Deciphering God’s Purpose

Much has been written about our ‘purpose’, and I won’t pretend to know more than the experts on this subject.  Let me just say I believe, and the scriptures support the concept, that every life has a God-given purpose.  The scriptures also support the concept that not every purpose may be fulfilled.  In other words, not everything God wants gets fulfilled.

This is hard for some to understand, as it would seem that if God is all-powerful He would get everything He wants.  But, the scriptures tell us that it is not His will that any would perish, but we are fearfully aware there are those who do perish, or refuse the provision God has made for eternal life.

I’ve already written some posts about God’s purpose in our life, but I wanted this one to focus on one particular aspect of this concept.  While it would be easy to think that every life fulfills it’s purpose, sadly this doesn’t always hold true.

Take the case of Cain and Abel.  At some point Cain murdered his brother Abel.  One train of thought would go something like this, “Well, Abel’s life was completed, and his purpose completed, so God took him home.”  This would sound ok, but it implicates God in the act of murder.  If Abel’s purpose and life was completed, then Cain’s murder could almost be justified, as it completed the plan for Abel.  Needless to say, there are some problems with this line of thinking, least of all, that God promotes evil in order to accomplish His plan.  The truth of Cain and Abel is a bit harder to bear, which is that the act of Cain shortened Abel’s life, and Cain was subsequently punished for this.

So, where does this leave Abel?  Good question.  The answer is not something we can fully see or understand, which typically means, people come up with their own answer or let their imagination fill in the gaps.  It is clear from the scriptures that what happens in this life is only part of the answer.  The ‘life-to-come’ is where many things will be reconciled or made right.  This is made perfectly clear in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.

So, what happens to Abel?  The answer is God will take care of Abel, and restore to him whatever was taken from him.  How?  I don’t know, as it is not fully revealed in the scriptures.  But the concepts of restitution, revenge, punishment, reward, and compensation are revealed.

But, on the human scale there are many atrocities, murders, thefts, mistreatment, false accusations, and the like which are never fully resolved in this life.  Will they always be unresolved?  No.  Some will be resolved in this life, and some will be resolved in the life-to-come, but rest assured they will be resolved.

Now back to the murder of Abel.  We should always be careful in associating God with using evil to accomplish His purpose.  This is a gross misunderstanding.  What God does do, is to turn those things meant for evil into things that are good.  Also, God does not always stop evil from happening.  But, we can safely say, there is nothing, good or evil, that happens without God being aware of it.

Of course, this draws us into the discussion about the ‘will of God’, including His Perfect Will, His Permissive Will, etc…

These definitions are used to help us explain things that don’t seem to have an explanation.  This is unfortunate, as it tends to distort the true picture.  The true picture would probably be best explained by saying, “We know God has a Will, but it is not always easy for us to explain or understand.”  This would probably be more accurate than coming up with different kinds of ‘wills’ of God.

But, back to Abel.  I think it would be a mistake to simply say, “Abel’s life had come to a point of completion, so God did not stop Cain from killing him.”  This doesn’t seem to express what really happened.  It might be better to say, “Cain acted from his own jealousy, and murdered his brother, cutting short his life, against the plan of God.”  But, once again, this raises the question, how does God make it right with Abel?  He punished Cain, but that does Abel no good, as he is dead.  In order to answer this question, we must have a missing piece of the puzzle revealed to us – that is, what has happened to Abel since that time?  And what is the future of Abel?  We are only given glimpses of the answer, but from everything we can gain from the scriptures Abel is fine, and will be fine in the future, too.  God, Himself, will make restitution, where restitution is required.

We need to be careful in associating God with the evil that is ever present in this world.  The enemy is out to kill and destroy, but God’s purpose is to give life not death.  God does not need evil in order to do good.


One Response to “Deciphering God’s Purpose”

  1. Barbara McGuire Says:

    Wow! Excellent writing and much to ponder in this blog! What a blessing! I actually read the story of Cain and Abel this very week! I really like the insight you shared and it has given me much to think about. Blessings…

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