1 PETER 5:10-11
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
William Blake, the famous poet of “The Tyger” and “The Lamb” believed in something that looked a lot like a graduated scale of sin to sanctity. He wrote all about it in “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.”
Think of it like this: if you took a pencil and drew a line all the way across your living room wall and marked the left side evil and the right side good, every little act in the world could be plotted on the line.
Someone stole your credit card over the holidays and bought hundreds of dollars of pizza and beer and football tickets (true story). Mark that about halfway to the left of center, on the evil side.
You give everything in your wallet to a new family at church whose heater just went out in the frigid temps. Put a notch halfway to the right of center, on the good side.
But murder? That’s waaaaayyyy on the left.
And sacrificing yourself to save another? Waaaaayyyy on the right.
Here’s the problem with that: It puts everything on the same line.
According to Blake, there’s always a little bit of good in every bad thing and a little bit of bad in every good. He believed you need the dark to highlight the light. You need the nightly news to appreciate the Sunday sermon. You need that crutch, that lifelong battle with ____________ (insert your biggest and most recurring sin here) in order to appreciate God’s reprieve.
I say no to that.
God does not ever need the bad to make His glory greater. To make God need sin and conflict in the world is to make God so much less than He is.
It was never God’s plan for sin to slither into the garden or for countries to live in poverty or for your husband/wife/child/neighbor to get sick and leave the world so suddenly. Wars are not God’s plan. Death was not God’s plan.
The good and the bad are not on a sliding scale.
Evil is a vast empty bottomless drop and God and all His grace and power and goodness is in another dimension. There is no line to connect the two and there never will be. Thank the Lord.
God is in the business of correcting these wrongs in the world—and in that sense, it is all part of His plan.
He can bring about the good from anything and He is correcting course from where we spun off. But He didn’t nudge us off our axis and we can never forget that.
God will bring about good in the end. Oh, yes He will. He is Redeemer and the great righter of wrongs. But let us never ever succumb to the delusion that He let the bad occur to get us to notice Him. God is not so small as that. It would be like the sun winking out so we would look up every now and again.
As Peter says, “To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
Sunday Thoughts Link Up!
It’s time for another Sunday Thoughts Link-Up! I know there are many out there with wisdom that could encourage all of us. As long as it’s faith-based, I’d love for you to join up and then read and comment on what others have shared. Please also leave a comment here. Think of this as a Sunday morning community group that comes to you. And grab the button if you like…
Sunday Thoughts Weekly Reminder
Sign up to get a reminder each week when the Sunday Thoughts Link Up goes live!
A big thank you from Jamie on The Mom Gene!