The God Who Is
by W. F. Bell
"He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise" (Job 5:12).
"The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to naught. he maketh the devices of the people of none effect" (Psalm 33:10).
What kind of God do you believe in? Is He the God of the Bible, or the "god" of your own imagination? Is He all-powerful and able to carry out His purposes and desires, or is he a weakling that is constantly being defeated by his rebellious creatures? Does your "god" ever get frustrated? If so, let me tell you of my God, One who frustrates others, but is never frustrated Himself!
Webster's Dictionary defines "frustrate" as meaning: "to balk or defeat in an endeavor; to induce feelings of discouragement in; to bring to nothing; to make invalid or of no effect: NULLIFY, THWART, FOIL, BAFFLE, BALK, CIRCUMVENT, OUTWIT."
With these definitions in mind, is it really possible for Almighty God to be frustrated? Certainly not! Positively no! Let the thought be forever banished! If God could be frustrated, He could be deposed from off His throne. But, praise His adorable name, that shall never be! See Psalm 66:7; 97:1; 103:19.
The word "frustrate" is used only twice in all of the Bible (KJV) and the word (frustrateth) occurs only once. Let us look at these verses: Ezra 4:5 - "And hired counselors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius the king of Persia."
Here we read of certain "adversaries of Judah and Benjamin" (Ezra 4:1) desiring to bring to nought the efforts of the "children of the captivity" in the rebuilding of the Jewish temple at Jerusalem. These enemies of God "weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, and hired counselors against them, to frustrate their purpose" (Ezra 4:4-5). Were God's people defeated in the rebuilding of their temple? We know that they were not. Here then, is a good illustration of what "frustrate" means.
Galatians 2:21 - "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."
The Apostle Paul declares that he does not "make void" or "set aside" the grace of God, by preaching "righteousness by the law." He says that "Christ died without cause," if men are made righteous before God by the law." "No," Paul says, "it is God's grace that saves us, and I do not make grace of none effect by preaching that righteousness comes by the law, for then Christ would have died a meaningless death. Here again, we have the definition of "frustrate."
Isaiah 44:25 - "That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish."
In this verse Jehovah reveals Himself to be the "Frustrating God." In the context of this passage God is revealed to be the Creator and Redeemer (verse 24), as well as the Frustrator, Confirmer, and Performer (verses 25-26). In other words, God is Sovereign over all His creation. Concerning the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity, Jehovah says to Jerusalem, "Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof' (verse 26).
God said "of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure, even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall he laid" (verse 28). It is also stated that God "will dry up thy rivers" (verse 27). What kind of God is this? Does this sound like a frustrated God? Notice please, all of the "shalls" and wills" of these verses. God truly does as He pleases, only as He pleases, and always as He pleases. See Psalm 115:3; 135:6; Matthew 11:25-26.
God has never been defeated in anything He has purposed to do and never shall be. Nothing God has planned and purposed can be nullified or brought to nought. Listen to the testimony of Holy Scripture: "The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand ... For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?" (Isaiah 14:24 & 27).
"...My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isaiah 46:10).
"And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? ... Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase" (Daniel 4:34-35 & 37).
"...For who hath resisted His will?" (Romans 9:19).
Thus, God is designated as the One who "bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought (frustrates their intentions): he maketh the devices of the people of none effect (defeats their purposes)" (Psalm 33:10). Yet "the counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations" (Psalm 33:11). What a contrast is made in these two verses! The Lord is "The Frustrator," but men are "the frustrated."
Men throughout history have made great plans to do this and that, but God has foiled them and their plans. Once Sennacherib, Assyria's wicked king, when desiring to capture Judah from King Hezekiah, "wrote also letters to rail on the Lord God of Israel, and to speak against him saying, As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand" (II Chronicles 32:17). How easily did the Almighty frustrate Sennacherib and his armies, however! God sent an angel that slew 185,000 Assyrians in one night. After Sennacherib fled back to Nineveh and was worshipping "in the house of Nisroch his god," two of his own sons "smote him with the sword" (II Kings 19:35-37). Has this God of the Old Testament changed? Let him answer for Himself: "For I am the Lord, I change not" (Malachi 3:6).
Countless others have schemed and devised plans against God and His people, but to no avail! Look at Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Hitler, and the modern Arab nations. Here is a declaration to you, dear reader, that God cannot be defeated or disappointed. The sovereign will of God is both unbendable and irresistible. He has no trouble whatever with even you! If you are not broken now by His grace and power, one day you will be crushed by His wrath and justice. See Matthew 21:44. All men are mere clay in the hands of a sovereign Potter (Romans 9:21-23). This Imperial Lawgiver has the right to either save you or destroy you (James 4:12).
God nullifies others, but is never nullified Himself. He thwarts, but is never thwarted! The Almighty foils, but is never foiled! He baffles men, but is never baffled by men! The Lord outwits His enemies, but is never outwitted! The King of Kings and Lord of lords is never frustrated! Let us rest our lives in His omnipotent hands. Let us rest our souls both for time and eternity, in His sovereign will. What better place of safety and security could there possibly be in these crises times?
"To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen" (Romans 16:27).
"God makes what use He pleases of men, of mighty men, of those that act with the greatest freedom; and, when they think to do as they please, He can overrule them and make them do as He pleases. Nay, in those very things wherein they are serving themselves, and look no further than that, God is serving His own purposes by them and making them to perform all His pleasure. Rich princes shall do what poor prophets have foretold" (Matthew Henry).
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