- Will of Man
Does Man have a choice or is he wired or programmed?
Firstly, Verses to understand ‘how God allows Man to have his own will’ (God decides these workings by His Sovereignty):
“Of man are arrangements of the heart, And from Jehovah an answer of the tongue.” (Proverbs 16:1)
“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
“Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)
“I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)
This verse (Proverbs 16:1) and equivalent ones such as Jeremiah 10:23, Proverbs 16:9 and Proverbs 19:21 speak clearly of man given the “choice” to decide in his heart/mind (his ways) but regardless it is God who is in control in various aspects regarding this as explained below:
- ‘And from Jehovah an answer of the tongue’ = God decides to allow whether a man is able to answer from his tongue (giving man that ability of choice in his answer, not man having that ability apart from what is allowed by God first).
We know that ‘an answer’ from the ‘mouth of a man’ can ‘approve him’ (when it is in accordance to God’s Will) and can ‘condemn/judge him’ (when it is against God’s Will) as it is written & implied by the verse below also in regards to the ‘answer of the tongue’ in ‘man’ (the phrase your “own” words indicates that ‘man making that choice’ ultimately proving his responsibility over it is greatest) :
“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:37)
The fact that one is given “choice” (the ability given by God first, as He allows our will to be such, His Foreknowledge & Sovereignty) even with regards to “our words” or “an answer from our tongue” is clearly mentioned in verse below too:
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)
The “choice” (opposites) in “an answer” —> indicated by the phrase “death and life” (opposites) —> given with respect to the “power of the tongue” (our will in our words) —-> causes the ‘fruit’ (result/consequence) accordingly.
What it does ‘not’ say is that ‘God pre-ordained me to speak that way’ for God gave a ‘choice’ on ‘how you can decide to speak’ according to ‘your words’ (chosen by your will’ and that God will judge it according to whether it is ‘right’ (in accordance to His Will – approved) or ‘wrong’ (against His Will – disapproved) accordingly.
- But the LORD directs his steps = the LORD gives sufficient Good Influence over man is the meaning of God ‘directing’ man’s steps proving that ‘He is Faithful’ as 1 Corinthians 10:13 gives this control measure with regards to the ‘will of man’ being able to ‘decide’ a ‘choice’ thereafter (an ‘evil’ influence may also be allowed without it being too much to bear beyond that man’s ability – a relative measure – as 1 Corinthians 10:13 also mentions this control factor).
The word ‘steps’ and the phrase ‘many plans are in a man’s heart’ (opposite choices of Good and Evil too) indicates that a ‘choice’ is given to the ‘will of man’ by the LORD Himself Who ordains such a working in the first place.
Based on this ‘direction’ of the LORD over a man’s ‘steps’, Good Influence is allowed by the LORD directly toward the ‘Good choice according to His Will’ (James 1:17) while an Evil Influence is allowed (under the constraints mentioned in 1 Corinthians 10:13) as God allows it such toward the ‘Evil choice against His Will’ by creation’s own will from the ‘knowledge of evil’ in its heart or due to ‘creation’s influence of evil toward each other’ (James 1:13, Jeremiah 17:9, James 1:14 – 15 and especially Ecclesiastes 9:3 with regards to ‘evil’ in ‘man’).
