Friday, 23 April 2010

Raising up the evil or for evil

I understand how people respond to Romans 9, but there is also Romans 1 and 2, and 3 and 4, and other books. In Deuteronomy we read,
"If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst." (Deuteronomy 13)
Given what else I read in the Bible I see this an example of how God would use a person to test the hearts of people. That is I do not think that God created a reprobate with the intention that they would grow up and reject God and attempt to draw people away from him. God did not make a person planning for him to always be evil just so he can use him to test others and with the intention of damning him no matter what.

So I see this as an example of someone who has chosen to reject God and subsequently God uses this person to test the hearts of others. Now God could raise up a person like this, ie. bring them into a position of influence, but then God is giving some temporary power to men who have chosen evil, God may do this to bring about other changes he intends.

I have no problems with God using people to his own desires. However the idea that God would force a person to act in a certain way then judge him for it does not seem compatible with God’s frequent call to repentance. How can we choose to do differently when we are constantly doing every little thing according to God's intention?

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