"The Lord has made everything for His purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble."
Last night at our church we had the great privilege of hearing speak one of the missionaries that we support. We have been praying diligently for this man and his precious family, because his life has been threatened in more ways than just one. He was robbed at gunpoint by banditos; his life has been threatened by a crazed man who has issued a death warrant to him, his family, and his church. The atmosphere of the area in Mexico where they live is filled with danger from the Mexican moffia who are run amok, killing and kidnapping yes, even missionaries. They are daily in danger of capture or death.
The question, "Why?" comes to mind all too often when we see the innocent suffer harm from the wicked. Yet this passage clearly states that "the Lord has made everything for His purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.
Matthew Henry has an interesting comment on this verse http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc3.Prov.xvii.html. But I would like very much to apply it to what Ted, our missionary said last night. Ted's message was one of great hope, and great joy. In the midst of the kinds trials which most of us have never seen, he gave glory to God for bringing about these trials in his life. Why? Because they make him trust Him more completely, depend on Him more strongly.
God did indeed make the evil men who are causing them such grief in Mexico. We can all attest to that, because we know that He made all men. And we know that God's sovereign purpose will be carried out on this earth.
God's hands are not tied by wickedness!
And when are the wicked in their best dress? In the day of trouble. Now, if God made them and they bring trouble, then how is God glorified in this?
By our response to the trouble the wicked bring on us!
It seems to me that we have only two choices in the midst of trials. We can fall under the strain of them or we can stand strong and glorify our Father. Ted and his family have chosen to stand strong.
Interestingly, he said that when things start looking really good, he often says to the Lord, "Don't let me become complacent or forget you." (That does seem to be our tendency, doesn't it? That's when God will bring more trials, often by the wicked, into our lives. And again, we must lean on our Great Shelter in the time of storm.
When we consider that God is glorified when we stand strong, it is not so difficult to see how the wicked carry out His great purpose. For we know that our purpose is to "Glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." http://www.freepres.org/WCFShort.htm
Praying for joy in the time of trouble,