God’s ‘direction’ in Man’s steps (His Good Influence as He is Faithful, 1 Corinthians 10:13) may be seen in ‘all’ cases in two ways as described in verses that follow:
(a) For those with His Law —–> From His Holy Word (or ‘Law’)
“Order my steps in Thy Word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” (Psalm 119:133)
“for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.” (Romans 2:13)
“The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way.” (Psalm 37:23) —-> God ‘delights’ in the ‘Good Way’ only (Psalm 5:4) –> the word ‘delight’
(b) For those without His Law —> God Gives ‘Good instinct’ and ‘Good Conscience’ (James 1:17)
This is sufficiently given in each case as verses below reveal with regards to the control measure ‘against the choice of evil’ by ‘will of creation’ —> the ‘temptation’ choice toward evil —–> proving that ‘God is Faithful’ and ‘Doesn’t allow more than what one can bear’ keeping with His Perfect Principles in 1 Corinthians 10:13 too
“For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,” (Romans 2:14 – 15)
Thus, God Judges Perfectly:
“For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;” (Romans 2:12)
“On the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 2:16)
Nobody will have any excuse when God Judges according to the ‘revealed’ secrets in the hearts of man proving His Good Influence first and that any choice made toward evil (James 1:13 – 15) against these control measures as promised in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (seen as His Good gifts of the Law, Instinct & Conscience in Romans 2:13 – 15 agreeing with James 1:17 too) becomes a man’s own sin or responsibility ultimately.
“because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1: 19 – 20)
“Instead, everyone will die for their own sin; whoever eats sour grapes–their own teeth will be set on edge.” (Jeremiah 31:30)
“The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.” (Ezekiel 18:20)
A way out of this (hope)?
“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 8:24)
- But the counsel of the LORD will stand —> prevail in the ‘end’ —-> against ‘all’ ‘plans that are in a man’s heart’ (whether man chooses to carry these out or not by his own will according to the power God has given him)Thus, ‘but the counsel of the LORD will stand’ also implies that = God’s Actions ONLY after the Counsel of His Will will stand (Ephesians 1:8 – 11) —> in the ‘end’ [indicated by the phrase “fulness of the times” (Ephesians 1:10)] —> when God puts into effect this Plan —> to gather ‘all things’ (all creation) as one in Christ (Ephesians 1:10) regardless —> His Sovereignty to do by Christ’s Acts ONLY (Romans 3:3 – 4, Romans 3:22) —-> ‘despite’ creation’s temporal servitude of its own will into vanity (will of man/creation) of corruption (will of the flesh)
This means that God’s Acts cannot be frustrated in the ‘end’ (Romans 3:3 – 4, Ecclesiastes 3:11 & Ecclesiastes 3:14) ‘despite’ creation’s choice of good or evil in this temporal vanity (Ecclesiastes 3:2 – 10, Ecclesiastes 3:13, Ecclesiastes 3:19)
—-> though Man may ‘carry’ out any of the ‘plan in his heart’ (Proverbs 19:21, Proverbs 16:1) even creation affecting each other to do evil (Ecclesiastes 8:11, Genesis 6:5, Matthew 15:18 – 19) due to ‘the gods’ too (Psalm 82:1, Psalm 82:6, 1 Corinthians 8:5) who did NOT execute Judgment against evil ‘immediately’ (a dominion to be able to ‘choose’ to do so given to them by God Himself Who Alone is the God of gods, Deuteronomy 10:17, as mysteriously mentioned in Psalm 82:2 – 4 & hinted in Ecclesiastes 8:11 too in principle) during this temporal vanity of ‘such choices of good or evil may be carried out too’ (Ecclesiastes 3:16, Luke 6:45) where God ordained a time (Ecclesiastes 3:1) for Man or creation too revealing His Foreknowledge with the ‘control measures’ given appropriately as well as described in 1 Corinthians 10:13 too
—-> a choice for Man to be able to exercise ‘his own will’ (man’s works referred to here in Ecclesiastes 3:10 indicated by the phrase ‘the task given to the sons of men’ by God in reference to the ‘opposite choices’ granted such as ‘war vs peace’, ‘hate vs love’ which God allowed as mentioned in Ecclesiastes 3:2 – 8)
—-> Thus God Judges the ‘choices’ done by any creation accordingly ‘under the sun’ (Ecclesiastes 3:17) eventually (Ecclesiastes 3:15)
How about God’s Work in all these or amidst all these or despite all these? (God does Good Works only which He does through Creation or by Himself, James 1:17)
