45:23 I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall take an oath.
24 He shall say,
‘Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength.
To Him men shall come,
And all shall be ashamed
Who are incensed against Him.
25 In the Lord all the descendants of Israel
Shall be justified, and shall glory.’”
It requires wisdom and restraint to rule with justice and navigate seemingly impossible situations; a wisdom far beyond my own.
As a human on this planet limited by space and time I have questions, lots of them. Questions which neither my wisdom nor knowledge are adequate to answer. As a result I am forced by circumstance to live by faith. Were I to decide from my limited vantage point that there is no God (a conclusion which for me is now impossible) I would still have to live by faith because that view point is not provable either.
I have read the life story of Madalyn Murray O'Hair. I "stood with her" as she screamed at the night sky, defying God to make Himself known if He was really out there. For those of you who aren't familiar she was a very active, vocal, atheist who lead the charge to get prayer and Bible reading removed from the public school system in America.
Why didn't God reveal Himself to her? It would have been so easy...
Before Satan rebelled heaven was nothing but love and perfect trust. There was no need for laws. Perfect love always does right. When Satan began his campaign to usurp God's throne a shadow of doubt was cast over the universe. What if he was right? What if God wasn't truly loving? What if behind the scenes something dark and sinister was afoot?
Notice that Satan's rebellion which wiped out one third of the angels thrived while every one of them knew God was real. That was never in doubt for them. They all saw Him. They lived with Him. Atheism wasn't possible and yet they turned from Him. They turned, not because they were unsure if He existed, but were unsure what kind of King He was.
God could have squashed the rebellion by killing every rebel. From our limited vantage point many of us think He should have. The problem is that killing a rebel doesn't kill a rebellion. Silencing a voice does not kill the ideas that voice put forth. The only way to truly end the controversy is to lay everything on the table. Put all the facts out for all to see. Let every rabbit trail be explored. Let every theory be tried. Let every idea have it's day in the sun.
It's painful. It's messy. It's awful. Let the prodigal son go live as he pleases. Let Satan have an entire planet to rule. Let murderers murder and rapists rape. Let children be exploited and the rich dominate the poor. Let sin show itself in all its gruesomeness. Let the rebellion expose itself for what it is. Let the experiment fail so badly and so completely that when it is over and every being has lived as they chose in complete freedom and without God's coercion, even Satan himself will bow and confess on his knees that God is indeed love.
It takes Divine wisdom and Infinite restraint to hold to such a plan. Madalyn Murray O'Hair may have claimed defiantly that there was no God and that He never revealed Himself to her, but it is not true and on that final day of reckoning she will bend her knee and admit it.
God is not working to squash rebels. He is working toward a day when there will be no doubts left to fuel a revolt. Sin will be exposed. Love will triumph. Every knee will bow, and the tyranny of sin will be over. The kingdom will be restored as it was because every heart that chose to put their faith in Him while the doubts raged will beat in harmony with His.
I have questions, but I trust Him.