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Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924

 Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac.

Bro Krispy
Does anything happen outside of the will of God? Check out Romans chapt 9 prayerfully. also we had a discussion on predestination and free will some time ago, here is the link

what i learned from it all was that our free will doesn't superscede the Lord's sovereignty so nothing happens outside of the Lord's will, nothing is that He doesn't want to be. i also learned that our perception of free will is warped and is largely based on the Anglo-American view of liberty of the individual which is we're free to do anything. Free will truly is being able to do anything within the confines of the Lord's sovereign will so our free will is subject to the Lord's sovereignty.

you said that Abraham committed adultery in conceiving Ishmael with Hagar. then Jacob would have also been guilty of such in he conceived by Bilhah (rachel's handmaid) dan and naphtali, and by zilpah (leah's handmaid) gad and asher. God recognized them all and blessed them all so they were not conceived of adultery and the word certainly doesn't back that assumption up. Also God said to abraham that he would have a son by Sarah, He never said to Abraham not to have any other children nor did the Lord reprimand Abraham for having Ishamael either. is there anywhere in the word where it says that Abraham was disobedient to God concerning this?

Ishmael was born so we could see the Lord's favour on Isaac's line through whom the messiah comes, Islam is there to show is the savlation which is by grace as opposed to good works. bro our lives and God's dealings with mankind are a demonstration to the principalities and powers of the air the manifold wisdom of God and God is displaying His wisdom EXACTLY as He wants to. Sure the world would have been much different without ishmael's seed but the Lord made it so as part of His demonstration of His manifold wisdom.

All this is the Lord's demonstration which He shows as He sees fit whether we like it and agree with it or not.

Farai Bamu

 2006/2/1 15:03Profile

 Re: Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac.

This is a subject that always makes my head hurt. I do not believe any of us can draw a difinitive answer to this question. BUT... I will dig deeper into this and post more as I am led.

As for right now, I do not subscribe to the hyper-Calvanist school of thought. Neither do I believe that God created the Earth and just let's everything just go in whatever direction it wishes.

Trying to come up with a difinitive answer on this question is kinda like trying to contemplate eternity.


 2006/2/1 15:19

Joined: 2006/1/30
Posts: 23


So, essentially what you are saying is that God is in charge of everything, right? Meaning that God does not allow anything to happen outside of His will. (Someone, forgive me - I forget who, wrote that our will does not supercede His.) You cannot believe this half way. It is either true or it isn't. If God is in charge of everything, then He is ultimately responsible for everything, and therefore atheists have every right to blame Him for the Holocaust, war, their child dying, cancer etc. You cannot believe this only to an extent and then say, "But God does no wrong, so we just can't really figure this out."

The fact is, the world is a composite of many many different wills. One mans will might be to become rich; anothers to travel the world; another to open an orphanage; another to take over the world. The world is FULL of wills. (Which, incidentally, is the point of God asking us to lay down our own will and follow His. If we don't have a will that enables us to act it out, what's the point in having us submit to His?) But, besides mans will, there is also the will of a real and powerful enemy. Satan has a will that is just as real as he. He has distinct wants, desires, and hates. And His will influences the world. Of all importance and power however, is Gods will. He has a will that SHOULD supercede our own. Unfortunately, most of the time, it doesn't.

When a little girl is run over by a drunk driver and killed, that is NOT Gods will! God instructed that man not to be drunk, He instructed that man to care more about others than himself, etc. God grieves that little girl! God "allowed" that to happen, in the sense that He gave that man the same blessing of free will that He gave everyone else! He could have, and many times probably has, intervened and stopped that from happening. He could have caused the guy to pass out in the bar, or turn down a different street, or whatever. But that is NOT Gods character! He intervenes to get His own purposes accomplished, yes! But for Him to intervene in all bad things that are about to happen, would remove ALL CONSEQUENCE from our not following Him. It would utterly defeat the purpose.

I am by no means taking away from the power that is only Christs! I am explaining something that IS biblical!

If EVERY SINGLE THING God intentionally before it began allowed, than the atheist has every right to blame God for their own "lot" in life. (It would be Gods responsibility that their spouse died, or they lost their job or whatever. It can not be done by God and also NOT His responsibility.) The fact is bad things happen here because people are mostly bad! There is so little good influence in the world, that the world pretty much sucks. If we all abide in Him, then we can have our lives saved! (Not just from Hell, but from sin and depression, and everything.) That does not however, make us immune from the fact that the guy down the street has every "right" to open a bar, and serve someone too much to drink. That person then has a right to call a cab or to drive home. And our little girl might get hit.

