A Brief Meditation for the Month

October 2023

During a discussion between a heathen philosopher and a Christian, the philosopher asked the question many ask today: “Where is God?” Without hesitation, the Christian responded, “Let me first ask you, Where is he not!” In spiritual blindness, people often ask: “Where is God when I need him?” or when confronted by mysterious occurrences in life that they think ought not to happen, “Where is God now? If he is sovereign, why does he permit such things to happen?” Some say, “Well, if God is a God of love, I see no evidence of it in these cruel or destructive circumstances I or others are experiencing or are confronted with.”

Our personal concept of God governs how we respond to events in life. If we doubt the controlling wisdom of God or question his omniscience, it inevitably results in reliance upon our ability to find the reason for what occurs and any purpose behind it, if indeed there is any. On the other hand, if I believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, all-wise, altogether holy and good, and involves himself in the affairs of his creatures, then I am assured that, to quote the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence,” and from the same source: “God’s works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.” The child of God understands by faith that however strange, mysterious, or hard for flesh and blood to cope with, it remains a reality: “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. The eye of faith sees beyond the surface of things and discerns a loving, caring God, doing what can only and always be the ultimate good for his children whom he loves with everlasting love. From personal experience, the apostle Peter could write to those whose faith was under trial, “he careth for you.” 1 Peter 1:7; 5:7. No care of a loving parent can ever be so tender, compassionate, and devoted as that of our covenant God for his dear adopted children.

It is very easy for us to conjecture that God is not present, or question if he knows what is happening, when the unexpected occurs or situations develop in our experiences which we think are unfair, unjust, or unnecessary from our supposed vantage point. What we so quickly forget on occasions is what God told the prophet Samuel: “The Lord seeth not as man seeth.” 1 Samuel 16:7. God sees and knows much more than we can ever see or understand, and if on occasions events might seem obscure, senseless, or without any apparent purpose, we need to remember the wise counsel in the book of Ecclesiastes. There we read: “To every thing, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1. These words remind us that every event or circumstance in providence, whether we understand it or not, does have a divine purpose behind it. Nothing happens by chance, but all is purposed and executed most timely and perfectly according to the counsel of the all-wise God. God is never late, nor is he ever too early. We may be anxious or even frustrated, but God is not only presently knowledgeable of all that is happening but is actively involved in it. When the eye of faith looks at any mysterious or adverse event occurring in providence, the conclusion is not that God is absent or disinterested, but rather of wonder: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33. Instead of resentment at God’s way of doing things, the humble believer knows the divine plan is perfect.

G. G. Hutton.