A conundrum concerning Satan's role in our mishaps

Discussion in 'Spiritual Warfare' started by JimmyH, Jul 2, 2013.

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  1. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    I've recently left my SBC church and began regularly attending an OPC church. I believe I've been led by The Spirit to do this and have benefited greatly since making the move a few weeks ago. My new pastor was in a serious automobile accident some three months ago and still suffers from injuries sustained.

    We were having a conversation on this and he said that though he did not understand God's purpose in allowing this, he is convinced that it was the will of God that he should suffer it. I proposed that perhaps it was the devil who was responsible. So in this past Sunday's sermon he brought up our conversation, without mentioning that I had been the one who suggested it, and said that he was greatly disturbed for a few hours thinking it over.

    He said that he has come to the conclusion that God is sovereign and the devil had nothing to do with it. I am aware that Satan is a created being, is not all powerful, or omnipresent. I'm very familiar with the Book of Job and God allowing Satan to test Job. I know 'the devil walks the earth as a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour.' I've done searches on previous threads on TPB that addressed this topic. I haven't come up with a satisfactory answer as to whether I was completely mistaken, possibly correct, or perhaps 'could have been, but not necessarily' ?

    Any help with this is appreciated.
  2. Tim

    Tim Puritan Board Graduate

  3. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    I would agree with your pastor. You might read and study chapter 5 of the WCF. Here is WCF 5.1 for a start:

    "God the great Creator of all things doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy."
  4. augustacarguy

    augustacarguy Puritan Board Freshman

    Ultimately, it's The Lord who ordains all things. There is no knowing what caused it, but at a minimum He could have stopped the accident, but chose not to.
  5. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    Does He ordain all things or does He merely permit things? You seem to be saying both above. I'd contend that it was more than just God choosing not to stop the crash, but rather He ordained it for His glory.
  6. augustacarguy

    augustacarguy Puritan Board Freshman

    No, He ordains all things, without doubt. I didn't mean to insinuate any less. I was trying to say that any believer would have to minimally agree that His control exists over all things, even things that we might consider difficult.
  7. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Does it matter who caused what? Just maybe it was for the purpose of God's glory like the man born blind whom Jesus healed. Whatever the situation Deuteronomy 29:29 is usually applicable. Deu 29:29    "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."

    At the same time we may know that hardship is brought by Satan and used of God....
    2Co 12:7    So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
    2Co 12:8    Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.
    2Co 12:9    But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
    2Co 12:10    For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    As Joshua noted, "The Devil is God's devil."
  8. augustacarguy

    augustacarguy Puritan Board Freshman

    Case closed.
  9. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    I used to think that Satan's roll in the book of Job was insignificant. After all, Job was never told about Satan's involvement and so I concluded that Satan was a very minor player in this book about suffering within the sovereignty of God and his incomprehensible majesty.

    However, if you look at Job as a type of Christ (his suffering was replaced by great material and spiritual blessing) then it also includes the common confronting of the devil. The question that the Book of Job answers is this: what would happen to a man, a son of Adam, if he came under an attack by Satan? The answer was clear and dramatic, we are no match for the fallen archangel APART FROM Christ.

    Jesus demonstrated that He, Job's redeemer, the Savior, the Lord can stand against Satan and he is the only one who can.

    Satan is still an agent of wrath who is used to punish the lost and perhaps discipline the saved (Luke 22:31, more here.) but Satan NEVER acts outside or apart from God's will. Satan cannot act without Christ's permission because Satan is part of the class of ALL things that have been placed under Christ's authority.
  10. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    It is a tremendous comfort to confess those words of the Heidelberg catechism question 1, that Christ has 'delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation . . .'
  11. Reformed Reaction

    Reformed Reaction Puritan Board Freshman

    Absolutely agree.

    If we accept that God is sovereign then endless speculation is not only fruitless but rooted in doubt. I don't think it necessary to further argue God's sovereignty though I will if needed to prove the point. Continual excogitation of this notion is not Biblical and will likely lead to neurosis at best.

    "Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?" Lamentations 3:37,38
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