—> Regardless of all these acts done by the will of creation by ‘their choice’, nothing frustrates God’s Will (His Works Alone contrasted against the background of creation’s will or more specifically man’s will or works is highlighted [but not limited to it] in this chapter to make ‘everything’ Beautiful in its Time (‘age’) in the End (Ecclesiastes 3:11, Ecclesiastes 3:14)
- God’s Sovereignty proves the existence of opposite cases too
[Please note that God Influences Good only, James 1:17 and does not cause Evil influence at all, James 1:13 with 1 John 1:5 & Psalm 5:4 but may allow it 1 Corinthians 10:13 according to the control measures such as stated in this verse]
God can allow that man to exercise his own will or stop it or cause an influence upon that man in such a way that even that man does not realize that it is from God
(a) a man’s way is not in himself = God puts His Good Influences a man in righteousness through that man’s will even unknown to that man
(Example: king Cyrus of Persia whom God ‘aroused in righteousness’ [Isaiah 45:13] though Cyrus did ‘not’ know ‘God at all’ [Isaiah 45:5])
(b) a man’s way is not in himself = God removes His Good Influence (the Cause: God removes His control measure as a ‘Judgment’ or ‘punishment’ for such men who ‘reject Him first’ by their ‘own’ will, Romans 1:21 – 23, Romans 1:25) causing such men to fall prey to their own evil desires of their hearts through a ‘debased/depraved mind’ to commit sin (the effect: Romans 1:24, Romans 1:28 – 32)
These ‘evil’ desires are from their ‘own’ hearts (Mark 7:21) and are done by their ‘own’ will of the flesh (to sin, Psalm 81:12) which God does NOT make them do but only removes His Good Influence due to the Effect of Judgment in such cases.
How God ‘directs’ a man’s steps? It is already discussed in point (ii) prior.
(c) Thus, God can do both (‘opposite’ cases, God causing men to do Good by influencing their ‘own’ will [e.g. Isaiah 45:5,13, James 1:17] versus causing men to do evil by their ‘own’ will without any influence of evil from God, Psalm 82:12 agreeing with James 1:13 in principle too) and such is the case of understanding verses such as Proverbs 21:1 where it states His Sovereignty (the meaning of ‘how’ God turns a king’s heart ‘wherever He wills’) .
- Will of the Flesh
- The Will of the Flesh is to desire contrary to the Spirit of God:
“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” (Galatians 5:17)
- To be led by the will of the Flesh is to do sin eventually (its deeds)
“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19 – 21)
- To be led by His Spirit is to not sin and are led by Him
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22 – 25)
- A Choice: Obeying the Flesh is to be a slave of sin versus being a slave to God is Freedom
“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.” (Romans 6:20)
“Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)
“Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” (John 8:34)
“That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” (1 Peter 4:2)
“for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” (1 John 2:16)
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
- What is the difference between the Will of Man versus the Will of the Flesh versus the Will of God?
Firstly, the verse below clearly distinguishes each of the term below meaning that these are different:
“who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13)
- Definition: Will of God = God’s Intent = Good Only (Psalm 9:8, James 1:17, Psalm 5:4)
“saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
- Definition: Will of Man = Man’s Intent = to choose good or Evil (Deuteronomy 30:19, Deuteronomy 11:26, Proverbs 18:21, Jeremiah 21:8, Amos 5:14, Psalm 34:14, James 4:17, 1 Peter 3:11)
“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.” (3 John 1:11)
- Definition: Will of the Flesh = Flesh’s Intent = Influence of Evil from the Spiritual wickedness (Ephesians 2:2, Ephesians 5:6, Colossians 3:7, John 8:44, Acts 13:10)
The ‘Will of Flesh’ works according to a mysterious ‘Law of Sin & Death’ where these ‘influences of evil’ get a ‘foothold’ (opportunity) from the ‘devil’ due to ‘sin’ done ‘first’ by our ‘own will of man’ by ‘choice’ causing sin to have a dominion over us except when we are in Christ:
“and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:27)
“For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law (of sin & Death), were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.” (Romans 7:5)
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
“Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)
“For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14)
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” (Romans 8:2)
Why is knowing and doing the Will of God in our lives is most important?
