Journal Prov 16 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” Prov 16:4
Observation: The above statement can puzzle a lot of people. After all, who wants to blame God for the presence of the Wicked in our lives? Answer: no one.
Analysis: It is worth noting, and keeping it close to heart and head, that this statement is a critical precept of the foundation to the Gospel: “The Lord has made everything for its purpose…” Whatever else follows this statement is true. It is part and parcel of God being Sovereign in all of Creation. Forget about that nonsense argument “Did God create evil, then?” Absolutely not!! All twisted action and conduct came from the betrayal by Adam. Adam chose to disobey, and all his offspring had/have that same choice of action—rejecting to be dependent on God and choosing independence from God.
Shall I surrender to His rule and reign, or shall I rebel completely? Note there is sort of a middle road: Playing lip service to Him while slightly modifying His commands to suit myself—being independent. Lip service is still rebellion.
While I can pick a strategic POV out of these few words from Proverbs, this is really a reminder to the individual to not lose heart when we see riots, robberies, perversion, wars, rumors of wars, and all that. From the 5,000-foot level: “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” (Luke 12:51)
But for the individual whose trust, dependence, reliance is upon Jesus the Redeemer and not on what is happening in the world, there is peace: “I have said these things to you, that IN ME you may have peace. In the world you WILL have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The Proverb above is meant to center us in God. “Remember that I am Sovereign!!” Isaiah 46:8-11b:
“Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors,
remember the former things of old.
For I AM God, and there is no other; I AM God, there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying My counsel will stand and I will accomplish all my purpose…I have spoken, and I
will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.”
So, the next time I grouse about how anything of the World is going, how it is failing, how the government is dumber than a box of rocks and I pray, please Lord bring the next election quickly, I will try to practice choosing the way of thankfulness (1 Thes 5:16-18) “Thank you Lord, for all of this is according to Your Purpose (even if I don’t understand). Help me be at peace. Real, not just being quiet and grimacing and holding back my emotions, but real Biblical peace.”
Ricky Two Shoes