Let’s continue this mini-series on “different” gospels. I am part of Facebook group that digs into the tough issues of the bible. One post yesterday delved into the question of whether or not we should speak of hell to the unsaved. I may dive into that, but it reminded me of another thought that has rocked my boat the last few days. Let me share.
My bible plan just started the book of Job. If you recall, the book begins with a conversation between God and Satan. In it, Job was tested to show his faithfulness. Satan challenged God, and God allowed him to cause all sorts a calamity to Job. However, God limited this.
Job 1:12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So, Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
6. And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”
We see other examples of God restraining evil. Here’s just one, when Paul is speaking of the anti-Christ to come.
2 Thessalonians 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
So, it is clear that God restrains Satan. But what about me? When I am honest with myself, I still compare my sin to that of others. I still view my sin (at times) as “better” than other people’s sin. “I may be bad, but I’m not THAT bad!” My guess is that we all do that. Do I have that right? Do I really have the right to think “at least I would never do that!” while looking down my nose at someone?
Then the thought hit me. God not only restrains Satan, but doesn’t he also restrain ME? If my heart is wicked/evil (and it is), then doesn’t it make sense that God is restraining ME as well? I think it does. If that is the case, then I wonder how low I really could go if I was left to my own desire. Might I be capable of some horrific sin? Might I become a mass murderer? Could I even be worse than Jeffrey Dahmer? Or Adolf Hitler?
Think about this. I think it’s true. What right would I have, therefore, to judge my sin compared to another’s? Would I have any reason to boast? Is what Jeremiah saying really true about me?
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Let this sink home, folks.
Father, thank you for delivering me from the consequence of my sin, not only for what I have done but for what I am capable of doing. Even today as a believer, Lord, you restrain my sin. Father in heaven, lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers