Summary: Our LORD is unique in the way He decides to deal with evil. It is something we either admire about Him or hate.
October 12, 2005 Isaiah 45:1-7
1 “This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: 2 I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. 4 For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me. 5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, 6 so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. 7 I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.
Throughout the ages there has been a type of monasticism that has crept up in almost every society in a variety of ways. The Buddhists have their monks as well as the Catholics, who try to separate themselves from the evils of the world by living apart from mankind in separate communities. The Mennonites and Amish also attempt to live apart from the world in different ways - with the clothing they wear and the modern conveniences they choose not to use. Paul himself said to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 6:14-17, Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?. . . “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” Yet Paul also said in 1 Corinthians 5:9-10, “I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.” In other words, there is no way you can completely separate yourself from immoral people, because they are everywhere.
There has to be a happy medium, right? Several years ago my wife and I caught one of our children chewing on a piece of gum. This seemed rather peculiar, since neither of us gave our child the gum. That’s when we realized that the gum had been taken off of the ground. It’s one thing to try and pick up some chewed gum in order to clean it up, but you certainly don’t want to start chewing on it. There’s a happy medium between the two - between living with it and living in it.
Imagine then that you were the almighty and omnipresent God. By your very nature, you would have to live in everything that you created. God’s Word says in Romans 11:36 that, “from him and through him and to him are all things.” God is not just found in the majestic heights and lights of heaven. God is also keeping the deepest depths of hell burning. This may sound strange, but He exists in the devil as well as His angels, because He is God. This is really something that is beyond our comprehension. Who would want to in everything? Yet God lives in the brain of Dennis Rader - God gives it the power to work. That doesn’t mean He approves of such behavior and thought. That needs to be CLEAR. But His very nature causes Him to permeate even the most evil of evil - even Satan himself.
Think about it then, if you were God, and you were living in the world with murderers and perverts, what would you do? Most every one of us would probably be so disgusted with it that we would choose to just destroy it and get rid of it. Just this past week a dog left a huge pile of manure on my sidewalk. I walked by it several days in a row. I didn’t even want to look at it, so finally I pushed it off onto my grass so I wouldn’t have to any more. That’s what most of us would do with evil. But with a little more work I could have picked it up and put it in my garden, letting it serve as fertilizer. This is what God decides to do with some evil. Instead of just destroying it all, He decides to use some of it in His garden. An example of this is in the story of Cyrus. As we look at how God uses Cyrus, we’ll be reassured that -