“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. (NLT)
It might sound very orthodox to say that God is in absolute and total control of this world and all that happens in it. Such a statement has to be carefully qualified. He has given freedom to human beings to do right or wrong. He does not usually intervene in the laws of nature and does not force human beings to do good. And as our text reminds us, he can’t force people to accept him. We are not divinely programmed robots.
So when evil happens, we need not attribute it to God as if he is the cause of all that happens. Making God the source of all evil in the name of ensuring he remains in control sends us a long way away from biblical faith.
God does not micro manage his world. One day he will put things right. Till then, he lets the good and bad happen as a function of human freedom. And yet he promises to bring good out of evil and support his people as they endure evil. This is the trademark of his sovereignty.
God’s “control” does not override human freedom and responsibility. Our freedom and responsibility do not thwart God’s ultimate purposes. One of the many and varied “balancing acts” we perform as we cling to our historic faith.