John R. Houk
© June 21, 2012
Here is a query from a person who has listened to the question of Christian faith’s validity or has entertained doubt them self:
Subject: read and let me know ASAP
OK Bible Scholars. It’s been awhile since I posted a question. See if you can explain this.
Proverbs 16:1 says “We can make our plans, but the final outcome is in God’s hands.” Prov. 16:9 says “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
[Editor: either the email was sent incomplete by the questioner or my lovely wife who forwarded this to me did not copy and paste the entire query she found on Facebook.]
[…] at God gives us free will. He doesn’t force His will on us; He wants us to choose to accept and serve Him.
I read tonight, but can’t find it now, where it says that God even created sinners for punishment. That seems intentionally cruel that God would create people, knowing He was doing it with the intention of purposely punishing them; as [if] though He created certain people as a “bad seed” so to speak.
Here’s my question: If He doesn’t force His will, then how do these verses make sense? These verses suggest that we choose a path, but God will determine a different one for us if it’s not His will. Or that we were created with a specific purpose, even perhaps an evil one, and no matter what we decide, He will make sure we fulfill that purpose.
Anyone want to tackle those questions?
So let’s begin to answer the query by looking at the New Testament rather than the Old Testament. The Old Testament relates to The Law as given through Moses for the Hebrew Tribes pointing to the coming of the Messiah that would be a better Prophet than Moses. As Christians we know that Prophet that Moses envisioned was Jesus Christ the Son of God who is the Redeemer not only of the Jews but of all who believe in the power of the Lord Jesus’ death, burial and Resurrection that redeems humanity by delivering them from the power of the dark age of Satan’s grasp; i.e. Salvation. That is the New Testament fulfilling The Law and being a better covenant and promise that brings Salvation to all humanity from the bloodline of the Jews. (Side Note: That is why the Jews are still special in the eyes of God. Salvation is of the Jews the Chosen People that were delivered by Moses who in turn bring deliverance to humanity from the slavery of Satan’s age through the Blood of Jesus.)
Let’s set the foundation from 1 Timothy 2: 1-6 and 2 Peter 3: 9-12.
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, (Bold Italic emphasis mine)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[a] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.[b] 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. (Bold Italic emphasis mine)
Now let’s reprise the question:
I read tonight, but can’t find it now, where it says that God even created sinners for punishment. …
… If He doesn’t force His will, then how do these verses make sense? These verses suggest that we choose a path, but God will determine a different one for us if it’s not His will. Or that we were created with a specific purpose, even perhaps an evil one, and no matter what we decide, He will make sure we fulfill that purpose.
The Scripture that person could not recall is from the Old Testament and is probably Proverbs 16: 4 in the King James Version:
The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
I like this examination of verse 4 from GreatBibleStudy.com:
In the above passage, the phrase, “things for Himself” takes us back to the Hebrew word maaneh, which to answer to, or to give a reply to. What is being said in the first part of this verse is, “The Lord hath made all things to answer or give an account unto Him.” With that said, we could accurately read Proverbs 16:4 like this:
The LORD hath made all things to give account unto Him: yea, even the wicked, who think they are off His hook, have to give an account unto Him on the day of judgment.
Doesn’t that make a lot more sense? Now let’s put that verse into context with verses 2 through 5:
16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
16:4 [The LORD hath made all things to give account unto Him: yea, even the wicked, who think they are off His hook, have to give an account unto Him on the day of judgment.] (Bold Emphasis Mine)
16:5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
And there you have it! God did NOT create the wicked so that He could punish them. He created all things to give an account unto Him, even those who think they are getting away with their sins now, are going to give an account to Him on the day of judgment.
Typically when such a Scripture is read as a stand-alone thought, the message seems pretty straight forward. That stand-alone message is that God made all that exists and He made the wicked (i.e. sinners) for the “day of evil” which is a reference to the Last Judgment. The Judgment Day for the wicked and devoted sinners will be an evil pronouncement for them.
But does God actually create wicked sinners just so there are some people to give an eternal spanking?
Let’s read the context of Proverbs 16: 1-6 in the New King James Version:
1 The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the spirits.
3 Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.
4 The Lord has made all for Himself,
Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.
[Verse 4 GreatBibleStudy.com: The LORD hath made all things to give account unto Him: yea, even the wicked, who think they are off His hook, have to give an account unto Him on the day of judgment.]
5 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
Though they join forces,[a] none will go unpunished.
6 In mercy and truth
Atonement is provided for iniquity;
And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.
God did not make the wicked so much as a person chooses to live a wicked sinning lifestyle. I am not a Universalist so I don’t believe the wicked will someday make it to Heaven. I do believe the Blood of Jesus Redeems all who believe in Christ’s Resurrection and Lordship will be Saved even if it one’s dying breathe. AND YET, if one’s dying breathe is made out of insincere fear I also believe the wages of sin will be received for the one who believes one can fool God with a trickster lie. God knows the intentions and the state of every male and female’s heart.
So this is my stand to the query: “If He doesn’t force His will, then how do these verses make sense?”
God does not force His Will. God holds one accountable according to the Redemptive Blood of Jesus or the refusal to be covered by the Blood of Jesus.
SlantRight Editor: My wife has informed me there is more to the person’s query as I had suspected. I am following with this post without the full status of the query of Diana’s friend.