GOD CONTROLS MEN’S HEARTS!
The wicked are His sword! (Psa 17:13) If men are favourable toward us it is because HE hath given us favour in their eyes; and if men turn against us it is because God hath hardened their hearts toward us.
Take a look at these verses –
“And the LORD GAVE THE PEOPLE FAVOUR in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.” [Ex 12:36]
“When a man’s ways please the LORD, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” [Prov 16:7]
“And the LORD STIRRED UP AN ADVERSARY unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite.” [1Kings 11:14]
“Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; FOR THE CAUSE WAS FROM THE LORD . . . “ [1Kings 12:15]
“I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commit iniquity, I WILL CHASTEN HIM WITH THE ROD OF MEN, and with the stripes of the children of men.” [2Sam 12:14]
“The king’s heart is in the HAND OF THE LORD, as the rivers of water: HE TURNETH IT WHITHERSOEVER HE WILL.” [Prov 21:1]
“HE TURNED THEIR HEART TO HATE HIS PEOPLE, to deal subtilly with His servants.” [Psa 105:25]
“HE MADE THEM ALSO TO BE PITIED of all those that carried them captives.” [Psa 106:46]
Now God does all of this without in anyway infringing on the responsibility of the wicked or being the author of their sin! Come to think of it, a man cannot even sin except the LORD permit it! “for I also withheld thee from sinning against Me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.” [Gen 20:6]
This is the Sovereign Almighty God who hath revealed Himself to us His Elect. THE GOD OF NOMINAL CHRISTENDOM IS NOT THIS SOVEREIGN, ALL-POWERFUL, DISCRIMINATING GOD OF THE BIBLE!
In one of his letters to Erasmus, Luther said, “Your thoughts of God are TOO HUMAN.” Probably that renowned scholar resented such a rebuke, the more so, since it proceeded from a miner’s son. Nevertheless, it was thoroughly deserved. I, too, pose the same charge against the vast majority of the preachers of our day, and against those who, instead of searching the Scriptures for themselves, lazily accept the teachings of their Seminaries. The most dishonoring conceptions of the rule and reign of the Almighty are now held almost everywhere. To countless thousands, even professing Christians, THE GOD OF SCRIPTURE IS QUITE UNKNOWN.
Of old, God complained to an apostate Israel,
“THOU THOUGHTEST THAT I WAS ALTOGETHER SUCH AN ONE AS THYSELF” (Psalm 50:21).
Such must now be His indictment against apostate Christendom. MEN IMAGINE THE MOST HIGH IS MOVED BY SENTIMENT, RATHER THAN BY PRINCIPLE. They suppose His omnipotency is such an idle fiction that Satan can thwart His designs on every side. They think that if He has formed any plan or purpose at all, then it must be like theirs, CONSTANTLY SUBJECT TO CHANGE. They openly declare that whatever power He possesses must be restricted, lest He invade the citadel of man’s free will and reduce him to a machine. They lower the all-efficacious atonement, which redeems everyone for whom it was made, to a mere remedy, which sin-sick souls may use if they feel so disposed. They lessen the strength of the invincible work of the Holy Spirit to AN OFFER OF THE GOSPEL which sinners may ACCEPT or REJECT as they please.
All that to say, whether it is our salvation, our knowledge of God and His ways or our works for Him, in everything ALL the glory is due to Him and Him alone. This is one reason why I am convinced that I am one of His elect. For His Spirit has in His grace and mercy revealed to me WHO HE IS!
AND THE DOCTRINE WHICH HE HAS TAUGHT ME GIVES GOD ALL THE GLORY AND PUTS MAN WHERE HE BELONGS ….IN THE DUST!
This is how I know that I am one of His elect, and this is how I know that I know the God of the Bible! And this is how I recognize others who are elected with me. They have come to believe the GOD OF THE SCRIPTURES AS HE IS REVEALED IN THE SCRIPTURES!