Jesus, I can't wait for Heaven. That is when everyone will be doing Gods will, and ONLY Gods will.

 2006/2/1 15:51Profile

 Re: Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac.

Krispy said:

Trying to come up with a difinitive answer on this question is kinda like trying to contemplate eternity.

Steven is right on this regarding this issue on free will.

I myself cannot subscribe to this free will as I do not believe that I have one. Oh yes, I think I have a free will and I will do whatever I want to do in direct rebellion against God, but when your called to be a vessel of honour, or your called to be a vessel of dishonour, I am the LORDs. He will draw me 'back' to fulfill my place in His plan. I really don't have a choice, and frankly I don't want that responsiblity.

They say that we should be ready when He comes, what is ready? How does one know that one is ready to meet God? If He were to come today, myself and none of my Christian fellowship would make it because we are just not ready.

Afterall the heart is above all deceitful and desperately wicked who can know it, so says Jeremiah. But the LORD knows us, and He knows who are His and if that be true than my whole life is mapped out. The ups the downs, the ins and the outs.

Free will? I don't know what that is. I have heard of Free Willy is that the same?


 2006/2/1 15:59


Ryanelijah said:

then He is ultimately responsible for everything,

Yes, can we believe that He is behind everything regardless of how bad it might be?

Take a look at this scripture and compare it to the holocaust IF Moses had of gotten out of the way.

Exodus 32:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: 10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

Can it be possible that God can just wipe out thousands of people in one moment and destroy this race? This actually occurred, this dialogue between God and Moses happened at one time. And God is telling Moses, "Move aside so I can get madder than a hatter and absolutely wipe this race." Ahhhh, but Moses knew his God, and interceded for the people, this was what God was looking for. God is not wild in his anger, He's is not out of control when He gets mad, no, He knows what He is doing. He is looking for intercessors to interceed. If there is no one to make the hedge and stand in the gap then He will destroy.

Do you want to know His ways? I sure do, I relish in knowing. But the way to know is not a popular route, it is a hard way, darkness is there and that is where He is going to be. For Job it was in the Whirlwind, for David it was hell, for Jonah it was a Whale, for Jesus it was the Cross. Knowing His ways is also apart of doing His will.

Here is Moses again, this time He knows Gods ways.

Numbers 16:45 Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.46 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.

Look at that, Moses didn't consult God on what to do, he knew His God and what God honoured. While Moses and Aaron were on thier faces, Moses whispers to Aaron and tells him the very thing that would please God.

Does anyone else see this, the whole purpose of creating man and man to have fallen is to show God's character. That He is a merciful God, slow to anger, not willing that any should perish. But also to know the fear of God, His anger, and His tenderloving kindness. His character has reservation it says in one place, Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

What does this got to do with free will? Much in every way. As I stated above the whole purpose of man is to show man and the angels and everything that God has created that He is LOVE. Even the Angels desired to look into this great salvation, they can't obtain it if they fall, but we can. Praise God.

Now as regarding the the will to become rich. The word declares here:

1 Kings 3:11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
1 Kings 3:13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.

It clearly states how one becomes rich and honourable, it comes from God.

But this one here is more powerful than the above verse in regards to who gives out wealth.

1 Chronicles 29:12 Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

Isn't that beautiful. President George Bush is elected because God moves upon the people to vote to elect him. Isn't that something? Look at this verse:

Proverbs 8:15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. Proverbs 8:16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

Here is one on predestination that some think that doesn't exist in the bible.

Proverbs 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

Proverbs 8:30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.


 2006/2/1 18:59


RyanElijah said:

Satan has a will that is just as real as he. He has distinct wants, desires, and hates. And His will influences the world. Of all importance and power however, is Gods will. He has a will that SHOULD supercede our own. Unfortunately, most of the time, it doesn't.

It doesn't, it's only because we don't know who we are. Jesus called us MORE than a conquerer. But we don't see this because we think to much of our past and we can't get past that, in other words we don't believe God. For if we believed God than we would believe that He has forgiven us and we are loosed from the bondages of the flesh.

Now concerning Satan and his will. Satan has a will that is given by God. God's will supercedes Satans. Satan is a pawn in the hand of God. Now lets look at some scriptures.

