The divine strategy of sovereign wisdom

Have you ever come across things in the Bible that you can’t figure out or fully grasp? I have and then I have long conversations with the Holy Spirit, my dear Friend, and I am often thrilled and amazed by what He shows me, including guiding principles for my life.

In the case of Joseph we know that God allowed him to be sold by his brothers because God needed him in Egypt. He was falsely accused of rape because God needed him in the prison so that one day the chief butler would tell Pharaoh about Joseph and his ability to interpret dreams. So Joseph became prime minister of Egypt. Many Pharaohs and rich Egyptians before their death arranged to have a monument built to themselves, often it was a pyramid. Joseph had position, power and wealth. When Joseph reached 110 years he knew it was his time to die. He also arranged for a monument but it was not a pyramid. Joseph fully believed in God’s covenant with Israel to bring them into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Gen.50:24-26). With an oath he ordered that his bones would be carried with them when God led them out of Egypt. He was embalmed and put into a coffin - - but not buried. In all their years of wandering they carried that box of bones. What was the significance? What did it do for them? Until the death of Moses they carried that box of bones and then it was transferred into the care of Joshua. Every time they saw it, it was a graphic reminder of Joseph’s unshakeable trust that God would bring them into the promised land. When they finally arrived, they buried the bones of Joseph (JOSh.24:32) in Shechem. All along their way Joseph encouraged them. Joseph built a monument - - not a pyramid - - a monument of faith! We can all profit from this Scripture and the marvel of Divine Strategy.

What about Lot?

After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot lived in a cave with his two daughters. Both had lost their husbands in the judgment, so the oldest daughter instigated a horribly sinful plan (GEN.19:30-38). Why would God allow this baby – born of incest to survive? BECAUSE from the line of that very baby there would be a woman named Ruth, who was destined by God (RUTH 1:16, 4:13, 17) to be the great-grandmother of King David!!! Nothing can hinder Divine Strategy.

Let’s take a look at good King Hezekiah – oops! who became whining Hezekiah (2Ki.20:2-3). Why would God allow him to live long enough to have a son (Manasseh) who would be the most wicked, idolatrous and murderous of all the kings before him (2KI.21).

He filled Jerusalem with the blood of innocent victims. He set up idols in the house of the Lord. He sacrificed one of his sons on the fiery burning arms of the god Molech. Religious history reveals that by his orders, the prophet Isaiah was sawn in half. His son, Amon was just as vile and so wicked that after two years of his reign, his servants killed him in his own house. How can we possibly see Divine Strategy here? Wait - - wait for the next step (2King.22,23) in God’s story.

From his murdered father, King Amon, came a dear little boy, a precious child. Hard to believe he was actually the grandson of Manasseh. He loved and obeyed the Lord, destroyed all the idols and their trappings, repaired the house of the Lord and led the people to fear and obey the Lord. Before him (2KI.23:25) there was no king like him. Josiah turned to the Lord with all his heart, all his soul and all his might. Now we can clearly see the Divine Strategy.

Now we are going to a very difficult and extremely painful reality - - THE PERSECUTED CHURCH. Can there truly be any Divine Strategy there? Shortly after I started to pray for the suffering church, I told the Lord these were not prayers - - they were only wishes. I asked Him to teach me to pray and he told me to spend time in Gethsemane and at Calvary. So I spent considerable time there over the next few days. I saw, I heard and I learned. I heard Jesus say (MAT.26:38) My exceeding sorrow is almost killing Me. Was He stretching the truth? Based on what I learned there, I know there are no words to describe His agony and anguish. I know there is no sorrow like His sorrow. I’m still longing and learning to go deeper into the astronomical price He paid. My prayer usually begins with the Christian school in the Syrian Refugee Camp that the children will be like sponges soaking up the Truth, telling parents, and the Gospel spread throughout the camp. Then that the resources of Christians would be increased (with the loaves and fishes multiplication factor) share with others and win an opening for the Gospel. Then I go to heart-broken families who have lost a loved one, to labour camps or prisons for torture and possibly murder. Where wives and mothers weep into their pillows and children cry themselves to sleep, calling for Dad who can’t come home anymore. The worst part is they pray every day that Jesus will bring Dad home. But the heavens seem to be brass and their prayers seem to bounce useless off the ceiling

