire time. He was sovereign and in total control, even on the cross.
If He was totally sovereign and in control on the cross, how much more can we trust Him to be sovereign and in complete control now, in the circumstances of our lives?
*God gives us a Savior who is victorious.
"It is finished!" was a victory cry. He "gave up" His spirit...He *chose* when He was going to die. He had completed the Work perfectly.
I love the way God continues to lead me through these lessons in the School of Sovereignty. What a blessing to be reminded again that no matter *what* happens, no matter what man does to us, no matter how Satan attacks, God is in complete control. And not only is He in complete control, but truly "no evil" can come to us. What a blessing to rest in the fact that no matter how evil our circumstances appear, when filtered through His sovereignty and love, they can only be good. And how convicting to realize that that sovereignty demands surrender on our parts...only when we are surrendered completely can we experience the true blessing of His sovereignty and control.