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

I want you to see something that proves that Satans is a pawn: look at this,

Mark 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

Now compare this verse with the verse above.

Matthew 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Isn't that something. Wowzers. The word 'lest' means 'for fear'. God doesn't want to heal these people so He sends Satan to take away the seed that was thrown. Remember the sower went out to sow and he is just throwing it willy nilly. All sorts of ears are listening.

Now there is a host of scripture knowledge on the soverienty of God, it's mind boggling. It's boggling because it literally is an exhausting work to sit down and to draw out all the scriptures and to prove that God is all in all. That would be some undertaking. But it can be done, praise God.

God is an awesome God and is in complete control.

 2006/2/1 19:31

Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131


Let's remember the story of Job.

God did not personally do the bad things to Job, but he did allow Satan to do things to Job in order to test the faith of Job.

God could have stopped Satan at any moment and even prevented him in the first place.

But, God allowed it to happen so that Job would grow and mature.

We don't like the bad things that happen in this world, I know I don't want bad things to happen to me or my family, but I know that God is in control of everything and all things work for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

If God is not in control, then we are all in a A LOT of trouble...

 2006/2/1 22:13Profile

Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924


ok bro Krispy, certainly seek the Lord and if He leads you to check out romans 9 or anything else then do so and we can continue.

As for right now, I do not subscribe to the hyper-Calvanist school of thought. Neither do I believe that God created the Earth and just let's everything just go in whatever direction it wishes.

i'm not calvanist, i'm not even sure what that means, i just believe romans 9 as proof of God's election and a testament to His ultimate sovereignty in all things. check this excerpt from the predestination and free will thread bro Jaysaved looked for and found from Hodge

[b]Hodge has well remarked that, "rightly understood, this doctrine (1) exalts the majesty and absolute sovereignty of God, while it illustrates the riches of his free grace and his just displeasure with sin.

It enforces upon us the essential truth that salvation is entirely of grace. That no one can either complain if passed over, or boast himself if saved.
It brings the inquirer to absolute self-despair and the cordial embrace of the free offer of Christ.
In the case of the believer who has the witness in himself, this doctrine at once deepens his humility and elevates his confidence to the full assurance of hope" (Outlines).

and indeed the earth was not created and then left to run wild because it is all subject to the will of God. See what C.S. Spurgeon said about the whole thing which summed it up nicely for me (hence i believe in predestination and election and yet also that we have free will) was this:

[b]Spurgeon on predestination and free will

The system of truth is not one straight line, but two. No man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once.

I am taught in one book to believe that what I sow I shall reap: I am taught in another place, that "it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."

I see in one place, God presiding over all in providence; and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions to his own will, in a great measure.

Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act, that there was no presidence of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to Atheism; and if, on the other hand, I declare that God so overrules all things, as that man is not free enough to be responsible, I am driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism.

That God predestines, and that man is responsible, are two things that few can see. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. It is just the fault of our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other.

If, then, I find taught in one place that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find in another place that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is my folly that leads me to imagine that two truths can ever contradict each other.

These two truths, I do not believe, can ever be welded into one upon any human anvil, but one they shall be in eternity: they are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the mind that shall pursue them farthest, will never discover that they converge; but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.


God is even more awesome to me now!

Farai Bamu

 2006/2/2 0:43Profile


IRONMAN... what you're describing is Calvinism.

Anyway... I was prepared to write a lengthy response regarding my personal theology on this topic, but decided (because of time restrictions) to post the following study on the sovereignty of God and free will. This declares my own beliefs better than I could.

This is where I stand on this topic.


The following excellent article is by Pastor George Zeller, Middletown Bible Church, 349 East Street, Middletown, CT 06457

In no uncertain terms the Bible declares that God is a sovereign God who "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" and who has "done whatsoever He hath pleased" (Eph. 1:11; Psalm 115:3). We must, however, be careful to distinguish between two kinds of decrees, both of which have to do with the sovereign outworking of God's eternal plan. There are efficacious decrees whereby God purposes to accomplish something directly by Himself (examples of this would be the creation of the world, the sending of the Genesis Flood, judgment upon Babel, the virgin birth, etc.). Man has nothing to do with these things. God's direct will and activity brings them about. There are also permissive decrees whereby God decides to accomplish His overall purpose of bringing glory to Himself by allowing His creatures to perform in certain ways, even ways that are contrary to His will. He allows His creatures to act in a way that is contrary to the desire and wish of the Creator. This we call sin. God, for example, did not want or wish Adam to sin as indicated in His command to the contrary (Gen. 2:16-17), but God allowed Adam to sin and this terrible sin and momentous fall was part of God's overall plan whereby He would ultimately bring glory to Himself.

