"He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure." Psalm 40:2

all is ordered & overruled by God’s almighty wisdom

“And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. And they laid their hands on him, and took him. And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. And they all forsook him, and fled.” {Mark 14:43-50}

J.C. Ryle, in his Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Mark, shares a very comforting application from the painful situation described in this passage. He writes:

Let us notice…in these verses how all things in our Lord’s passion happened according to God’s Word. His own address to those who took him, exhibits this in a striking manner: ‘the scriptures must be fulfilled.’

There was no accident or chance in any part of the close of our Lord’s earthly ministry. The steps in which he walked from Gethsemane to Calvary were all marked out hundreds of years before. The twenty-second Psalm, and the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, were literally fulfilled. The wrath of his enemies, his rejection by his own people, his being dealt with as a malefactor, his being condemned by the assembly of the wicked – all had been foreknown, and all foretold. All that took place was only the working out of God’s great design to provide an atonement for a world’s sin. The armed men whom Judas brought to lay hands on Jesus, were, like Nebuchadnezzar and Sennacherib, unconscious instruments in carrying God’s purposes into effect.

Let us rest our souls on the thought that all around us is ordered and overruled by God’s almighty wisdom. The course of this world may often be contrary to our wishes. The position of the church may often be unlike what we desire. The wickedness of worldly men, and the inconsistencies of believers, my often afflict our souls. But there is a hand above us, moving the vast machine of this universe, and making all things work together for his glory. The Scriptures are being yearly fulfilled. Not one jot or tittle in them shall ever fail to be accomplished. The kings of the earth may take counsel together, and the rulers of the nations may set themselves against Christ (Psalm 2:2). But the resurrection morning shall prove that, even at the darkest time, all things were being done according to the will of God.*

*Expository Thoughts on Mark, J.C. Ryle, (c) 2012 Banner of Truth Trust, p. 254-255

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