I remind Jesus about more than 2000 years ago when He picked the children up in His arms and blessed them. That just as real as the feel of His loving arms then, these children would literally feel His love enfolding them and know that they are sheltered in the arms of God. That He would bless them with amazing insight so they will not turn away in bitterness but will be the most God-loving of His saints. That He will put their tears in a bottle and one day show them the reward and value of those tears.

Now, to the labour camps and prisons where our precious fellow believers endure horrific torture. I must plant myself firmly in the Sovereignty of God or I’ll be lost at sea. I believe in the Sovereignty of God with every fibre of my being, therefore I know that these jewels in the fire are exactly where they should be or they would not be there. I pray that the gentle Shepherd will temper the pain to their bodies as He tempers the wind to the shorn lamb because these are His Sheep, His lambs, His baby Christians. That God’s Presence will be so real that it’s tangible, that they would actually feel His love enfolding them like a blanket, when they are in the fiery furnace of Babylon they would actually see the Son of God walking with them, that He would open their eyes to see their destiny to reign with Christ and the exceeding weight of glory being achieved for them in heaven, that He would send angels in visible form and give them a glimpse of the joy set before them.

I remember the Apostle Paul said to pray for those in prison as if we were in prison ourselves. I pondered that and discovered that what I would want is exactly what I want and pray for daily now. So for them I pray that the Holy Spirit will give them a burning heart of love for Jesus – love that is greater than their pain, that the holy love of God would so invade and enfold them and would cast out fear. Then that the Holy Spirit would radiate that love from their heart to their brutal ruthless persecutors. Think about it. No weapon, argument, abuse would change their torturers. The only effective weapon to knock them off their feet is the holy love of God coming through the very ones they brutalized. Jesus said He would build His Church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. He said He would manifest His wisdom (EPH.3:10) through the Church to the principalities and powers. And, what is happening? Television reporters in the Middle East are reporting amazing accounts of Christians forgiving brutality. Former Isis persecutors are now Bible teachers and evangelists, many persecutors are becoming the persecuted. The seed of our present-day sufferers and martyrs for Jesus is reaping a tremendous harvest. I pray they will hear the song of God as He joys over them with singing, that they will sing and every note be a dagger in Satan’s heart as his own strategy works against him.

We are shocked at first to find Satan in heaven (JOB.1:6) until we realize that he is there by command. Satan still has all the abilities God gave him (now perverted) but he is on a leash and Satan commits only when God permits. When God permits, the Divine Strategy kicks in and Satan is just a pawn.

Never would I minimize or discount the tremendous suffering. I had to see the Divine Strategy before I was able to pray that they would be enabled to rejoice that they are counted worthy to suffer. The way things are going in this world it could be that before long the prayers we offer for the suffering saints, we’ll be praying for ourselves!

What is our comfort, assurance and sustaining reason for ever-growing faith?


No matter what we might encounter, God’s grace is always greater. As we trust and obey our holy heavenly Father, glorious Saviour and wonderful Holy Spirit, work the Divine Strategy in our lives. My greatest treasure – far exceeding all of earth’s riches – is my precious and privileged fellowship with the Triune Godhead.

If we can grasp the Truth of Divine Strategy all anxiety will be gone and we will live in Divine serenity.

Cain still murders Abel – the world continues to choose Barabbas – BUT – through it all from the beginning of creation - - - we can trace and rejoice and exult in the Divine Strategy of Sovereign Wisdom.

Oh, the manifold wisdom of God (EPH.3:10-11) which He purposed by His eternal purpose through Christ Jesus our Lord.

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