Choices and Consequences
Man was given an awesome gift of ‘choice.’ God said to Adam and Eve, “don’t eat…” but they did eat. They disobeyed and the consequences of that choice are still felt today. I used to teach a topic “Choices and Consequences in Biblical perspectives, in the Christian College. It was a good topic especially for students thinking about career, marriage, travel etc. People say, “We are free to make our choices, it’s a free country.” But remember, you are not free to make choices with regards to the consequences of your choices. The consequences are in the hands of God, not yours.
God’s sovereignty is compatible to our human responsibility. They are parallel ideas and truths. For example to be born again (our salvation ) is solely the work of God, not by our good works (See John 3:1-10). But we have the responsibility to respond: to believe in order to receive eternal life, or to reject the offer and be condemned (John 3:11-21).
Some sceptics ask: “If God is sovereign, why do we experience these human sufferings, such as death, cyclones, earthquake, sickness, famine (though sometimes it is due to greed and politics)?” Social scientists call them ‘natural disasters.’ Some theologians call them ‘natural evil.’ There is also what theologians call ‘moral evil’ using the Bible as a frame of reference and our human conscience.
There are plenty of verses that speak of God’s sovereignty over everything and the forces of nature. “But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.“ (Jer.10:12-13)
There are times God intervenes, for instance Gen.20:1-18, God exercised control over Abimelech’s decision and restrained him from committing sin with Sarah. Some may argue that God ‘violates this freedom of choice.’ But in this case, God chooses to intervene.
It is clear that there is what we call God’s sovereignty and human’s responsibility in the Scriptures. We are admonished to obey God’s word. When we obey there are blessings, when we disobey there may be bad consequences. We can ‘chose’ but we have no control in the consequences of our choosing. That is in the hands of God. Therefore, whether choosing a career, a life partner, etc be discerning and acknowledge your Creator. Proverbs 3:5-6 is a great promise: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Trust Him, His grace is sufficient!