What Have You Done

“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’”

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭4:35‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I think sometimes we forget that we are dealing with an all powerful God, creator of heaven and earth. We forget that He’s the one who fixed each star in the sky and commands the thunder when to rumble and the lightning when to strike.

“He made all the stars—the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the southern sky. He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭9:9-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

““Look, God is greater than we can understand. His years cannot be counted. He draws up the water vapor and then distills it into rain. The rain pours down from the clouds, and everyone benefits. Who can understand the spreading of the clouds and the thunder that rolls forth from heaven? See how he spreads the lightning around him and how it lights up the depths of the sea. By these mighty acts he nourishes the people, giving them food in abundance. He fills his hands with lightning bolts and hurls each at its target. The thunder announces his presence; the storm announces his indignant anger.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭36:26-33‬ ‭NLT‬‬

““Yet when he comes near, I cannot see him. When he moves by, I do not see him go. If he snatches someone in death, who can stop him? Who dares to ask, ‘What are you doing?’”

‭‭Job‬ ‭9:11-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

One of the first things I’m asked when someone learns that I’m a Christian is “Why does God allow bad things to happen?”

Folks seem to like diving into the deep end.

Many churches like to show the loving side of God. They talk about how God is love and how He wants to be your friend and how you can call out to Him for anything you need, but they tend to forget God’s sovereignty. They forget His power and might. They forget He is a righteous and just God and they most certainly forget that we are sinners who deserve His wrath not His love.

Why do bad things happen? Well, there are a few reasons.

We are living in a world tainted by sin.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:23‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. “But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭13:8-9‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Bad things happen because we are not automatons. We’ve been given free will and we are all fallen humans in a fallen world. One person’s actions can’t help but cause ripples and affect more than just themselves.

Sometimes bad things are allowed to happen in order to build us up. In the verse that started this study it was Nebuchadnezzar praising God after spending seven years (?) thinking he was a cow. God warned him that this would happen if he didn’t set aside his pride, but the king thought he was untouchable. If God shielded us from every struggle, how would we ever learn?

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:12‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver,…”

‭‭Malachi‬ ‭3:3‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Want to know how you purify silver? You have to hold the silver in the hottest spot in the fire to burn away the impurities. Even better, the silversmith has to watch the silver the entire time to make sure it isn’t in the fire for too long. The smith must never take his eyes off the silver while it’s being purified.

Finally, why do bad things happen? Because this world is temporary.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:8‬ ‭NASB

““Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:19-21‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:42-44‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When bad things happen our first impulse is to blame God, to ask “What have You done?” or “Why has this happened?” We forget that we are talking to the almighty God. It is not our place to ask why. God in His Word has told us why. It is our place to accept what He has told us in His Word. It also makes the fact that God does care for us even more amazing.

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:28-31‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I know today’s study notes are kind of rambling, but this is what stuck out to me while reading through Daniel chapter 4. That verse, “No one can ward off His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?”” stuck in my head this morning. Who am I to question God’s plan? When things don’t go the way I wanted, or when tragedy happens, “Why” is the first thought in my mind. I have to remember that there are a few reasons why, and that it’s also not my place to ask. It is my place to consider every trial joy and to remember that God promises to work all things out for me good, even the bad things.

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