by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XXVII

December, 1947

Number 5

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

"O, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God!  How inscrutable are His judgments, and untraceable His ways!  For, who knew the mind of the Lord? or who became His adviser? or who giver to Him first, and will be repaid by Him? seeing that out of Him and through Him and for Him is all; to Him be the glory for the eons!  Amen."  Romans 11:33-36. 

Not many words are required to teach the truth on any one subject.  No one can ever fix it better than Paul here has it.  All is out of God - not ninety nine percent!  ALL!  

The fact that He can be the Director of every move, and yet mankind, for the most part, be doing just what they want to do, is because of the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God.  

He is the Disposer - the Placer.  That is what the word, "God' means the very first time it occurs in the scriptures, Gen. 1:1.  In that chapter we see Him disposing of things.  A careful reading of the entire scripture will reveal to us the fact that He is yet disposing of things and persons, or, as the Greek has it, He is placing things and people.  

Since it is important to Him that there be just so many hairs on my head, Matt. 10:30, and since not a sparrow can fall without Him, I can easily believe that everything and every event has a bearing on the carrying out of God's purpose.  Therefore, I am not forced to say that all that is important to the fulfillment of His plan is of His plan is of Him, and the rest is not.  No one can say with certainty that there is any event of anything in the universe that is meaningless or useless.  

Some of the brethren have begun to reason.  They say that, since God gives certain commandments, the violation of one of His commandments is not of Him.  In this they show an utter ignorance of the fact that God commanded Pharaoh to release the people of Israel, and then deliberately hardened Pharaoh's heart so that he would not release them.  In this instance He intended that He be disobeyed.  It was necessary to the carrying out of His plan of deliverance.  If Pharaoh had obeyed, it would have upset the plans of God.  

The brethren of Joseph carried out their wicked designs when they sold their brother.  But Joseph said, later that it was God Who did it.  The sale of the boy and his being taken to Egypt resulted in the carrying out of the plans of God.  

God saw to it that  King Ahasuerus should not sleep on a certain night.  In his sleeplessness he had the records searched, and the result was, Mordecai was saved from the gallows that had been built for him.  This deliverance was necessary to the carrying out of the plan of God, Ester 6:1.  

God, the Placer, placed Paul's nephew right where He would hear the plot against the apostle's life. God could not afford to have Paul killed at that time.  So the boy, who thought he was where HE had chosen to be, was, in reality, where GOD had placed him.  We know the result, Acts 23:16. 

These are not isolated cases.  They are examples of God working behind the scenes.  Could it be that God's plan requires that a boat be in a certain place at a certain time?  I was in a boat with my father once, and the craft began to sink.  The water was deep and swift, and my clothing was heavy.  I must drown, for, even if my father could swim in that current, he could not save me.  The boat struck bottom, and I found that it had moved so much more swiftly that either of us thought, the water was not waist deep.  I waded out.  Since then there have been hundreds whom God has blessed through me.  I take no credit for it.  He had designed that I could be a teacher of the evangel, and if I had been drowned it would have upset His plan.  He could not afford that - not because I would ever be able to make myself indispensable to the carrying out of any part of His plan, but because He, by HIS power would use me in this way.  

We ought to be able to see that if He has designed that one person shall serve in His purpose, it is necessary that He place ALL events, ALL persons, ALL animals, in order to preserve the one whom He has chosen for the service.  If there is any event that is not of Him, then He might be thwarted in any, or all of His designs.  Is there danger that a rattlesnake will bite and kill one who has been thus chosen?  No; for God places the snake.  Many who went through the War Between the States came back home and became pastors, teachers and evangelists.  God had designated that they should serve in this way.  But suppose they had been killed in battle.  God could not afford to have it so; therefore He guided the course of every bullet, so that it was not possible for one of His chosen ones to be killed before they had served as He had planned.  

I am confident that, in this universe, there is not a person whom God does not place and dispose of, every moment: that there is not an object, from a blade of grass to the largest of all objects, that He does not manage all the time; that there is not an insect, animal, bird, or other creature, whose movements He does not plan and execute at all times.  Moreover, I am confident that there is no being, no movement, no event, no object large or small, that does not in some way contribute to the carrying out of the purpose of God.  This is what Paul's statement, "out of Him and through Him and for Him is all," means to me.  

Yet I am confident that in the great majority of  cases, those whom God is placing think they are managing themselves, and carrying out their own will.  They are not conscious of any constraint or restraint.  This is what Paul's first statement in the passage means to me.  The depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God is beyond my ability to reason out.  His judgments are inscrutable; His ways untraceable.  At the close of a talk made at a meeting in Alabama last summer, a brother arose and said, "Brother Screws has presented to us the greatest God that I have ever heard of." 

There is no outward sign of a miracle in our every-day life. Yet, in the course of any twenty-four-hour period, we do, and say, and think just what The Disposer, the Placer, designs. 

God does not delight in all that is done.  There is much in which He does not delight, at present, just as we find it necessary to do things in which we do not delight, in order to finally have that in which we do delight.  In nothing else is His greatness shown more effectually, than in the fact that He subjects Himself to much in which He takes no delight.  We say a person who does nothing that is irksome, is childish.  God is not childish. The COUNSEL of His will, Eph. 1:11, tells Him what is to be done in order for Him to finally have that in which He delights, and He follows that course.  He operates all in accord with this counsel. 

But He knows just how to have delight.  Every act of obedience on the part of any saint is caused by God operating in him or her, for the sake of His delight, Phil. 2:12, 13.  I am happy to know that He sometimes uses me to bring about His delight.  But at other times I, as well as all other saints, fail to delight Him.  This is in accord with the counsel of His will—for how could He display the transcendent riches of His grace toward me in the on-coming eons, unless my life here is so full of failure, as to make any heavenly blessing an act of pure grace, instead of the payment of a debt that He owes me for obedience in this life? 

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