Now I’ve totally offended your preconceptions of God, may I rub in that your gut response is driven by hatred for this person, leaving you underserving of Heaven. If you can’t forgive any one person, then God’s forgiveness has not changed your own life.
If I’ve not offended you, then I must question your sanity or total ignorance of history ;-).
Good. Now I’ve totally offended everyone, allow me to reveal the heart of God. I only slap you in the face to awake you into thinking.
It is really important that we get our heads around “If God is perfectly good, why does he cause such suffering”. The answer I used: “It’s all a consequence of human choice” is somewhat of a cop-out as the Bible often expresses God directly punishing the ungodly e.g. Noah’s flood, the division of languages as Babel, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses’ plagues on Egypt. These events of great suffering were acts of God. Yet future prophecies speak of similar acts of God to punish the wicked, ultimately casting them into Hell for eternity.
In calling Hitler God’s servant, I take precedent from Nebuchadnezzar:
Jeremiah 27:6 Now I will give all your countries into the hands of my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon;
Jeremiah 43:10 I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon
Nebuchadnezzar served God by executing his judgement over the spiritually corrupt nation of Judea around 587BC. He destroyed Jerusalem, including God’s temple – this accompanied with the usual raping and pillaging, throwing babies from the walls, slashing open pregnant women. Promising young lads like Daniel were castrated. How could Jeremiah be so callous to call Nebuchadnezzar God’s servant?
God also says of the Pharaoh who opposed Moses:
Exodus 9:16 But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
Isaiah: 44:28 [I am the Lord] who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.” ’
Oops – how did Isaiah know his name before 700BC when this event happened in 539BC?
Romans 13:1 there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
We are called to submit to the authorities God has appointed over us – even tyrannically corrupt ones such as that of Paul’s Rome.
This means that Trump, Putin, Assad etc. are all servants of God – regardless of what you think of them. For us in New Zealand, the negotiations with Winston Peters will result in God appointing Bill English or Jacinda Ardern as the authority over us – so you’d better get praying for them.
Hitler also fulfilled God’s plan:
Ezekiel 38:8 After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate.
If it were not for Hitler, Israel would not be a nation today. Granted, Britain recognized the need for a Jewish state 100 years ago, but it wasn’t until after Hitler’s atrocities that more of the world conceded to allow this nation to form – even though we abandoned them on day one against overwhelming Arabian forces.
I purposely used the word “is”, because Hitler continues to serve God – providing us a reminder of how bad things can get, and challenging us to pray that our government will be kept from such corruption.
Consider the ultimate evil is Satan, who consistently plays right into God’s hands through his selfishness to bring about God’s plan. Without the decree to slaughter baby Moses’ peers, Moses would not have received the education of an Egyptian prince. It was Satan’s plot to destroy Jesus, that provided the perfect sacrifice to resolve God’s dilemma with us, his children being separated from him. Without God’s servant Satan, we would have no salvation.
God is sovereign. He uses both the godly and the wicked as his servants to fulfill his plan. Evil is not held in balance with good as taught by various philosophies such as Taoism, but rather God’s goodness manipulates evil against itself.
I appreciate it seems a kick in the teeth to the victims of the holocaust to call Hitler his servant – that God was using Hitler to bring about his plan revealed through prophets like Ezekiel and Isaiah. I can only say, we struggle to understand God from our human perspective. Perhaps if we consider this life but a breath before eternity. A lifetime as we perceive it is infinitesimal. What is an instant of suffering against an eternity with God? This, we cannot comprehend.
So the authorities placed over you are servants of God – whether godly or even the most tyrannical ones. It is your religious duty to serve and pray for them – whether a national leader or your boss at work, teacher at school or church pastor or your parents.
I hope this has challenged you, and pray that God would lead you to understand what he has to say through this without being distracted by my clumsy expressions.
Shalom (may peace and wholeness encompass you)