God works in mysterious ways. Well, I don’t know. It must have been God’s will. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.
These three commonly used myths sadden me because they are used at a time when people need to be comforted, but they do not comfort. When tragedy strikes and people have experienced a loss, the last thing they need to hear is how helpless they are. Telling someone that they are at the mercy of an unpredictable deity who does whatever he wants without any rhyme or reason does not bring comfort.
Does God work in mysterious ways? Is it possible to know how God works? In the Old Testament we read that God told Adam what he could and could not do. No mystery there – all this is yours just do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Later, when the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah caused Gods’ judgement to fall upon it, God appeared to Abraham and told him His plans. God reveled Himself to Moses and told Moses of His plan to save His people. Let’s look at Jesus – He said that He does not do what He wants but instead does only what He (God the Father) tells Him to do (John 9:4a). Jesus said that he that has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14: 9d). So it’s fair to say that Jesus personified God thus erasing any mystery as to how He works. Finally, the Apostles tell us that God is Love (1John 4: 8, 16) and that Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Cor 13: 4-7 NIV)
So much for the “mysteriousness” of our God. But, what about His will for us? The famously quoted verse of the Bible – John 3:16 tells us that – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. We also see how much love He has for us in 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Gods’ will for us is to trust Him and love Him and take Him at His Word. When you read the Bible you will see Him clearly – a loving Father Who is Faithful to love us and care for us even when we aren’t aware that He is there.
But, wait! What about that verse in the Bible that says the Lord gives and the Lord takes away? True, these words are recorded in Job 1: 20 – “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job said these words while mourning the loss of his children. He was upset, to say the least. Even though these words are recorded in the Bible it doesn’t mean that they are true concerning the character of God. NOW, before you go thinking I am discrediting the Bible or changing the Word of God, consider what I said. The Word of God is true and infallible for sure, but not everything that everyone said about God is true about God. Satan told Eve that God lied to her – And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Gen 3:4-5 Satan once said – I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High (Isa 14:13-14), But he did not (vs 15). Solomon said that there is no purpose to life – that it’s all vanity! (see Ecclesiastes). This is not in keeping with what the Word teaches about how precious life is and how we are to live each day to the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). But, Solomon said these things after he allowed his many wives and concubines to lead him far from God. Peter even told Jesus that he would keep Jesus from suffering when they got to Jerusalem and the Lord rebuked him (Matt 16:23; Luke 4:8; Mark 8:33).
I am not trying to rewrite the Word of God but rather provoke YOU to open the Word and see for yourself just what it does and more importantly what it does not say. I believe that if you take the time to do this God Himself will meet you there and you will see Him clearly. Terrible things happen everyday to people and when they search for answers we believers should be able to encourage them with the truth of Gods love and not bewilder them with misguided platitudes.
Jesus left us with this encouraging word found in John 16: 33 – “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Basic Bible study rules tell us that at the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established (2 Cor 13:1). So if anyone can find three verses, in context, that support any of these myths I would be happy to discuss this further. I have tried to present a number of verses to support my opposition to these upsetting and misleading concepts. I hope I have done a good job of it.