To God be the Glory – June 2, 2023

For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Romans 11:36

Military Devotion – June 2, 2023

Devotion based on Romans 11:36

See series: Military Devotions

He is not a little God. He is not a part-time God.

He is the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier. He is the eternal Triune God.

He is our God. He is the only God.

Complaints have been leveled against him by some members of the human race. They say his actions confuse them. His judgments dismay them.

They want to hold him accountable for perceived crimes against humanity. If he controls tornadoes and lightning bolts, why does he allow storms to strike without warning and without regard for the victims?

Why should that baby burn to death in its crib? Why should that mother drown as she tries to rescue her child? How could he allow millions of everyday people to be systematically exterminated by others wanting to purify the human race by removing the unacceptables?

What is the Bible’s response? “How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33).

What was God thinking? If even humans could see the mistakes he was making, if they complained about what they saw as major mistakes, why didn’t he listen? Why did he not modify his plans?

The Bible shows these are actually silly questions by asking us, “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (Romans 11:34).

The answers are obvious. “No one!” These are impossibilities.

But doesn’t he owe us answers? If he expects us to honor him, even worship him, isn’t he obligated to give us what we believe is due? Isn’t that the least he should do?

Again, those questions are answered by the answers we must give to his questions. “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” (Romans 11:35).

The Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier God owes us nothing.

He is not dependent upon us for anything. We did not make him into what he is. We did not vote him into office. He is not subject to our whims or preferences—even if we wish it were so.

Old Testament Job complained about that. “If only I knew where to find him;” he complained, “if only I could go to his dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments” (Job 23:3,4).

It never happened. Instead, he reports, “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him” (Job 23:8). He concludes, “He does whatever he pleases. He carries out his decree against me, and many such plans he still has in store. That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him. God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me” (Job 23:13-16).

What does this mean for us frail and vulnerable humans? What chance do we have against him? None.

What chance do we have with him? Guaranteed and overflowing success.

How can we know? Because he tells us what he thinks and what he has done. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

It is as simple and wonderful as that.

He owes us nothing good. He gives us everything good. He is the source of everything good.

Is he beyond our comprehension? Of course! Is this a problem? It’s a blessing! Can we compare him to anything else that we know of? Of course, not! Can anything else serve as a substitute for him? Absolutely not!

Should we question him? Should we doubt him? Should we reject him?

No. No. And absolutely, no!

Then what? Then what else but this for today, for tomorrow, and forever?

To God be the glory!

To God be the glory; great things he has done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin
and opened the life-gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the earth praise his voice!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the people rejoice!”
Oh, come to the Father through Jesus the Son
And give him the glory—great things he has done! Amen.
(Christian Worship 627:1)

Points to ponder:

  • Why do humans think they can challenge the decisions of God?
  • Why would someone be frightened by the idea of God being in control?
  • Why does the mystery of God being triune offer us comfort?

Written and recorded by Rev. Paul Horn, WELS National Civilian Chaplain to the Military, San Diego, California.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Note: Scripture reading footnotes are clickable only in the web version.

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