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How God Uses Evil for Good

Today’s reading: Judges 12-14; Luke 9:37-62

4 His father and mother did not know that it was from the Lord, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.                                                                                       Judges 14:4

But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.”                                                                              Luke 9:43-44

Again and again we see the wisdom of God in biblical history as He turns the evil and foolish acts of men into good outcomes.  The same is true in today’s readings.

Samson had a promising beginning. His birth was foretold by the angel of the Lord. The Spirit of God came upon him. He had godly parents. But his character proved to be deeply flawed. Many of his failures had to do with his weakness for women.

Ignoring God’s law and his parents’ warning, Samson chose a wife from the Philistines. It grieved his father and mother, but how could they know that through that decision victory over the Philistines would be won? Indeed, Samson would pay dearly for his foolishness, but God’s will in defeating the enemy of Israel would result.

Jesus was at one of the high points of His earthly ministry. His deliverance of the demon possessed boy resulted in the crowd being astonished at the majesty of God (vs. 43). They were all still marveling at Jesus’ work, when He turned to His disciples and told them that He was about to be arrested.

As incredible as it seems, Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion were not examples of history going wild and the world out of control. Luke reports the words of Peter in Acts 2:22-23:  “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—  this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.”

The most horrific and evil deed in all of human history, the crucifixion of the Son of God, resulted in salvation for all time for all His people.

While God commands us to be obedient to Him, He uses even our sin for good ends. Romans 8:28 is well-known but too often forgotten: 28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

We know it. Now, praise God that it’s true.

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