The whereabouts and activities of wicked men fulfill the purpose of GOD just as much so as those in whom HE is pleased to perform works of righteousness. Some would consider such a statement as bordering on blasphemy, yet the scripture is plain that such is the case, both by text and example. “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Pro 16:4) “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isa 46:9-11)
The LORD raised up the nation of Eqypt along with Pharaoh whom HE gave wealth, servants, and great power in order to demonstrate HIS own glory in his destruction and the ultimate deliverance of the people of GOD from his hand. “For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” (Rom 9:17) (see Ex.9:16)
HE was pleased to establish Nebuchanezzar in the kingdom of Babylon, which at that time was the greatest nation the earth had seen insofar as the extent of the power and dominion of earthly kingdoms go. (see Dan.4:20-22) HE ordained the wicked designs of Nebuchadnezzar, as a means of chastening the nation of Israel and in order to establish the fact that HE installs even the wickedest of men in places of rule. “to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” (Dan 4:17) We can see that fact illustrated in our own nation’s leaders.
Even so here in our text do we find Doeg the Edomite, “detained before the LORD”. Evidently the LORD used the “religious” nature of Doeg to put him at the same place of worship that HE was pleased to put David, “a man after GOD’s own heart.” Doeg’s presence there was just as much ordained as was David’s, yet the purpose for each was quite different.
Doeg was an “Edomite” which either denotes the fact that he was a descendant of Esau, (a man hated by GOD) who had become a “proselyte” (or convert) to the Jewish religion (see Mat.23:15) or that he was at least a man who had dwelt in the land of Esau. Outward conformity to religious practices, yea even great faithfulness in their prosecution does not in any wise mean that a man has been born from above. (see Mat. 7:21-23) Paul is a good example of this as he confesses his own pedigree and zeal after GOD, as he persecuted the church of GOD, in his ignorance.
It was not by “chance” then that Doeg was in the tabernacle the same day as was David any more than it was by “chance” that Saul of Tarsus, (later Paul) held the coats of the men who stoned Stephen. Both of these events were necessary in order to fulfill the purpose of GOD. Even though the placement of one of those individuals (Doeg) was unto destruction while the other (Saul of Tarsus) was unto life as GOD used those very events to manifest repentance in Paul when it pleased the LORD to open his eyes and awaken him from the deadness of his sin even as he testified, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me” (Gal 1:15-16)
Doeg was a wicked man who gave no evidence of repentance. He not only, gladly accused Ahimelech, a righteous Priest, of conspiracy against the king but also willingly took up a sword to slay the priests of GOD in order to curry favor for himself with king Saul. Yet he acted in the direct will of almighty GOD in slaying these priests just as much so as Judas Iscariot did the exact bidding of the LORD in betraying the SON of MAN with a kiss.
This very truth causes great consternation to the moralists and conditionalists who are convinced that only the righteous perform the will of GOD, and thereby earn HIS favor or blessings. Yet just as surely as Judas was ordained to destruction (see Mark 14:21) and yet fulfilled the will of GOD so too does it appear that Doeg was of the same ilk, (i.e., reprobate) since there is no record of his ever being granted repentance by the mercy of GOD.
In his actions, Doeg was no different than Paul. Paul was guilty of the same crime as Doeg and yet he was not an object of GOD’s wrath, (i.e.; a reprobate) but rather an object of HIS mercy and grace. There is nothing that makes one man differ from another except the grace of GOD. Paul testified of this when he said, “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?” (1Cor 4:7)
The “soul winners” tell us that any man can be saved any time that he wants to by just “believing”. They tell us that GOD will be so impressed with a man’s act of faith that HE will bestow salvation upon him. Then they tell us that by that same principle he can earn blessings and be sanctified by his obedience to the “will” of GOD. This is workmongering of the worst sort and adherence to such precepts makes a man seven-fold more the child of hell than he was.
So, some may ask, exactly what is your point. My point is that men cannot and will not escape fulfilling the purpose of GOD for them in the earth, whether that be in fattening them up unto their own destruction or whether it be to deliver them from sin unto the blessings of the righteous. GOD will have all of the glory in HIS just destruction of the wicked, to which HE has ordained them, and HE will most certainly have all of the glory in the bestowal of mercy upon the objects of HIS everlasting love, those who were chosen by HIM according to that “foreknowledge” which is HIS love for them before the foundation of the earth.“Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”(Rom 9:18)
We live in an age where the prevailing message which masquerades as Christianity is one which despises that precept and makes men the master of their fate and the captain of their own soul. Free will is the golden calf that is worshipped by the multitudes. There is relatively little doctrinal soundness in most “churches” today who would rather rob GOD of the glory of HIS sovereign grace than they had to risk offending the sensibilities and feelings of men who they are convinced they can persuade to love GOD by one means or another.
Keep silence all created things, And wait your Maker’s nod;
My soul stands trembling while she sings The honours of her God.
Life, death, and hell, and worlds unknown, Hang on his firm decree;
He sits on no precarious throne, Nor borrows leave TO BE.
Chained to his throne a volume lies, With all the fates of men,
With every angel’s form and size, Drawn by the eternal pen.
His providence unfolds the book, And makes his counsels shine;
Each opening leaf, and every stroke, Fulfils some deep design.
Here he exalts neglected worms To sceptres and a crown;
And there the following page he turns , And treads the monarch down.
My God, I would not long to see My fate with curious eyes;
What gloomy lines are writ for me,Or what bright scenes may rise.
In thy fair book of life and grace, O may I find my name
Recorded in some humble place, Beneath my Lord the Lamb.
#4 Gadsbys, I.Watts