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God's marvellous ways
- Jacob Ninan
Many times I sit down and marvel at the brilliant plan that God has made for our salvation, thinking about how He was able to demonstrate His immense love for us while meeting the demands of His holiness and righteousness, and how He chose the way of grace instead of waiting for us to measure up to His standards. I also think about the detailed planning that went into it even before the foundations of the earth (Ep.1:4) and how God executed His plans at different times of man's history. When we trace the types and pictures He has left all through the Old Testament history and all the prophecies He spoke through the prophets of old, we can understand that He was but unravelling His great plans little by little. He could not have made a better plan. He has taken care of every aspect I can think of (and all the rest too). It is obvious that no one but God could have thought this up.
One point that has caught my attention is that when we confess our sins it is not just His faithfulness that compels Him to forgive us our sins, but also His righteousness (1Jn.1:9)! It may be somewhat easy to imagine how His faithfulness helps Him to forgive us. But His righteousness? Especially when forgiving us who do not deserve it does not look like being righteous! But think of it another way. Here we are who have no way to measure up to His standards. It would be unrealistic for God to demand from us what we cannot do, and hence unrighteous too! So He is righteous in forgiving us when we confess our sins.
Ps.31:1 says, "In Your righteousness deliver me." What would be righteous about delivering us? We would think that the righteous God would have every right to punish us and He would be inclined to do that. But think of Him dealing with helpless ones like us. When we are helpless to deliver ourselves and when He has the ability to deliver us, would it not be unrighteous of Him if He did not deliver us?
Have we seen ourselves as being weak and helpless, unable to keep God's commandments and come up to His standards? Then we can also see that our God is on our side, willing to forgive us and deliver us from things that are too strong for us (Ps.18:17). The world believes in thinking great thoughts about themselves. The popular technique is to proclaim to ourselves that we are strong and capable (where we are actually weak), hoping that such thoughts would lead us to better self esteem and success! But a godly man clings to a recognition of helplessness causing him to cling to God more earnestly and sincerely. Then he experiences that when he is weak, then he is strong in Him (2Co.12:9). We are not timid or without confidence, because we have great confidence in His strength, even though we place no confidence in ourselves (Php.3:3). What an amazing wisdom of God to have planned it this way!
The man who is 'rich' in himself finds it difficult to enter the kingdom (Mt.19:24). But when we acknowledge our need, we find His sufficiency.