“Now to Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”
– Jude 24-25
This passage has always been memorable to me. In a less than spiritual way, I remember this passage because of the ridiculous way one of the assistant ministers at my former church would often recite it (Ah, the memories!). But more to the point, I found this passage significant because it caused me to wonder if God’s permissive will (the notion that God allows things to occur for good or for bad) always reigned supreme. This particular passage clearly indicates that God has the ability to keep us from doing wrong. But the question is: do we have any Biblical support that God has actually caused somebody not to sin?
The answer to that question, by estimation, is a resounding yes:
From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, “Lord, will you kill an innocent people? Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her.
To me that sounds like God can occasionally save us from ourselves.
Since there are many aspects of God that my finite mind can never comprehend, I often find myself wondering how often God has interfered with my life and prevented me from doing wrong. I suspect not very often. But whether or not God has ever taken it upon Himself to intervene on my behalf, I’m at least thankful that He is able to. For being that great, He deserves my praise.