Through Whom God Works out His PlansNovember 16, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: 1 John 3, 1 Timothy 1, Biblical submission, complementarianism, God's omniscience, Job 37, omniscience, Psalm 139, Psalm 147, sovereignty of God
Several years ago my wife and I were sitting across the table from another married couple, having a meal together at a Christian retreat. They were telling us about the first and only house they had purchased after getting married. The wife said that, after looking at many houses, they had a found a few possibilities but none seemed like the perfect choice. Finally, her husband drove them out to the country, down a winding path, to a little rundown home in a wooded area. The wife was adamantly opposed. The price was right, but the house needed a great deal of fixing up, and she did not want a renovation project to be the first task they tackled together as married couple. To put it bluntly, she hated it. She had a certain type of home in mind, and this was not it. Then, as she was telling us about it, the couple smiled at each other, and the wife said, “I had a plan, and…”
I remembering thinking, “I know what’s coming next. She’s going to say, ‘I had a plan, and God had a plan… and His plans are always better than our plans.'” Or something to that effect. But that’s not what she said. She said, “I had a plan… and my husband had a plan.”
The husband listened carefully and patiently to his wife’s input, but, even though they didn’t agree, he made the decision to purchase the house. She lovingly submitted, they fixed it up, they raised a family together there, they glorified God in that home, and, all those years later, they were still living in it and they loved it.
I still think about it that conversation sometimes. It sounded so unspiritual compared to what she could have said. However, the Bible says:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
That’s not the most popular Bible verse these days. Our modern society doesn’t like the idea of “submission,” especially where gender roles are debated and used as cannon fodder in the culture wars. And, even within the confessing evangelical church, a whole bunch of ink has been spilled trying to “explain away” the plain meaning of such a simple principle.
Many times, we forget that God ordains and commands authority and submission and obedience – even in our fallen and sinful earthly realm – for good, using them as means to carry out His sovereign will. God is omniscient, so He is certainly able to foresee and determine the outcome, even of bad human decisions, but He still tells sinful children to submit to sinful parents, sinful church members to submit to sinful church leaders, sinful employees to submit to sinful employers, and even sinful wives to submit to sinful husbands. It’s not always easy to trust a another human being with a life-altering decision, but it should not be difficult at all for us to read the Bible, understand its basic concepts, and to trust the omniscient God of the universe.
Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?
Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
I John 3:20
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
I Timothy 1:17