每日诗歌: Here I am to worship (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaUTv1pXRyU)
Psalm 53 [Read]
Psalm 54 [Read]
Psalm 55 [Read]
Acts 27:26-44 [Read]
God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility are two mutual exclusive concepts in the limited mind of human being. If God indeed has control over all things and foresees all human actions, how can he still hold us responsible for what happens in our life? If we truly have the free will to choose and do things, then how can we say God still has sovereignty over all things? But from the biblical standpoint, these two concepts are perfectly compatible.
Acts 27 gives a good example of such mysterious compatibility. The boat that took Paul and his companions and all the soldiers to Rome encountered a violent storm (Acts 27:18), and they were at the point of giving up all hope of being saved (27:20). At that juncture, Paul stood up and declared the vision God gave him the previous night: “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you” (27:24). Did Paul really know that or was he lying in order to comfort those soldiers and sailors? We obvious believe it’s the former. In that case, what should the people do? Since God had already revealed the result, it seemed easier for everyone to just sit back and watch God perform his miracle. If someone actually died, then we can say “Aha!”
The people did not do that. Instead, they moved ahead with what they should be doing under the circumstances. The sailors tried to abandon them, and Paul wisely warned the Centurion to throw off their scheme (27:31-32). Then, he urged them to eat so that they might have enough strength to persist through the ordeal, and they listened and ate (27:36). Though the solider tried to kill the prisoners, the Centurion restrained them and everyone was saved (27:44).
Man’s responsibility definitely played an important role in this whole episode, but all their doing was under the sovereignty of God in directing all events in history. Would they still be saved if the sailors simply took Paul’s word and sat back and did nothing? I am sure God would save them through other means (Est 4:14), but those sailors would somehow suffer for their own behavior. God’s eternal will cannot be deterred, but man is still responsible for and will pay for their own actions. How it works is a mystery to us, but we know it works.
Keep on reading,