Recently I have been reading a book called “The Potter’s freedom” by James White. It’s a response to Norman Geisler’s book: “Chosen but Free.”
As I was reading, a few passages really struck a chord in me…(as I’ve had a few conversations lately with Christians who abhor the idea that God is sovereign in his dealings with men…Volcanoes? No problem, Rain? No biggie….but the will of man? That’s the one place that men will never let God be God…) and so I thought I’d post at least a couple of them to show the absurdity of this elevated view of the will of man.
Here are those passages:
First is the passage, recording God’s actions in using Assyria against Israel as is seen in Isaiah 10:5–19
5 “What sorrow awaits Assyria, the rod of my anger.
I use it as a club to express my anger.
6 I am sending Assyria against a godless nation,
against a people with whom I am angry.
Assyria will plunder them,
trampling them like dirt beneath its feet.
7 But the king of Assyria will not understand that he is my tool;
his mind does not work that way.
His plan is simply to destroy,
to cut down nation after nation.
8 He will say,
‘Each of my princes will soon be a king.
9 We destroyed Calno just as we did Carchemish.
Hamath fell before us as Arpad did.
And we destroyed Samaria just as we did Damascus.
10 Yes, we have finished off many a kingdom
whose gods were greater than those in Jerusalem and Samaria.
11 So we will defeat Jerusalem and her gods,
just as we destroyed Samaria with hers.’ ”
12 After the Lord has used the king of Assyria to accomplish his purposes on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will turn against the king of Assyria and punish him—for he is proud and arrogant. 13 He boasts,
“By my own powerful arm I have done this.
With my own shrewd wisdom I planned it.
I have broken down the defenses of nations
and carried off their treasures.
I have knocked down their kings like a bull.
14 I have robbed their nests of riches
and gathered up kingdoms as a farmer gathers eggs.
No one can even flap a wing against me
or utter a peep of protest.”
15 But can the ax boast greater power than the person who uses it?
Is the saw greater than the person who saws?
Can a rod strike unless a hand moves it?
Can a wooden cane walk by itself?
16 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
will send a plague among Assyria’s proud troops,
and a flaming fire will consume its glory.
17 The Lord, the Light of Israel, will be a fire;
the Holy One will be a flame.
He will devour the thorns and briers with fire,
burning up the enemy in a single night.
18 The Lord will consume Assyria’s glory
like a fire consumes a forest in a fruitful land;
it will waste away like sick people in a plague.
19 Of all that glorious forest, only a few trees will survive—
so few that a child could count them!
God is seen using Assyria to bring judgment against Israel, yet when the Lord is finished using Assyria in this act, then He punishes them for it…God’s freedom in His dealing with men permeates scripture; here, Isaiah calls men pots and God the Potter:
16 How foolish can you be?
He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay!
Should the created thing say of the one who made it,
“He didn’t make me”?
Does a jar ever say,
“The potter who made me is stupid”?
9 “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
Does the pot exclaim,
‘How clumsy can you be?’
We can understand God as the great vending machine in the sky, but can we accept Him as the all powerful, King that He is?