Sovereignty, Satan, Saruman, Sauron, and Spying Scary Stuff

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greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
There is in Christian circles today a pandemic of fear. Two main fears have presented themselves. One, of a virus; the other, of government. These two fears are threatening to drown out the fear of God. They are also threatening to undermine Christians’ belief in the sovereignty of God. People are behaving as if a virus or the government is becoming or already is more powerful than God.

There is a variety of reactions visible at the moment. Some take the cocoon approach. Others display a sort of obsession to know the worst, and they tend to wallow in the bad news, thinking that if they can just know the worst, then they will retain some degree of control over the situation. This latter reaction is the one I am primarily addressing.

The primary analogy I wish to use is that of Saruman and Denethor’s twin desires to know everything through the seeing stones (the palantiri). The problem with both of them using the palantiri is that Sauron controlled the flow of information. They both saw only what Sauron wanted them to see. As a result, Saruman capitulated to what he saw and feared. Denethor went mad with hopelessness, even though he did not capitulate to Sauron’s tyranny. They were both tempted by the same thing: the thought that knowledge equals power equals control. The problem for them both was that Sauron was stronger, and the flow of information was controlled. They couldn’t see anything that Gandalf would have wanted them to see, nor could they see anything that would give them hope.

In our modern age, the information is also being controlled in a majority of cases. It is not news (usually!) to report positive things in this world. What makes the news is almost universally negative. The flow of information is carefully controlled in order to present a world that is spiraling out of control, especially out of God’s control. Fear is very intentionally the goal of much of this information flow. The actual Sauron (Satan) is a master of misinformation. He is directing his forces to paint a very negative picture so that people who could actually do anything about the situation are paralyzed.

This picture is quite misleading. In Revelation 12, if you didn’t know how the story turns out, you would think that the brainy and brawny dragon very obviously was going to win. At the very least, you would probably have put your money on the dragon. Except, he doesn’t win. In fact, he is shown to be laughably, absurdly impotent. He can’t even destroy a woman in labor with her infant child? The lesson of Revelation 12 is that appearances are deceptive. It might look like evil is gaining the upper hand, but in the spiritual realm, this is never the case. And the physical realm does not control what goes on in the spiritual world. If anything, it is the reverse.

We need to learn the lesson of not fearing anything or anyone but God Almighty. His sovereignty cannot be seriously challenged. His plan, however incomprehensible to us at the moment, will eventually be evident as the best possible plan. Worried obsession with information will get us nowhere. It will not result in the control we think we are gaining. Instead, it will only result in capitulation (a la Saruman) or the madness of despair (like Denethor). Instead, we need to be meditating on the actual battle in the spiritual realm, reflecting on the sure and certain knowledge that God cannot possibly lose. Indeed, He has already won.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
Greetings,

I sent this to several people and relatives that were having some difficulty along these lines. All praise to the One true and only absolute Power in the universe and beyond--God almighty.

The heaven of heavens cannot contain Him.

Thanks, Lane,

Ed
 

dhh712

Puritan Board Freshman
Praise God for his direction in your message. All believers need to experientially live out the truth of God's Sovereignty and absolute rule over all the earth. We are not to fear those who can destroy the body but he who can destroy both body and soul in hell. That is the only thing which should strike terror in our hearts, as it did Jesus when he faced such wrath and was overcome with such excruciating fear as to sweat blood.

God has blessed us with so many comforts and conveniences here in this country; but let us not endear such things entirely to our hearts that the fear of such things being taken away measures up to our fear of God (and not the terror that should be experienced by those who do not believe and who do stand to meet with hell at the last day, but our respectful and awesome regard of our Heavenly Father who though he has all power on earth has chosen to call us his children and to take us into his family in love and everlasting peace). Let us instead be more heavenly minded and fix our desires upon our eternal home; though we must do many things here for the work of God (not to be mistaken for works which earn us salvation, but those works which the Lord has prepared for us to do for his glory), let us treasure our eternal rest with Jesus and not the temporal things here which must soon pass away.
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Thank you Lane. In light of your post, I thought I would share this following portion from Calvin's Commentary on Luke 22:37 which, providentially, I read this morning.

