Posted on Feb 19, 2015 | 0 comments

God Made Me Do It
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Psalm 119:75 NASB

You have afflicted me – We give the devil way too much credit. If something bad happens, he is to blame. If we are tempted, he is responsible. Tragedies and horrors follow in his wake. If we were to believe the popular cultural ideas about Satan, it is amazing that anyone survives. But like most religious things, these ideas don’t originate in Scripture. In fact, in Scripture “God made me do it.”

Notice what David says. First he acknowledges that whatever God does is righteous. God’s actions are tsedeq, correct, equitable, accurate and the right thing to do. They are above suspicion. Amazingly, some of these righteous acts bring affliction. God is faithful. He forces His children into submission. Emunah is the motive for ‘anah. God uses affliction (‘anah) for His purposes and His purposes are to bring about confession and repentance. Because God made a covenant commitment to His people, He will not hesitate to correct them and this often means causing bad things to happen in order to change the direction of those He loves. Stop giving Satan all the credit. Most of the time, God is doing the afflicting.

David’s commentary on the character of YHVH teaches us two critically important lessons. First, God is good. Period! Nothing God does serves evil purposes. With that in mind, we next consider the sovereignty of the Lord in relation to what happens to us. And the surprising answer is that God is good even when bad things happen because He brings those things upon us in order that we might repent and return to Him. Lesson number two. God is untiringly faithful to see to it that we come back to Him. Therefore, He will do whatever it takes to bring that about. It isn’t Satan who is causing your distress. Satan is but a minor player on the universal stage. His time is limited. He doesn’t get headline billing. God is the one who is at work here. Lesson two is that if you have eyes to see what’s really happening, you will recognize that God is forcing you into submission. Gently, carefully, considerately, but nevertheless, determinedly. Open your eyes. See the truth. This is God at work.

innitani. “You have afflicted me.” Can you say that with full consciousness? Can you stand in front of the throne and say, “You, Lord, have afflicted me”? If you can, then the next words from your mouth must be, “And I thank you.” What would you have become were it not for the corrective action of YHVH? Aren’t you glad that He cared so much about you He was willing to do whatever it took to bring you back? Did you really suffer so greatly that you can’t see God’s handiwork in the events? Were you so damaged that faith is no longer possible? I am not suggesting that there is no such thing as evil. Of course there is! Human history is a litany of evil, usually caused by other people. But I am not willing to discount the faithfulness of YHVH. He corrects. Affliction—what a wonderful word!

Topical Index: affliction, ‘anah, righteous, tsedeq, faithfulness, emunah, Psalm 119:73


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