Robin and I began reading a book together this past week. It’s a bit of a manual for member care. Paul Tripp uses “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand” as the basis for his “Changing Hearts, Changing Lives” curriculum. In the first chapter he begins by painting the picture of why mankind is so messed up. He says,
“Sin altered every thought, desire, word and deed. Rather than loving people and using things to express it, they loved things and used people to get them.
“God now saw his world ravaged by sin. He was unwilling for it to stay this way, so he devised a plan. It would take thousands of years. It would mean harnessing the forces of nature and controlling the course of human history, but he could do it. From the moment of the Fall, for generation after generation, he controlled everything so that someday he could fix what had been so horribly damaged. Into this world, at just the right moment, he sent his one and only Son.”
Did you catch what he says there? From the moment of the fall, for generation after generation, he controlled everything so that someday he could fix what had been so horribly damaged..” What did that entail? EVERYTHING for generation to generation. That means that God orchestrated the world getting to the place where they would reject the messiah! God is never the author of sin. But, God does not stop man from sinning and making his own choices. But, even when man made wrong choices, God was using even that, to prepare the world to reject the messiah and condemn Him to death, so that He could be our redeemer!
Paul Tripp goes on to say, “Think about it: every good and bad thing that the Old Testament records had a purpose. All of the battles, journeys, trials, kingdoms, revelations, and miracles; all of the political and personal intrigue, were part of a careful plan to bring the world to this point.. then, “at just the right time, God sent forth His son.”
What was the “right time?” Yes, it was the time prophesied. The star in the east, the wise men, etc etc. But, it was also the time the was ripe for the people of Isreal to reject Him, SO THAT He could die in our place to redeem ALL mankind!
“The King came not to make our agenda possible, but to draw us into something more amazing glorious and wonderful. His Kingdom is about God radically changing people, but not in the self-absorbed sense of our culture… His Kingdom is about the display of his glory and people who are holy. This is the change he came, lived, died and rose to produce. This is the life and work he offers in exchange for temporary glories, This agenda is intended to control our hearts and transform our live.
This is a difficult perspective to have, especially in the midst of difficulty. To look hardship and difficulty in the face and be able to say, “God is doing this because He loves me, and knows this is the best way for me to come to love Him more deeply!” But, that’s the truth! “From the moment of the Fall, for generation after generation, he controlled everything so that someday he could fix what had been so horribly damaged.” “His kingdom is about the display of His glory… His agenda is intended to control our hearts and transform our lives” into a more closer resemblance of His glory!
May we learn to see life from this perspective.