Recently in my devotions I was reading about the disaster that was Israel’s decision to have a King and for that King to be Saul. It was a terrible decision that led to a whole series of awful circumstances for the people of Israel. Yet ultimately David, a man after God’s own heart, became King and God’s great project for the redemption of humanity continued.

 Thinking about all of that  made me think again about the truth, of Romans 8:28 “we know that IN ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love him, “

Just think about Israel’s decision to make Saul King with me for a moment. God took that bad decision, the decision to reject Yahweh as King and just be like all the other nations and all the bad situations that stemmed from it (read 1 & 2 Kings) God then worked in and through those decisions for the good of Israel and ultimately the whole world.

 The Lord took the bad institution that was monarchy and made it a vehicle for his blessing and purposes. He made David King, a flawed man to be sure but one who “was after his own heart.” I think that phrase among other things, describes a ruler who desired to see God’s will done rather than just rule for his own gain. God as the centuries came and went worked through David’s descendants, the good and bad and worked and worked to finally bring into our world, a King who would rule with complete justice and bring lasting peace and enable us to experience what His desire for humanity had always been, that King was of course, Jesus. Here finally was a King through whom God would reign, for He would in fact be God himself, that reign has begun, and God is still working in history through all the bad decisions and situations to consummate and complete that reign.

The likelihood is of course many of us right now are suffering or are stressed because we have made bad decisions or are experiencing bad situations of our own making, or because of others. The story of Israel’s Kings and the coming of Jesus reminds us that God can and does take bad decisions and situations and absorb them into the wonderful purpose He is unfolding in our lives and in history and so brings good to us through the bad things that we experience. That goes for your life as much as for the history of Israel if we take Romans 8:28 seriously

So here is where my pondering about Saul and David has taken me …. The bad decisions we make and the bad situations we find ourselves in are never the last word because we have a God of grace and mercy, which of course means we always have hope. God not only gets the last word in history, he gets the last word in our lives. He can work for good in our lives even after our worst decisions. Decisions that we regret and have experienced awful consequences as a result of.

I prayed a prayer based on Romans 8:28 when my pondering was over, maybe you need to pray a similar prayer. I thought of some of the terrible decisions I have made and said “Lord, I love you and you have promised to work for my good in all things, even the messes I have created for myself by making bad and even sinful decisions, I need you to keep that promise in these situations. “

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