Posted by: Yvonne | July 23, 2012

Does God Do That?

A prayer request came out from our church today asking for us to pray for the upcoming VBS program, specifically for the children who will be in attendance.  This statement caught me by surprise, though:

“God has appointed certain children to be at VBS.”

Initially, my thought was, “Nope! God doesn’t do that.”  My next thought was, “What about Ester? Maybe He does.”   So I found the passage where  Mordecai says to her,

“And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”  Ester 4:14

Now I’m not so sure.  Does God appoint people for certain events?

Any thoughts?

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Responses

  1. Well, that depends on whether you are a Calvinist. Calvinism teaches that everything is predestined, and I think Rick Warren said it best in “Purpose Driven Life” when he says God chose your parents, your handicaps, you eye color, and even what you are saying or writing at the moment. Sort of pre-programmed robots.

    I think the Bible does demonstrate that God chooses certain people for particular service and guides them to that end. But can that be said for everyone who ever lived? Not at all.

    Is it possible that some children’s parents are guided for some reason to send their children to VBS? Yes, it’s possible. It’s also possible that not a single child there is because God appointed them to be there, rather they are there by personal choice of the family. God’s will, in my understanding of Scripture, is to allow us to make decisions of our own in life, and He already knows what they will be without being the cause of them.

  2. It would be hard to prove in any specific circumstance, yet there are precedents for appointments. It says of Saul that in looking for his father’s donkeys, he found out he was near Samuel’s home. The Lord told Samuel he had sent the man to him. When Abraham’s servant had just finished praying for God to direct him to the future wife of Isaac, Rebekah arrived at the well and gave the water in answer to his test. During his flight from Absalom, David heard that the wise Ahithophel was among the conspirators, he prayed for his counsel to be overturned. Next, he met Hushai, just the right agent, whom he sent to do just that.

    People can be appointed to do evil. Doeg, the Edomite was at Nob and was able to rat out David to Saul because he was there long enough to see him arrive and get aid from the priests. It says he was detained before the Lord. Through him, was brought about the death of those priests who helped David. And, that terrible massacre was to fulfill the prophecy against Eli’s house.

    Yet, of Ruth it says that she happened (by chance, good fortune, by accident so is Hebrew word means) to come upon the fields of Boaz as she gleaned after the reapers. Jesus says that the Gospel seed falls upon all kinds of soil, hardened, stony, thorny and good. You could say that indicates hearing the Gospel can happen by chance.

    As to what was said about certain children being appointed to be there by God, how did the speaker know such a thing, or was it said for effect?

    Stan

  3. The truth of the answer to the question does NOT depend on whether one is a Calvinist or not. The answer a man provides will depend on that – God does not. Either He is sovereign or He is not. In the latter case, he is not God. He works His ends through the means He ordains, including the means of secondary causes – which is where our will and actions come into play. But He will have His will fulfilled.

    • I’ve never known a non-Calvinist to deny God’s sovereignty. God is still sovereign when he permits free will choices, as well as allowing things to happen without interferring and being a master puppeteer.

      • This comment has been removed by Administrator.

        • Manfred,
          You are welcome to comment on this thread as long as you stick to the topic and avoid accusations.
          Thanks,
          Yvonne

          • I made no accusations – I stated a long time documented fact: Arminianism is heresy. How ’bout Glen’s accusation that the God of Calvinism is a puppeteer?

        • As a non-Calvinist, who isn’t an Armenian, God is still sovereign when the parents choose – he sovereignly allows them to make decisions. If that isn’t the case, then I could not have chosen to respond to the question.

    • Manfred,

      I’m not questioning God’s sovereignty. What I am questioning is where in Scripture do we find that God appoints/ordains everything that happens here on earth? As you suggest, I do not want man’s/Calvinism’s answer; I want Scripture.

      The woman who sent the email obviously thinks God appointed each child that attends this VBS. Logically, then, none of their parents could have chosen otherwise or God would not be sovereign. Right?


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