Scripture Reading: Psalm 115
From Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 3, Of God’s Eternal Decree
“God from all eternity did by the most and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin; nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.”
According to this, God makes everything that happens happen, even sin, even though He didn’t make people sin. This appears to make no sense, which is true!
But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
Pleased—wills, desires, Passage is frequently used to show how God does what He wants, therefore all that He wants done has to be being done. Part of what pleased Him was to allow us some control.
The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
He gave us the earth; we have dominion and a certain amount of power here. We have messed it up. Part of salvation is giving up our longing for things on earth. God gave it to us until we see that we want to give it back. We renounce our control for His again.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
In His image—not bodily, but ideas of conscience, intelligence, free-will, dominion—tread down, subdue, subjugate. God has power to rule, He has made us His representatives to rule on earth as His visible hand of rule. Them have dominion—not Adam and Eve, but humanity in general.
Genesis 2:15-17: God gives man choice to obey
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Dress—work, till, keep in bondage. Keep—guard, preserve. One command, violating it brings death. This is what pleased God to do—there re rules to obey when it comes to being God’s power on earth.
Genesis 3:16-19: Man chooses sin, world is thrown into chaos
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Conflict between men and women. Dominion over the earth is painful and life is dependent upon it. Death is the end for all—this was not God’s desire nor pleasure.
Ezekiel 18:32; 33:11—God has no pleasure in those that die, in death of the wicked. Pleasure, same word as in Psalm 115:3—God does what He pleases, yet He is not pleased with death.
--God originally did not intend death for creation, a result of man’s choice. Therefore, after years of sinning, we must conclude there is much here going on that is not God’s intent or choice. Will be done on earth as in heaven.
And say, Hear ye the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.4 Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
1. God has no reason to be upset if all we do is what He wants us to.
2. Judgment ceases to make any kind of sense.
3. People are doing things God never thought about!