Extreme Calvinists seem to have difficulty in understanding how a sovereign God can "desire" something that will never come to pass. They believe that whatever God wills and desires must come to pass. If God desires to save certain men then these men must be saved. If God so loved the world, then the world must be saved. If Christ died for all men, then all men must be saved. This is how they would reason. Of course, they believe that Christ did not die for all men but that He died only for the elect. They believe that all who Christ died for will be saved (but they say He only died for some and not for all). As one writer has said in light of 1 Timothy 2:4--"What God desires that He will do" (thus he believes that the phrase "all men" in this verse refers only to the elect). They feel that if God wants men to repent, then they will repent (God will work in their hearts and bring about repentance). They reason that if God wants men to believe, then they will believe.

They can't seem to understand how God could love someone and not save that person. For example, the Scripture says that Christ loved the rich young ruler (Mark 10:21), a man who "went away" and as far as we can tell never followed Christ. A.W. Pink cannot believe that Christ would love a man who would never be saved. He said, "We fully believe that he (the rich young ruler) was one of God's elect, and was saved sometime after his interview with the Lord." This is Pink's theory, but the Scripture provides no support for this view. It is a view based on Pink's theology, not based on Pink's Bible.

If God is willing, then the extreme Calvinist believes that man must be willing also, because God will make him so. If man is unwilling, then it must be because God was unwilling to make the person willing. The Scripture, however, teaches that even though God is willing and desirous that men should turn from sin and go in His direction, He often allows men to have their own way and go their own way according to the stubbornness of their own sin-hardened hearts. God was willing, but they were not. God would, but they would not.

Thus our purpose in this study is to examine certain key words (especially in the Old Testament) which demonstrate that God's compassion and desire and invitation does indeed reach out to all men, even to those who refuse to repent and believe and come to Him. We shall see the wonderful willingness of God in sharp contrast to the stubborn unwillingness of man. We will gain a better appreciation for our Lord's words in Matthew 23:37 which cannot be fully understood apart from certain Old Testament passages which we shall study. May the Lord open our eyes to these truths.


This verb means "to be willing, to consent, to desire, to wish." It is an interesting verb because it is always used with a negative particle except for two places (Isa. 1:19 and Job 39:9). With the negative it means "to be unwilling, to refuse." For example, in Exodus 10:27 it is used of Pharaoh's stubborn refusal to let the children of Israel go ("he would not," he refused!). This word is also illustrated in 2 Samuel 23:16 where David refused to drink the water ("he would not") even though he was terribly thirsty. This word is also used in Isaiah 42:24 (Israel's refusal to walk in God's ways) and in Ezekiel 3:7 (used twice) and 20:8 (Israel's refusal to listen to God).

The following passages which contain this verb especially relate to our study:

(1) Psalm 81:11--"But my people would not hearken to my voice, and Israel WOULD HAVE NONE of me." God wanted them to open their mouth wide (v. 10). God wanted to bless them and fill them (v. 10). God earnestly desired that they should hearken unto Him and walk in His ways. How could God's willingness and desire be stated any clearer than in verse 13? "Oh, that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!" (Psalm 81:13). God was willing! God would have done so much for them (verses 14-16), but they would not. They refused! God had a heart for them; they had no heart for God.

(2) Proverbs 1:25, 30--"But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and WOULD HAVE NONE of my reproof . . . They WOULD HAVE NONE of my counsel; they despised all my reproof." Is God willing that men should love simplicity and hate knowledge (v. 22)? Wisdom cries out (v. 20) and invites men (v. 23) and promises great things to those who come to her (v. 23). God was willing; man was unwilling (vv. 25, 30).

(3) Isaiah 28:12--"This is the rest by which ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing; yet they WOULD NOT hear." God graciously offered rest (compare Matthew 11:28) and refreshment, but they refused (compare Jer. 6:16). God was willing to give them rest but they were unwilling to receive it.

