God’s sovereignty over the crooked

I love Ecclesiastes, and this short book has been a really nice change of pace.

We often forget that things that are bad are often going to stay bad. There is no promise that they will get better (John 16:33). If things are bad, they are by God’s permission or even design (Lamentations 3:37). And all things are for part of God’s will for his glory, which is for our good (Romans 12:2, Romans 8:28-29).

Follow the insight of wisdom. Consider the work of God in all these things. A wise man will never kick against the goads. Who can straighten what He has made crooked? Will a man be able to bend the world in a different direction than the Almighty has? This central doctrine in the book must he allowed to sink deeply into our souls. Is it crooked? Then the Lord God made it so. But why? If He had wanted us to know that, then He would have told us. The closest we get to an explanation is found in Romans 9—

What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath–prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory–even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? (Rom. 9:22-24) [NIV]

The ultimate explanation is that God does all things to glorify His name and exalt His majesty. But regardless of various reasons for the crookedness of the world, the fact remains that the Bible affirms God’s sovereignty over the crooked. He truly is the only Lord.

–Douglas Wilson, Joy at the End of the Tether The Inscrutable Wisdom of Ecclesiastes

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