“Not everyone saying to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of My Father in the heavens.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:21)
- How about the Good Tests such as God tests Abraham to kill his son Isaac?
“Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Genesis 22:1)
This is a different case entirely and a very rare one indeed.
How do we know that such a test is from God?
Eventually, by the end of the test ‘no’ evil will be ‘allowed’ to ‘happen’ as it is in the case of Abraham proving that God is Good. The killing of his son Isaac ‘never’ happened and God stopped it during this test (Hebrews 11:17, Genesis 22:12).
- How about the idea that God is morally responsible for evil in some way?
I disagree with the article in the point where the author puts the responsibility (a softer word for blame) on God for evil contradicting Job 1:22 and Psalm 5:4 and even James 1:13.
Doesn’t ‘put responsibility on God’ = ‘puts blame in some way upon God’?
“Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” (Job 1:22)
If not please quote the author clarifying that, thank you.
Also, 1 John 1:5 doesn’t support any blame for God on evil either.
Thus an exegesis pointing in that direction must be flawed somewhere —-> ‘where God is responsible in some way for evil’ —> and instead of ‘pointing to the will of man causing his own foolishness by his own choices’ to his ‘own ruin’ —> (an ability given fairly by God as 1 Corinthians 10:13 testifies too) and is clearly implied by the verse below too (please ponder deeply) —> thus, any ‘anger’ against the LORD become meaningless when this wisdom is understood:
“The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the LORD.” (Proverbs 19:3)
- How about free will?
Agreed, no free will at all in determining anything absolutely. Let’s call it creation’s will instead.
But our will, it is meant with regards to only the choices which we are allowed to make (good or evil) as God put it within our control.
Those choices are being referred to in my writings.
God in His Sovereignty Ordained these ‘choices’ to be made via the ‘will of man’ under the Influence of the ‘Will of God’ (pointing to the Good choice) and the influence of the ‘will of the flesh’ (pointing to the evil choice) under ‘fair’ conditions (with the control measures that ‘God will not permit beyond what one can bear’ & ‘He is Faithful to provide as escape’ from the evil choice) always as promised in 1 Corinthians 10:13 with regards to this. The detail for each aspect mentioned here is discussed in point (3) earlier.
For example: A child being tortured by someone or a rape or a murder are examples of such choices made through the will of man.
Somebody is at fault for those gory cases and God will judge accordingly (as they caused evil upon those kids and innocent ones within their power, Ecclesiastes 3:17). God is NOT responsible in any way due to Him ‘allowing’ Evil by His Will only in such cases and will judge it later in His Anger toward the evil done.
- Why God didn’t stop such evil such as a rape immediately?
If God stopped every evil before they would occur by choice of creation, He would have created a creation with no choice which resembles the creation of an animal or a robot (wired or programmed in some way to responses and instincts; non-rational creation).
He did not will man and the other rational creation (e.g. angels) to be in such a way having the ‘ability’ of ‘choice’ instead especially ‘man’ who is created in God’s Image and God has the ‘Ability’ of ‘Choice’ but never does Evil at all! (God is NOT wired or programmed and such theories meet the end of the road in the aspect of NOT being compatible with the fact that ‘Man is in the Image of God’ too and likewise ability for choice in a limited way must thus exist in Man as well as it did before the fall itself).
But shouldn’t God have indirectly provided a way of response toward evil to be stopped immediately in all cases through some creation to be fair?