(4) Isaiah 30:15--"For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and YE WOULD NOT." God graciously offered rest and deliverance, but the rebellious ones (vv. 1, 9) refused. They said NO (v. 16) to God's kind offer.

(5) Isaiah 1:19--"If ye BE WILLING and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. This is one of those rare places where the verb is used without the negative. God's desire was that they would be clean (v. 16). God wanted them to learn to do well (v. 17). God was willing to reason with them and to offer them the forgiveness of sins (v.18). God was willing. Would they be willing (v. 19) or would they refuse (v. 20)?


This verb means the opposite of the last verb. It means "to refuse, to be unwilling, to refuse with a resolved mind." Thus it means the very same thing as 'abah [Strong's #14] with the negative. Pharaoh is a good illustration of this verb also. In Exodus 7:14 he refused to let the people go.

Let us now examine some of the passages where this verb is used:

(1) Jeremiah 5:3--"O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have REFUSED to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than a rock; they have REFUSED to return." God wanted Israel to return to Himself (Jer. 4:1) but they refused! God was willing, they were not.

(2) Jeremiah 11:10--"They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who REFUSED to hear my words." God earnestly protested to their fathers (v. 7) because He wanted them to obey His voice (v. 7), but they refused (v. 8). God wanted them to obey, but He allowed them to walk in the imagination of their evil heart (v. 8).

(3) 1 Samuel 8:19--"Nevertheless, the people REFUSED to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay, but we will have a king over us." God was willing to be their King and the Lord was grieved that they had rejected Him (v. 7).

(4) Nehemiah 9:16-17--"But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, and REFUSED to obey." God was ready, willing and eager to pardon and to be merciful and to hold back His anger (verse 17), but the people who lived in the days of Moses refused to obey.

(5) Proverbs 1:24--"Because I have called, and ye REFUSED; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded." God (personified by wisdom-v. 20) called but man refused! God was willing to pour out His spirit unto them and make known His words to them, but they were unwilling (verses 23-24). God stretched out His hand (v. 24) but they could care less.

(6) Isaiah 1:20--"But if ye REFUSE and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword." God was willing and able to PARDON and WASH His people from their sins (verses 16, 18). He was willing to pour out His blessing and give them the good of the land (v. 19). God was willing, but were they?

(7) Zechariah 7:11--"But they REFUSED to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear." God's will and desire was clearly revealed in His commands. He wanted them to turn from their evil ways (verses 9-10), but they refused to hearken. Their hearts were as hard as stone (v. 12).

(8) Jeremiah 13:10--"This evil people, who REFUSE to hear my words, who walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be like this belt, which is good for nothing." God wanted the whole house of Israel and Judah to be unto Him for a people and for a name and for a praise and for a glory (v. 11). This was His desire, but THEY WOULD NOT HEAR (v. 11). THEY REFUSED TO HEAR (v. 10).


This is the common Hebrew verb which means "to choose, to select, to elect." This word has been made famous by Joshua in Joshua 24:15--"CHOOSE you this day whom ye will serve." Let us now consider some of the other passages that use this word:

(1) Deuteronomy 30:19--"I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore, CHOOSE life, that both thou and thy seed may live." A choice must be made between life and death, good and evil (v.15). God wanted them to live and be blessed by loving Him and keeping His commandments (v. 16). God, through Moses, warns them about making the wrong choice (verses 17-18). Finally Moses said, CHOOSE LIFE (v. 19). Doubtless Moses was reflecting the desire of the living God that He might be their choice. God was willing for them to have life, but they must choose (compare John 5:40--God was willing for them to have life, but they must come).

(2) Proverbs 1:29--"Because they hated knowledge, and did not CHOOSE the fear of the Lord." God was willing (verses 20-23) but man was not (verses 24-25; 29-30).

(3) Isaiah 65:12--"When I called, ye did not answer; when I spoke, ye did not hear, but did evil before mine eyes, and did CHOOSE that in which I delighted not." God was not delighted by their choice. It's obvious that their choice did not please the Lord. It was not God's wish or desire that they should choose in such a way. Notice God's gracious appeal to these people. He "called" (v. 12). He spread out His hands (v. 2). He was willing, but they were not.

(4) Isaiah 66:3-4--"Yea, they have CHOSEN their own ways and their soul delighteth in their abominations . . . when I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did not hear; but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not." God allowed these people to go their own sinful ways. The people made a choice and the people were delighted in the choice that they made! God, however, was not delighted in their choice. He was grieved. God wanted the people to choose His ways not their own ways. Their choice was contrary to God's desire.


