Summary: Does God will evil upon His own? Does He cause evil things to punish us?
When It Rains on the Just
“You have heard that it was said: ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore, you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.
The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She had barely said hello when shhhooopp! Chippie got sucked in. The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie; still alive, but stunned. Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering. She did what any compassionate bird owner would do; she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air. Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.
A few days after the trauma, the reporter – who had initially written about the event –contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. “Well,” she replied, “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore he just sits and stares.” It is hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over. That is enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart (Max Lucado)!
I. God does choose whom He shall shed His grace upon.
Our text informs us, that through the grace the Lord sheds upon all of mankind, He shows His love for all men. (Rom. 5:5-8) – “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Adam Clarke says of v. 6 – “…in a weak, dying state: neither able to resist sin, nor do any good; utterly devoid of power to extricate themselves from the misery of their situation.” The word here used is usually applied to those who are sick and feeble, deprived of strength by disease. But it is also used in a moral sense, to denote inability or feebleness with regard to any undertaking or duty. Here it means that we were without strength in regard to the case which the apostle was considering; that is, we had no power to devise a scheme of justification, to make atonement, or to put away the wrath of God.
II. Though the Lord chastises His own, He does not purpose evil upon His own.
(James 1:12-14) – “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God;’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But, each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”
(1 Thess. 2:4) – “…our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit. But, as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.” This phrase suggests that we, as God’s true children, should be acting as if we are always in the presence of the Lord (which we are). It also suggests though our doctrine is the most consolatory (comforting) that can be conceived, we do not share and live the Gospel of our Lord to please Him and not simply words of comfort for mankind.