The God of Never an Afterthought
I was excited about writing this narrative, concerning the concept of God and divine equity. The fact that God operates through equity and not equality is pivotal, but I will save that exposition for next month. While preaching and teaching on Easter Sunday (2016), a deep thought invaded my mind regarding the depth of God toward His human creation. It is this thought that is being explored and exposed for our April Potter’s column.
One of the amazingly intimate attributes about God is that (with Him) nothing is based upon an afterthought. Nothing! God does not wait for something to happen and then develop a solution. All that God does and manifests is exacted through superior foreknowledge. That statement is so counterintuitive it needs time resonate. All that God performs toward creation is rooted in Him knowing what would go right and what would drastically go wrong ahead of time. But, despite God knowing how miserably His human creation would fail, because of His love essence, He still created us. The sins of humanity were not and are not an afterthought for God; He saw our sin(s) and elected to send a Savior before we were created. Because of who God is, our wretchedness and waywardness did not stop Him from moving in love.
In Acts 2:23 Peter proclaimed about God and the deliverance of His Son for sin, “being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain…” In other words, it was by and through the explicitly appointed purpose and forethought (not afterthought) of God that He divinely decided to send His son. Because of our human limitations we can falsely categorize God as developing a scheme of redemption only after the fall of man, but this is far from the mind of God. The real question is, would you still love, sacrifice, and go through with your plans for another if you knew (ahead of time) they would betray you? God did! Remember as Dr. Kenneth Bailey would say, the work of God always includes Demonstrated, Costly, Unexpected Love.
The Apostle Peter exclaimed about the divine pre-determinations of God, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:19-20). Again, the decision of God was not an afterthought (it was not an emergency plan of God fixing a mistake), it was determined before He created humanity and the world. Even Paul said, “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him” (Ephesians 1:9-10).
Our salvation and our ability to be saved has nothing to do with us, it is all about the costly and unexpected love demonstrated by God. Notice the God-descriptive language of Paul in the passages above: “his will”, “his good pleasure”, “he hath purposed in himself”, and “he might gather together in one”. To go along with that Paul also stated in Ephesians 1:4, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” It is God that chose us, we did not select Him. And if that is not enough, notice the words of God about His prophet Jeremiah, even before Jeremiah was conceived: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
Just like Jeremiah, God knows your plight and knew it before He created you. What He requires is that we live and walk in Him by and through faith. God knows the beginning and the end and we are to embrace Him in trust. God does not deal in afterthoughts and neither are you an afterthought. God knows the utter ugliness of our past, present, and future sins — and still decided to save us. God has a plan for your life so walk in faith. What will you do? Remember Christ died and rose again for you. You are the clay In The Potter’s Hands and God has paved a way to save you today.
Dr. Ammar Saheli