For some time now I have been arguing that God is in control of all activity in existence, both on the human level and in the world at large. I would like to present a series of scriptures that support this worldview, all the while acknowledging that there may be other scriptures that reflect different views of the relationship between God and His creation.
It is naive and inaccurate to assume that any two devoted persons reading the holy scriptures will come to the same conclusion on theological matters. You only have to look at the countless scholarly debates on YouTube between believers of different denominations to realise one can be immersed in the scriptures, and be a believing Christian, but also be at odds with other Christians in terms of core doctrinal beliefs and scriptural understanding.
I don’t believe in the devil as a free autonomous being. This is because I believe God is omnipresent and therefore that there is no atom in existence which is not under God’s control. Everything that exists is part of God and therefore under God’s control. I reach out to God in prayer in the knowledge that He really is in control of everything that happens. Here are a few scriptures which back up this position:
“I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the Lord, do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)
Many Christians believe in a creature called Satan (or the devil) who is supposedly in control of all that we consider to be evil in the world. The above scripture clearly demonstrates that it is God who creates ‘disaster’ in the world and not Satan.
“Who can speak and have it happen,
if the Lord has not decreed it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that both calamities and good things come?” (Lamentations 3:37-38)
Once again, the above scripture makes it clear that God is in control of all those things in life that we would consider ‘calamities’. Surely we must conclude either that God is in control of those things that we consider ‘evil’, or the rebellious Satan is in control of such calamities. The above scripture demonstrates it is God who is in control.
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)
Here is a scripture where Job is speaking to God and it clearly demonstrates God’s sovereign power over all events. The implication here is that no purpose of God’s can be thwarted, because He is in control of all things and therefore all events. This could not be the case if Satan was in control of certain purposes.
“Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
God clearly has the power to accomplish any purpose which He wills. This would not be the case if there was a being in opposition to Him (the devil) that had power to act against God’s sovereign will.
“The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” (Proverbs 16:4)
It couldn’t be any more clear that God is in control of both those things that we consider ‘good’ and those things which we consider ‘evil’. God is omnipotent and omnipresent and is therefore in control of everything that happens.
We may find it hard to understand why God creates things that we consider to be evil as well as things that we consider to be good. But just because it is a difficult problem to respond to doesn’t mean we should deny the reality that we see evidenced here in Scripture. We know that God is working all things together for good for those who trust in Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28), so we should always see evil in the light that God ultimately brings the good out of the bad. But this shouldn’t lead us to deny that God, as our creator and sustainer, is and always has been in control of all things, both ‘good’ and ‘evil’.
For a deep-dive into the divine sovereignty vs human free will problem, I recommend checking out my book God’s Grand Game, which is currently available for free. For further information, visit the Books page.