“For nothing is better adapted to remove grounds of offense, when we are alarmed by any strange occurrence, than to acknowledge that it so pleases God, and that whatever takes place by his appointment is not done rashly, or without a good reason; more especially when that which is made evident by the event itself was anciently predicted.”
 

jw

Administrator
Amen. If we would hear the rod, and He Who appoints it, learning to have an holy fear of Him, confessing He is the First Cause, we would not be so wearied by his vassal second causes, Whom the LORD directs, turns, and rules over at His pleasure.

I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. - Hosea 1​
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Greetings,

I sent this to several people and relatives that were having some difficulty along these lines. All praise to the One true and only absolute Power in the universe and beyond--God almighty.

The heaven of heavens cannot contain Him.

Thanks, Lane,

Ed
I did likewise.
 

LadyCalvinist

Puritan Board Junior
Amen Rev. Keister. Those words are exactly what I needed to hear. I know I often feel overwhelmed and even discouraged with everything that is going on in the world and I needed to be reminded that God is still sovereign.
 
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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
As bad as things are at present, we have to remember that modern imitators of Babel will ultimately fail as badly as the original builders did. The black-pilled mindset, while fully understandable, is essentially denying that God is in charge and is often an excuse for people doing nothing to oppose evil while they cry under their pillows.
 
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sandrajune

Puritan Board Freshman
There is in Christian circles today a pandemic of fear. Two main fears have presented themselves. One, of a virus; the other, of government. These two fears are threatening to drown out the fear of God. They are also threatening to undermine Christians’ belief in the sovereignty of God. People are behaving as if a virus or the government is becoming or already is more powerful than God.

There is a variety of reactions visible at the moment. Some take the cocoon approach. Others display a sort of obsession to know the worst, and they tend to wallow in the bad news, thinking that if they can just know the worst, then they will retain some degree of control over the situation. This latter reaction is the one I am primarily addressing.

The primary analogy I wish to use is that of Saruman and Denethor’s twin desires to know everything through the seeing stones (the palantiri). The problem with both of them using the palantiri is that Sauron controlled the flow of information. They both saw only what Sauron wanted them to see. As a result, Saruman capitulated to what he saw and feared. Denethor went mad with hopelessness, even though he did not capitulate to Sauron’s tyranny. They were both tempted by the same thing: the thought that knowledge equals power equals control. The problem for them both was that Sauron was stronger, and the flow of information was controlled. They couldn’t see anything that Gandalf would have wanted them to see, nor could they see anything that would give them hope.

In our modern age, the information is also being controlled in a majority of cases. It is not news (usually!) to report positive things in this world. What makes the news is almost universally negative. The flow of information is carefully controlled in order to present a world that is spiraling out of control, especially out of God’s control. Fear is very intentionally the goal of much of this information flow. The actual Sauron (Satan) is a master of misinformation. He is directing his forces to paint a very negative picture so that people who could actually do anything about the situation are paralyzed.

This picture is quite misleading. In Revelation 12, if you didn’t know how the story turns out, you would think that the brainy and brawny dragon very obviously was going to win. At the very least, you would probably have put your money on the dragon. Except, he doesn’t win. In fact, he is shown to be laughably, absurdly impotent. He can’t even destroy a woman in labor with her infant child? The lesson of Revelation 12 is that appearances are deceptive. It might look like evil is gaining the upper hand, but in the spiritual realm, this is never the case. And the physical realm does not control what goes on in the spiritual world. If anything, it is the reverse.

We need to learn the lesson of not fearing anything or anyone but God Almighty. His sovereignty cannot be seriously challenged. His plan, however incomprehensible to us at the moment, will eventually be evident as the best possible plan. Worried obsession with information will get us nowhere. It will not result in the control we think we are gaining. Instead, it will only result in capitulation (a la Saruman) or the madness of despair (like Denethor). Instead, we need to be meditating on the actual battle in the spiritual realm, reflecting on the sure and certain knowledge that God cannot possibly lose. Indeed, He has already won.
preach, brother!
 
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