Christians have few problems with understanding that God is omnipotent and omnipresent. After all, He has to be all-powerful and always present everywhere in order for Him to be God. How else could He answer our prayers, right?
But the biggest struggle we have with God is that He is omniscient, too. This means He knows every intimate detail about our lives before we are born, in our present day lives, and in our futures… all before it happens.
The omniscience of God becomes head-scratching stuff when you consider He sees painful circumstances slamming into our lives before they hit, painful circumstances such as divorces, financial failures, miscarriages of justice, accidental deaths, and so forth. Yet, for the most part, He allows the circumstances to hit us anyway, even though He knows we will suffer agony.
This is an integral part of the walk with God, in which we have to trust Him in the good times and the bad, believing He truly knows what’s best for us at all times.
Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. (Genesis 15:13)
God spoke this prophecy to Abraham almost two hundred years before young Joseph received his dreams and was then sold into Egypt by his brothers. Joseph later understood that it was not “his brothers who sent him to Egypt, but God.”
The seventy members of Jacob’s family, who ended up in Egypt because of Joseph, were spared from a severe famine and for the next two hundred years were blessed. They prospered and multiplied.
But then a new line of Pharaohs, enslaved the people of Israel for the last two hundred years of their stay in Egypt. They lost their land and wealth in Goshen, were murdered, raped, beaten, and treated as subhuman machines to build public works for the Egyptians.
Now remember: God saw this happening to Israel ahead of time and yet He allowed it to happen. Why?
But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, an inheritance, as you are this day. (Deuteronomy 4:20)
The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, And each is tested by the praise accorded him. (Proverbs 27:21)
Take away the dross from the silver, And there comes out a vessel for the smith; (Proverbs 25:4)
Being humans, we look at painful circumstances and see what is happening in the now of our lives. Pain hurts. Thus, we want to get rid of it as soon as possible.
God sees and understands our pain, but He may also know how the painful circumstances will mold our characters into the image of Jesus. He therefore may choose not to quickly remove the painful circumstances and may use them instead as a fiery furnace to remove impurities from our lives. Then, when we come through the painful trials, we will be like valuable silver or gold for His kingdom.
In Israel’s sake, God wanted a whole nation to be His people and His inheritance. To prepare them, He sent them to Egypt which then acted as an iron furnace on Israel’s character, removing impurities and readying them to be His people.
Now, this in no way excuses Egypt’s excessive brutality and murderous actions against Israel. In fact, when God spoke the above prophecy to Abraham, He foresaw these problems and added:
And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. (Genesis 15:14)
While Israel suffered in the iron furnace of Egypt, Aaron and other men would have reminded Israel of these prophetic words and its promises to the people. Yet, the suffering was so great that the whole nation groaned and cried out to God for deliverance.
Did God’s Egypt plan for Israel accomplish all what God wanted to happen?
We can argue this until the end of the age and not come up with definite conclusions on every point whereby we all agree. Okay, I understand that.
But what other nation has produced people like Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Samuel, Esther, King David, King Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, John the Baptist, Peter, John, James, Paul, and most of all – Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Savior?
The answer: no other nation has equaled what Israel has given to the world.
I believe that God’s plan always moves forward, just like His words, and accomplishes what He wants it to do. We ourselves may not always see the fruit of His plan in our lifetimes, but it will eventually come forth.
So, what does this have to do with abortion?
(Continued in Part 3)