God did and He gave it to the ‘sons of the Most High’ (Psalm 82:6) such as Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4 , ‘god of this age’) together with his hosts too with the dominion given to them ‘as gods’ (Psalm 82:6, 1 Corinthians 8:5) ‘refuse’ to ‘stop evil immediately on earth’ by their OWN will’ which is given in their power as mentioned clearly in (Psalm 82:2 – 4) and instead ‘chose’ to ‘do evil’ instead against the Will of God (e.g. Genesis 6:2 – 5, Genesis 6:11 – 12). Thus, they will be judged accordingly for it too (Psalm 82:1, Psalm 82:8, Jude 1:6, 2 Peter 2:4, Revelation 20:10).
- Isn’t creating evil itself put the responsibility on God?
God is not responsible for evil similar because though He created Evil, He didn’t make anyone do it. It was a choice made by Creation.
To argue with His Foreknowledge that He approves evil or planned it is a Logical Fallacy and no Scripture says God is responsible for evil.
His Foreknowledge proves that He “allowed” evil which is Scriptural according to 1 Corinthians 10:13. The creation of evil doesn’t put any responsibility on Him simply because He gave choices & is Faithful in His rendering of “allowing” evil (1 Corinthians 10:13).
The creation of evil not being His fault in any way is clearly implied by Job 1:22 & James 1:13 too. The best part is there are creation such as angels knowing good & evil too that ‘never’ fell proving that the ‘creation of evil’ does not imply a certain fall.
Why is Evil created or allowed then?
A reason why evil is “allowed” is to humble them (Ecclesiastes 1:13)
“And I have given my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that hath been done under the heavens. It is a sad travail God hath given to the sons of man to be humbled by it.” (Ecclesiastes 1:13)
It is also “allowed” For Judgment too (John 3:19).
“’And this is the judgment, that the light hath come to the world, and men did love the darkness rather than the light, for their works were evil;” (John 3:19)
- Can God be absent from Evil proving that He is not responsible for it?
Of course! This is for the case where creation does its own evil by its own will where God will judge it later (John 16:8, Hebrews 9:27, John 16:11, John 7:7).
God makes Himself having ‘no’ part in such evil (and it is NOT His Will in any way) simply because His Will consists of things pertaining to His “Pleasure” only & the verse below proves that ‘no’ such evil or wickedness are ‘His Pleasure’ at all (e.g. a rape, murder etc. is never His Plan for the all things, Ephesians 1:10 -11 simply because ‘only things pertaining to His Pleasure’ are His Will according to Isaiah 46:10 too when seen together):
“For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You.” (Psalm 5:4)
As points (6) and (7) mention, ‘choice’ is an important element given under fair conditions and point (8) explains more as to why evil is created or allowed in the first place.
- But didn’t God harden the Pharaoh’s heart and likewise cause the binding of disobedience in all according to Exodus 9:12 & Romans 11:32 respectively making Him responsible for evil ultimately?
This is often a common confusion & fallacy due to viewing this case in the wrong timeline (ignoring the “time” as to ‘when did God make the Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened’ onwards —-> leading to a false overall conclusion if this part is not considered correctly).
“Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment.” (Ecclesiastes 8:5)
The misinterpretation assumes that God did the ‘hardening or binding’ FIRST from which such disobedient ones then sinned which God simply did NOT.
Worst still is to take that faulty time-ignored Pharaoh analogy and apply it to a case where say a rape or murder is done —> and then claim that God is responsible for it —–> because God is ‘claimed’ to have ‘hardened’ that rapist or murderer’s heart FIRST —> leading to those atrocities. This is faulty logic for a simple reason that these are ‘different cases’:
Pharaoh’s case is —-> referring to God’s Judgment to display His Power over Pharaoh’s evil (God’s Power of Judgment is referred to here because God only Judged against the Pharaoh when the encounter between God and Pharaoh happened via Moses, Romans 9:17)
God did not display His Power through those innocent children being butchered or raped by madmen. These are different cases as Pharaoh’s OWN evil prior speak of a similar case (before God’s Judgment met him). The evil done by Pharaoh by his own acts prior and those done by the rapists & murderers is referring to a case described in point (1) earlier.
