Probing the Remote Purpose
"Why did God allow it to happen?" This question seeks to probe the remote or ultimate purpose. The question assumes something crucial to our understanding of God. It assumes that God could have prevented the thing that happened. If we deny this verity, we deny the very character of God. If God could not have prevented it, He would no longer be God. By asking why, we also assume something else that is vital. We assume there is an answer to the question. We assume that God had a reason or a purpose for the thing that occurred.
The question remains—"Was God's reason or purpose a good one?" To ask the question is to answer it—if we know anything about God. We err in our reason. We establish futile goals. We rush off on fools' errands. We pursue sinful ends. Let us not project the same kind of vicious intentionality of God.
The only purpose or intention God ever has is altogether good. When the Bible speaks of the sovereign exercise of the pleasure of His will, there is no hint of arbitrariness or wicked intent. The pleasure of His will is always the good pleasure of His will. His pleasure is always good, His will is always good, and His intentions are always good.
Coram Deo: Living in the Presence of God
What past or present circumstances in your life have caused you to ask "Why?" Ask God to show you how His good intentions are reflected in these situations.
For Further Study
Deuteronomy 29:29: "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."
Philippians 2:13: "It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."
Ephesians 1:4-5: "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world . . . having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will."
The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries and Dr. R.C. Sproul is to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness. For more information, please visit www.ligonier.org or call them at 800-435-4343.
© R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved.
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