Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bridges, 2008. Chapter 4, "God's Sovereignty over People"

Chapter 4, “God’s Sovereignty over People” pp. 57-77

Bridges begins this chapter with the example of the departure of Israel from Egypt. In Exodus chapters 3 and 12 we read that God made the Egyptians favorable to the Israelites so as to give them great treasures. Many times in the Bible God changes attitudes so people voluntarily do what is good for God’s people. Of course we realize also that we live in a world full of hardship. Many hardships are the result of others’ negative choices. The Bible portrays God as active in all of life. One way He acts is by moving human attitudes.

God also works in the world by restraining people from evil actions. For reasons we may not understand people will often choose not to engage in harmful activities. This is a gift of God.

Sometimes God does not restrain evil. Bad things happen. We do not know his reasons but we do know God is wise and good. The results of a bad situation may be used for good in some way.

How do we deal with the problem of God’s sovereignty and human freedom? Bridges says the two are asserted and the relationship is not explained. However, we know God is infinite in his capability and understanding. We cannot think God is like us. God does not cause sin, but he can use sin for his good purposes. People make free choices even when God has influenced their attitude.

Our role in all this is to respond in trust. God is good. He will care for us.

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