Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Obadiah: God's Sovereignty Over Current Events

If you have any concerns or complaints about life, you have no one else to address it to except God. He alone is. Besides Him, there is none.

It says somewhere that Satan is the god of this world. True, but only as far as God allows him. Satan is just among millions of tiny particles beneath God's footstool, squirming and clamoring for His audience. Satan cannot make anything happen anywhere on earth as God can. In fact, He alone makes things happen on this planet.

God alone.

He said to Edom: "See, I will decimate you among the nations; you will be despised to the max," [Obadiah]. Whatever happens in current events, whatever happened in all history, it was all out of God's sovereignty. God's deciding hands. Satan could only ask permission for every little act he is allowed. Without God's go signal, he cannot do anything. 

God can act directly or indirectly any time He wants. In Edom's case, God sent an envoy carrying His message to the nations. The envoy may be an angel or a human agent, or a God-led event that affected world leaders and formed ideas or prejudice against Edom in their minds. It was all through the cosmic influence of the Holy Spirit hovering above the waters. And the message was a call to rise together against Edom. 

When nations rise together to fight against a nation--like in the case of Iraq when it was attacked by Allied Forces in Sadam's time, or like how the Allied forces attacked Hitler in the Second World War, it was a call from God. 

The same can be true of wicked alliances. When Italy and Germany joined forces under fascist Hitler and Mussolini, it was a permission by God. It was not something Satan orchestrated. Satan was in the background awaiting God's signal to have some participation--if God wished to. But the whole thing was under God's sovereign hands.

Israel sinned against God, so God called Assyrians and Babylonians to wreak havoc on the two kingdoms of Israel, even destroying the Jerusalem temple itself. And Edom joined in the devastation by cheering the Babylonians and raiding and plundering the escaping defeated Israelites. However, God later avenged against Edom by calling nations to decimate it. In all these events, the bible mentions nothing about Satan doing this or doing that. It was all God's sovereignty. 

"See, I will make you small..."

It was all God. God decided who'd be made small and who'd gather together to make the attack. God decided when the attack would be, and how terrible--it was no less than decimation. "I will make you small."

It was God who decided who would be killed, and how. It was God who decided how cruel the attackers would be. 

Satan was not part of any of the decisions. He was there, somewhere at the back, among waiting non consequential crowds, hoping that God might want to use their service.

In Job's case, God made use of Satan's challenge. In fact, it was God who challenged Satan, and the latter merely offered a counter challenge. But it was all God. In Ahab's case (just before his death), although He knew what exactly to do with Ahab, God asked the opinions of certain spirits in the background, waiting for His call. One offered to be a lying spirit to Ahab, and God allowed the spirit to be thus. 

But it was all God. It was never God versus Satan. It was all God.

In the end times, Satan will finally rebel against God--again. He rebelled before creation and was defeated to submission, he has been simply awaiting permissions from God through history, and in these last days he will rise once more and rebel the second time and try to fight against God and go against His will. Of course, we know how the story will end. 

Remember, it's all God. He decides who gets smaller or bigger, who wins or loses. 

It's all God.