September 23 

Does God Cause Us to Sin? 
Isaiah 45:6-9

Yesterday's reading affirmed that God is in everything from natural disasters to family disputes. Nothing touches a believer's life unless it comes through His permissive hand. And He brings about good from even our worst experiences (Rom. 8:28). But believing in divine sovereignty over all the events of earth implies a connection between holy God and our sin. Then, just how are they related?

Read this carefully: God neither instigates sin nor leads anyone into temptation. He is holy, so He can't be in the presence of sin. He is just, so He demands payment for wrongs. And He's loving and merciful, so He desires that all people know Him and His saving grace. To lure people into wrongdoing and then judge them for disobedience would be contrary to His character.

At times people point out the King James translation of Isaiah 45:7, which says that God makes peace and creates evil. While I love the KJV's poetic language, I teach from the New American Standard Bible because it's the most accurate translation. The NASB says God is the One "causing well-being and creating calamity . . . " Even before we make a wrong choice, the Lord knows what the repercussions will be. And He uses the evil circumstances related to our sin as a teaching tool.

We have a certain amount of free will—the Lord allows us to step out His will and pursue our own agenda. He knows that sin reveals the flesh's weakness and arrogance. Once we realize our frailty, He teaches us to die to self and to rely upon Christ's strength (Gal. 2:20). 

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Some days it seems as if a spirit of anger is permeating the entire world. News stories of violence, road rage, and international discord fill the airwaves. If that were not enough, our families are also being torn apart by unresolved conflicts. Where do we turn for peace in this angry world? 
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