God's willingness is seen by the way He earnestly and urgently calls to His people and pleads with them and entreats them. How can the Bible writers describe this divine entreaty in terms that we can understand? One of the ways is by picturing God as stretching forth His hands as He invites and urges His people to come unto Himself. In Proverbs 1:24 the verb natah [Strong's #5186] means "to stretch or extend the hand." In Isaiah 65:2 the verb paras [Strong's #6566] is used with a similar meaning ("to spread out or extend the hands").

Consider the following passages:

(1) Proverbs 1:24--"'Because I have called, and ye refused; I have STRETCHED OUT MY HAND, and no man regarded." Here we have wisdom making her wonderful appeal and invitation which man foolishly rejects.

(2) Isaiah 65:2--"I have SPREAD OUT MY HANDS all the day unto a rebellious people, that walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts." Notice that God was not pleased in the way that they were walking. God stretched out His hands and wanted to draw them unto Himself, but they wanted to go their own way. And God allowed it to be so! God let them have what they wanted even though it was not what He wanted. This verse is quoted by the Apostle Paul in Romans 10:21 (see below).

(3) Romans 10:21--"But to Israel he saith, All day long I have STRETCHED FORTH MY HANDS unto a disobedient and gainsaying people." The word "gainsaying" means "rebellious, contrary, refusing to have anything to do with God." What words could better express God's tender invitation to sinful men as He extends wide His arms. As Hodge remarks, "God has extended wide His arms, and urged men frequently and long to return to His love." What yearning, what love, what pleading, what patience! As Barnes has said, "This denotes an attitude of entreaty; a willingness and earnest desire to receive them to favour, to invite and entreat." "The arms outstretched all the day long are the symbol of that incessant pleading love which Israel through all its history has consistently despised" (Expositor's Greek New Testament). God was so willing; man was so rebellious!


This common verb means "to wish, desire, be willing, take delight, have pleasure." In the Septuagint it is used frequently and often it corresponds to some of the Hebrew verbs we have already studied. For example, it occurs in Isaiah 1:19-20; Isaiah 28:12; Jeremiah 5:3; 8:5; Ezekiel 3:7; 18:23, 32. Let us now consider a few New Testament examples of the usage of this word:

(1) Matthew 23:37--"Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them who are sent unto thee, how often WOULD I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chicken under her wings, and YE WOULD NOT." The verb is used twice in this verse. Jesus was saying: "I would . . . ye would not." "I was willing . . . you were not willing!" God was willing to gather these murderers unto Himself but they were not willing! God wanted to gather them, but they did not want to be gathered! God's willingness and man's stubborn refusal are so clearly expressed in this passage! We will say more about this verse later.

(2) Luke 13:34--parallel to Matthew 23:37.

(3) John 5:40--"And YE WILL NOT come to Me, that ye might have life." A literal translation: "And ye do not desire to come to Me, that ye might have life." Again we see man's wicked refusal to come to the living God. Why do people not have eternal life? They refuse to come to the One who is LIFE and who desires to give LIFE (John 10:27-28). Is God willing that men should come to Him and have life? Consider the next verse:

(4) 1 Timothy 2:4--"Who WILL HAVE (desires) all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." This is God's desire for all men. God is willing (1 Tim. 2:4) but man is unwilling (John 5:40). God does not desire that any should perish.

Note: This verb, thelo [Strong's #2309], in its noun form, is often used in relationship to God's will for the believer (1 Thess. 4:3; 5:18; Eph. 5:17-18; etc.). God's will and desire for every believer is that we should be holy, constantly filled with the Spirit and constantly filled with thanksgiving, etc. Yet often we fall short of these things and our God is grieved. God is willing to fill us with Himself, but often we hinder and quench His working in our lives even though He is willing to do so much in and through us (compare Psalm 81:10). So even when it comes to practical sanctification, God is willing but His believers are unwilling at times.


This verb means "to delight in, take pleasure in." Here are some of the places it is used:

(1) Isaiah 65:12--"When I called, ye did not answer, when I spoke, ye did not hear, but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that in which I DELIGHTED NOT." God was not pleased by their choice. He wanted them to choose differently.