Regarding the Pharaoh’s case —> Truth is, please consider with ‘time’ consideration:
The Judgment Case
God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart so that he does not release the children of Israel because God doesn’t want the Pharaoh to escape His Judgment.
Pharaoh’s evil by his actions prior is too much and God wants to Judge it.
The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart does NOT refer to his own evils which he has been doing prior with his slaves for a long time earlier.
Scripture mentions clearly of the hardening of the Pharaoh’s heart to make him ‘not’ to release the children of Israel & not when ‘he was innocent’ and God just simply decided to harden his heart so to cause Pharaoh to sin as popularly & conveniently misinterpreted.
‘Question your exegesis not Scripture’ – Unknown
Furthermore, this does NOT apply to God hardening a rapist to rape etc. as that’s a different case as described in point (1) earlier.
A logic why God ‘overruled’ Pharaoh’s will and choice by hardening his heart (to be unable to make the opposite decision) —-> with regards to Judgment Principle in Isaiah 3:11 where one is only rendered according to the ‘evil’ which one has ‘done FIRST’.
In the Pharaoh’s case, he has been making slaves out of the Israelites and others ‘against their will´ (because nobody willingly becomes a slave to the Pharaoh) —–> even ‘treating them cruelly’ FIRST —> God later returns this ‘same’ Judgment —> of disabling Pharaoh’s decision making ability ‘against His Will’ —-> by ‘hardening’ the Pharaoh —-> to Judge the Pharaoh with the same level of cruelness he has shown to the slaves —-> God also allowed the ‘angel of Death’ to slay all these firstborn of the Pharaoh & Egyptians simply because they ‘killed’ & even ‘enslaved’ plenty of firstborns and other children of the slaves terrorizing them & torturing them for a ‘long time’ before this ‘hardening’ of his heart ever happened. So, God’s Judgment is Perfectly equal to the sin committed earlier FIRST.
The verses speaking of His hardening or binding in disobedience of all must be understood in like manner (as God’s Perfection cannot be compromised) —> that God ‘hardens’ or ‘binds’ in disobedience as a Judgment —> to punish them severely later because of their OWN sins first by their OWN will earned them such a punishment (Isaiah 3:11) —> as the analogy of the Pharaoh also proves (the same principle must apply elsewhere though details may be hidden because God has no partiality in Judgment too).
- Does the phrase ‘God in is Control all the time’ means that He must be present in evil done by creation’s will and thus be responsible for it in some way?
No, another common fallacy rings in question above (referring to the evil done first as in case 1 with regards to Judgment too).
Truth is (according to the verse below), God can be ‘absent’ from the ‘evil’ which He ‘allows’ creation to do by its ‘own’ will (proving creation’s choice again to do ‘evil’ on ‘its own’, e.g. John 8:44, since God is NOT present but absent when such ‘evil’ is allowed as the verse below clearly states; best still, ‘God’ Himself is speaking it!):
God is “not” among us verse —> as God in His Sovereignty can allow such a case & evil befalls them too (with regards to Judgment as they forsook God FIRST):
(God says), “I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ ” (Deuteronomy 31:17, NKJV).
“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” (Revelation 12:12)
God will ‘allow’ various Judgments too according to the ‘acts of sins’ done FIRST by men as prophesied in the Book of Revelation too (an example):
“They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” (Revelation 9:4)
A control measure present in Judgment:
“And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man.” (Revelation 9:5)
The pain and torment will match the evil done prior by these men FIRST agreeing to Isaiah 3:11 in Principle (though the full details of their sins remain unrevealed yet):
“And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.” (Revelation 9:6)
God ‘allows’ this Evil Judgment upon them matching their ‘own’ evil acts first without Him doing it but probably one of ‘their own gods’ whom they have served in principle too prior without realizing through their ‘sins’ done prior (a plausible thought agreeing to many verses such as Isaiah 3:11, Galatians 6:7):
“They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.” (Revelation 9:11)
To me, God is right in the process and in the end.
