Sometimes there can be right in your wrongness. We are frail sinful creatures. All our good is mixed with evil. When I was a high school student I overheard a struggling pastor say he didn’t know if he could bring his teenagers to church camp. I anonymously sent him some money to be used for this purpose. I’m sure there was some initial pride involved in the deed. Within the last couple of years I was speaking with my mom about this pastor and she reminded me of the act. It took a while for her to remind me, I had nearly forgotten the deed. But now every time I read Matthew 6:3-4, I think, “I did that once.” In our right there is always some wrong mingled in. But have you ever considered that by God’s grace in your wrong, there can be right?
God uses the brother’s wrong conceptions of what God is doing, to bring about the actions God desires. The brothers seem to think God is exacting payment for their sins (Genesis 42:21-22, 28). God is working to bring about their repentance, by their wrong conception of Him. These brothers are not experiencing God’s wrath for sins, but His covenant faithfulness. God is not exacting payment from them. They couldn’t foot the bill. The wages of sin is death. There are only two sufficient payments for sin, eternity in hell, and the cross. Jesus paid for all their sins. God’s chastisement is not an exacting of payment, but a mark of love.
This is not to say our wrong perceptions of God are ok. They are not, they are sin. Sin is not legitimized, but God grace is glorified. Tozer was absolutely right when he wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Yet God graciously leads us to repentance of our sins and to a true knowledge of Him. Oh matchless grace greater than all our sin.
God uses their sinful perceptions of His providence to bring about repentance. God uses Joseph to unify, sanctify, and preserver the covenant family. He uses a famine to provide the world with the Bread of Life. This should not surprise us. He used the cross to break that Bread, and extract the wine that we might partake and have eternal life. God ordained the greatest sin ever as the act whereby our sins were washed away.
As soon as I posted this I read this J.I. Packer Quote on Justin Taylor’s blog.
It is certain that God blesses believers precisely and invariably by blessing to them something of his truth and that misbelief as such is in its own nature spiritually barren and destructive.
Yet anyone who deals with souls will again and again be amazed at the gracious generosity with which God blesses to needy ones what looks to us like a very tiny needle of truth hidden amid whole haystacks of mental error. . . .
Every Christian without exception experiences far more in the way of mercy and help than the quality of his notions warrants