The Mystery of God’s Providence
Today’s reading: Numbers 14-15; Mark 6:1-32
15 Now if you kill this people as one man, then the nations who have heard your fame will say, 16 ‘It is because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to give to them that he has killed them in the wilderness.’ Numbers 14:15-16
26 And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. 27 And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison… Mark 6:26-27
God threatened to destroy the entire nation of Israel for their rebellion and unbelief and to start over again forming a new nation with Moses. In a rather unique and wise prayer, Moses appealed to God to spare them on the basis of what would result in greater glory for the Lord. Certainly this was one of Moses’ best moments in which he showed more concern for God’s glory than for his own. So God spared the guilty Israelites once again.
In our reading in Mark, we come to the sad account of the hideous beheading of John the Baptist. John died because he dared to stand up to corruption in high places. It is not hard to surmise that Herod carried the guilty weight of this execution to his dying days.
In both of our readings, the providence of God is evident, but is not predictable. It is mysterious and complex. Although they suffered discipline and forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the Lord spared the guilty. On the other hand, the bold and faithful John died a horrible death.
God does not reveal all of His reasons for the providential circumstances He decrees for His children, but we see enough examples to know that it’s not about “karma” where every good dead gets rewarded and every bad deed gets punished.
Are you perplexed about some inexplicable event in your life? Do not despair even if you never understand it in this life. Trust God that He has a wise plan and ultimately will resolve all things for our good and His glory in the age to come.