There is no blame on God for evil.
Yes He triumphs ultimately against everything against Him including all the ‘blame for evil on Him’ as well. Truly, God will be ‘all in all’ (1 Corinthians 15:25 – 28) in the ‘end’.
“Never may it be! But let God be true, and every man a liar, as it has been written: “That You (God) may be justified in Your words, and will prevail in Your being judged.” (Romans 3:4)
‘If your exegesis doesn’t prove that God is Right, you are wrong’ – Anonymous
P/S: How about Natural Disasters?
I think there are three major classification of it as follows:
- Natural Disasters due to God’s Judgment
God “only allows” direct “evil Judgment” (referring to this case only) through calamities or ‘direct Judgments’ as discussed earlier too if and only if ‘there was NO righteous person left among them’ as ‘it is written’ in verse below (and God does NOT change from this ‘Principle’ either):
“Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.” As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the LORD departed, and Abraham returned to his place.” (Genesis 18:32 – 33)
““The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil,” (Isaiah 57:1)
Abraham understood that and did ‘not’ bargain further to the LORD for sparing Sodom.
Likewise in the New Testament, the verse below clearly points to this ‘same principle’ that God will not allow by His own Judgment an evil that destroys the ‘righteous together with it’ (God’s Principles in Judgment reveal these and God does NOT change):
“And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ “But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. ‘ALLOW both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’ – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:28 – 30)
God doesn’t kill any of the righteous with “His Judgment sentences”. The ‘righteous are only killed via unfair causes due to another creation’s free will including man or the spiritual wickedness’.
We assume that many are righteous & blame God for natural disasters which are due to His Judgment but it is actually very rare to find those righteous due to their “OWN” Righteousness achieved by faith in God (though this is not achieved independent of God but through God’s Strength).
Here is an example of how rare it is
“Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 14:14)
- Natural Disasters due to Man’s own Folly
Example: Flash floods happening due to lack of proper irrigation systems or landslides due to uncontrolled deforestation.
This is a case of natural disasters due to creation’s will by its own actions such as flash floods due to improper irrigation system in a city. These are consequences of our own foolishness not to be confused with God’s Judgment case discussed earlier when He judges as in the case of Sodom or Noah too.
- Natural Disasters due to the ‘evil’ done by the ‘gods’?
There is possibly a third case of how natural disasters could happen and its due to the operation of the gods (Psalm 82:1) who bring about natural disasters to do evil with Satan as’ god of this age’ (2 Corinthians 4:4).
He is allowed that evil due to Mankind forsaking God so it still relates To Judgment in some way but kinda like God is Absent from it and lets Satan decide because people’s action want it so by “rejecting God first”. Here’s a verse that proves evils which happen under that understanding as it is written:
Speaking of those who choose to follow Satan, God says, “I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ ” (Deuteronomy 31:17, NKJV).
Context (God ‘allows’ Satan to do ‘evil’; Satan decides to do evil, he can say ‘no’ but didn’t; God never commanded Satan to do evil to Job as some exegesis err but only “allowed” Satan to decide that, indicated by the phrase ‘he is in your power’ = ‘allowing Job to be inflicted by evil if Satan wanted to proceed’ even giving the mitigation ‘not to take his life’, principles agreeing to 1 Corinthians 10:13 as discussed prior even with regards to the control measures as well!):
“So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.” (Job 2:6)
“Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” (Job 2:7)
“While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” (Job 1:16)
“But he (Job) said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” (Job 2:10)
The ‘receiving evil’ (Job 2:10) is basically God ‘allowing’ evil (Job 2:6) and Satan deciding to do it by his own choice (Job 2:7) and the people mistook Satan’s work as God’s Fire (Job 1:16). End.