Proverbs 16:4-5

4 The Lord works out everything to its proper end—

   even the wicked for a day of disaster.

5 The Lord detests all the proud of heart.

   Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.


 Yesterday’s paradox was justice and forgiveness, today’s is the Lord’s sovereignty and our liberty. We have the dignity of being agents in the world, the liberty to live as we please. Yet try as we might to work against the Lord’s ends, He is sovereign over the course of events. Your response to these truths, whether inspired or discouraged, is a reflection of what’s in your heart.  

 The wise person knows his own limitations, but he also knows his potential. He cannot see what the future holds, but he does what he can today to improve tomorrow. He is wise enough to see how foolish he was in the past, and humble enough to suspect he may think the same thing in the future. He acknowledges the Lord’s sovereignty, and is grateful for the liberty he has to be an agent of good. He does not fret over those who are evil; he does not envy those who do wrong, because he knows their end. They may thrive for a season, but they will wither like grass in the next.

 The wicked despise their limitations, and seek to overthrow them by any means possible. They are certain of their future, it is their past that always changes. They are not interested in improvement without more control, in power without domination. They reject the Lord and all claims of sovereignty, and are bothered by the liberty of those who oppose them. They envy the tyrants of old, and they hope to succeed where others have failed. They are blind to their own futility, convinced they can achieve a utopia that was doomed from the start.

 Would you wish for more liberty? For longer lives and fewer limitations? Would not the good of the wise be eclipsed by the evil of the wicked? Or perhaps you would wish the Lord to be more involved? To further limit our potential for evil but also for good? Be grateful for your liberty and for the Lord’s sovereignty, heaven and hell hang in the balance and only He can divide them. 

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