(2) Isaiah 66:4--"When I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did not hear; but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I DELIGHTED NOT." God is not delighted when men choose their own ways (v.3), but He allows them to make such a tragic choice. God desires something else, but often He gives men up to their own desires.

(3) Ezekiel 18:23--"Have I any PLEASURE at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD, and not that he should return from his ways, and live?" God is not delighted when the wicked continue in their wicked ways. God is delighted and pleased when the wicked turn from their wicked ways. God's will and wish for every wicked person is
this: Turn from your evil ways and live!

(4) Ezekiel 18:32--"For I have no PLEASURE in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD; wherefore, turn yourselves, and live." In this verse God answers the question raised in verse 23. God is not willing that sinners should continue in their sin. God is willing that they should turn in the direction of the living God. Question for the extreme Calvinists: If God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, then why do the wicked die?

(5) Ezekiel 33:11--"Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no PLEASURE in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Nothing could be more clear. God desires that the wicked should turn from their evil ways. God pleads with these sinners and urges them to repent and be converted. "Why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Certainly not because God wanted you to die!


This interesting verb means "to rise up early in the morning." Figuratively it came to mean "speaking early and often, to speak earnestly, eagerly and urgently, to urge earnestly." Let the following verses speak for themselves:

(1) 2 Chronicles 36:15-16--"And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, RISING UP EARLY and sending, because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words."

(2) Jeremiah 7:13--"I spoke unto you, RISING UP EARLY and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not."

(3) Jeremiah 7:25-26--Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants, the prophets, daily RISING UP EARLY and sending them; yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck."

(4) Jeremiah 11:7-8--"For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, RISING EARLY and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart."

(5) Jeremiah 25:3-4--"I have spoken unto you, RISING EARLY and speaking, but ye have not hearkened. And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants, the prophets, rising early and sending them, but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear" (see also verse 5).

(6) Jeremiah 26:4-5--"If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, to hearken to the words of my servants, the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both RISING UP EARLY, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened."

(7) Jeremiah 29:19--"Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants, the prophets, RISING UP EARLY and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD."

(8) Jeremiah 32:33--"And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face; though I have taught them, RISING UP EARLY and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction."

(9) Jeremiah 35:14-15--"I have spoken to you, RISING EARLY and speaking, but ye harkened not unto me. I have sent also unto you all my servants, the prophets, RISING UP EARLY and sending them, saying, Return now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings . . . but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me."

(10) Jeremiah 44:4-5--"I sent unto you all my servants, the prophets, RISING EARLY and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness."

[See also Neh. 9:29-30 and Zech. 1:4 where this word is not used but the same idea is found.]


Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet, but his tears were but a mere reflection of a grieved and weeping God. When this God became a man these tears could again be seen as He wept over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37; compare Luke 19:41) and said, "HOW OFTEN would I have gathered you." These words can only be understood in light of the verses cited above: "How often have I sent my prophets unto you, rising up early! How often have I stretched forth my hands unto you! How often have I pleaded and entreated and invited! How often have I called unto you and spoken unto you! How often have I offered you REST and REFRESHMENT! How often would I have filled your mouth if you had but opened it! How often would I have reasoned together with you about your sins! Oh Israel, WHY WILL YOU DIE? Why do you choose the way that I do not delight in? Why do you go your own way? HOW OFTEN WAS I WILLING TO GATHER YOU UNTO MYSELF BUT YE WERE NOT WILLING!!!

I trust that this study has taught you something about the terrible depravity of man and the compassionate and tender heart of the Saviour who desires all men to be saved and who has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. God is willing, but tragically, man is often unwilling.

 2006/2/2 8:11

Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924


not sure why but this pator made not effort (it seems anyway from it's absence) to deal with Romans chapt 9. The Lord's will is sovereign in our free will also so nothing happens outside of what He wills. the point of all this is to show that while we have free will, that doesn't trump God's sovereign will and also we can't escape this in Romans 9

[b] 1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed F33 from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, F34 and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder F35 shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted F36 to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?[/b]

ultimately bro the Lord will have mercy on whom He will. We will not be able to reconcile free will as we see it and the Lord's sovereingnty in all things on this side but we will on the other side. We know ourselves to be vessels of mercy therefore let us conduct ourselves as such. that's really it for me bro. like spurgeon said, there 2 truths can't be welded on any human anvil but they meet on the other side before the throne of God.

see you when we get there!

Farai Bamu

 2006/2/2 12:53Profile

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