In his book The Mission of God, Christopher Wright discusses the knowledge of God that Israel had in the Old Testament, specifically in His acting by delivering them through the means of a pagan king who had no allegiance to Yahweh.
[I]f Israel should be inclined to protest at the means by which God would bring about their deliverance (i.e., through a pagan king who did not even know YHWH, yet is provocatively described as YHWH’s “shepherd” and “anointed”), they would do well to remember who it was they presumed to argue with–the Creator of the universe.
“Concerning things to come, do you question me…? It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands have stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts. I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness:…He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free” (Isaiah 45:11-13).
So, the reason why God’s planned action for Israel’s deliverance will be spectacularly successful is that it is grounded in his universal sovereignty as Creator. And the effect of that saving action will be to demonstrate the unique identity and status of YHWH to the rest of the world. Israel would do well not to protest, for they have a role to play in that divine agenda. If Israel’s ultimate mission was to be a blessing and a light to the nations, they need to cooperate with God’s means of executing that purpose, whether they approved of it or not. (from The Mission of God, pg. 90)
I complain to God fairly often about the means by which he brings about my deliverance. I presume to argue all the time with the Creator of the universe. Surely, He could’ve cooked up a better scenario than me being disposed to crushing hard on my friends and having to pick myself up from those emotionally charged situations, bravely continuing friendships with those whom I’ve crushed on and legitimately love. He could’ve at least made it easier for me to be physically attracted to a girl who was once very interested in me, but whose interest seems to have waned. It’s painful, really–all of it. Continue reading →