THE DECREES OF GOD “This is the plan determined for…
THE DECREES OF GOD
“This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart Him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?”
The Assyrian king [godless nation] had a plan for world domination (v. 26), but GOD [YHWH] had another plan (cf. 8:10), a plan for WORLD REDEMPTION (v. 27)!
Assyria, Babylon and Persia are TOOLS in GOD’S [YHWH’s] PLAN and no one can withstand His hand (i.e., power).
“I MAKE KNOWN THE END FROM THE BEGINNING, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I WILL DO ALL THAT I PLEASE.”
God is using the example of predictive prophecy to show that He is in control of history.
The emphasis on His purposes, mentioned so often in vs.10-11, shows that HISTORY is NOT RANDOM but has A DIVINE PURPOSE (i.e., teleological; cf. Isa. 14:24,26; 25:1).
This assurance of GOD [YHWH] fulfilling His Divine Plan is also seen in 14:24; 25:1; 40:8; 55:11.
The phrase in 10a is theologically parallel to 41:4; 44:6; 48:12.
GOD [YHWH] is the “present one” from the “very” beginning to the “very” end (i.e., the first and last)!
What GOD has determined shall be done. He determined to make a world, and he made it; to create man, and he created him.
He determined that at a certain period God [the Second Person of the Godhead] should be manifested in the flesh, and it was so; that HE should taste death for mankind, and he did so; that his Gospel should be preached in all the world; and behold it has already nearly overrun the whole earth.
All his other counsels and thoughts, which refer to the future, shall be accomplished in their times.
The decrees of God relate to ALL FUTURE THINGS without exception.
“Whatever is done in time, was foreordained before time began.”
God’s purpose was concerned with everything, whether great or small, whether good or evil.
1. The divine decrees are Eternal.
“According to His eternal purpose . . .” Ephesians 3:11. To suppose any of God’s decrees to be made in time, is to suppose that some new occasion has occurred, some unforeseen event or combination of circumstances has arisen, which has induced the Most High God to form a new resolution.
2. The divine decrees are Wise.
Wisdom is shown in the selection of the best possible ends and of the fittest means of accomplishing them. That this character belongs to the decrees of God is evident from what we know of them. They are disclosed to us by their execution, and every proof of wisdom in the works of God is a proof of the wisdom of the plan, in conformity to which they are performed.
3. The divine decrees are Free.
God was alone when He made His decrees, and His determinations were influenced by no external cause. He was free to decree or not to decree, and to decree one thing and not another. This liberty we must ascribe to Him who is supreme, independent, and sovereign in all His doings.
4. The divine decrees are Unconditional.
The execution of them is not suspended upon any condition which may, or may not be, performed. In every instance where God has decreed an end, He has also decreed every means to that end.
“In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.”
“God does not permit things to happen.
He purposed all that comes to pass in time, before time began
(ROMANS 11:36; ISAIAH 45:7).
And all that He ordained from eternity and performs in time, is good.”