God is good (Luke 18.19). God is love (1 John 4.8). God is kind (Is 63.7). God gives to His children as a father gives freely (Luke 11.13).
These attributes are the ones which we find easy to believe about God. If you asked Joe Schmo on the street, someone who does not even believe in the God of the Bible, to tell you about God these attributes would come up.
But who gets to decide what “good” is? Or love? Kindness? The argument is, nowadays, that since evil and wicked things happen on the Earth, God cannot be sovereign, because a good force would not allow war or murder.
Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. The Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ The Lord said to him, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so.’ Now therefore, behold, the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the Lord has proclaimed disaster against you.”
– 1 Kings 22.18-23
Would your God declare destruction of a king and his army, and cause it to happen by sending a deceiving spirit out to lie to him and draw him into battle where he will be destroyed? How can the only good being in the universe do this? How can a loving God act in such a way? Is not deception a sin? We see quite terrifyingly that God sent an evil spirit to torment Saul (1 Sam 18.10). How can this be?
God created the universe. He created us. He wrote the book. Literally. He is the one who got to define sin. He wrote the ten commandments! And He also inspired the writing of the truth that, “Anything done apart from faith is sin” (Rom 14.23). Sometimes I fear we consider sin in a vacuum. It is right and wrong, judged only by our moral compass and the culture in which we were raised. There are easily definable wrongs like murder and some are more gray: is it always a sin to lie? But because God exists, and that unto His own glory; and since He wrote the definition of sin being anything apart from faith, we can understand that anything done unto His glory and according to His word is a good deed. Anything else is sin. It is not necessarily ethically or morally based, but God based.
Therefore, we can understand that God can and does do whatever He wants, as it is always unto His glory and according to His word! He is God, after all. He does not answer to us, but us to Him.
“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—
An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth!
Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’
Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?”
– Is 45.9
Our awe and fear of God is waning. Scripture solemnly warns us to not quarrel with God. If I cannot understand how it is good and right that God chose to call a council of spirits and assign one to deceive Ahab in order to kill him and his army, it is best to trust His word that He has a perfect plan, that He is in control and that all things work together for good for those who love Him (Rom 8.28). Perhaps destruction in life will lead to salvation in eternity (1 Cor 5.5)?
God is in control. He is tender. But He is not lovey-dovey, and our feeble protests will hold no place in the Heavenly courts. We will give an account for everything we have said and done, and to protest what He reveals about Himself in His Word will merit us no treasure in Heaven (Matt 12.36).
So let’s trust Him. Let’s love Him, and let us revel in the fact that He has blessed us and granted us an opportunity for salvation. Let’s look to Him in trials and rely on the promise that He is in control, that He does have a plan, and that it is all to His glory. Because His glory, after all, is all that matters – and is what will lead to our joy and satisfaction.