How do you respond to Psalm 135:6?

“Whatever the Lord pleases he does,
In heaven and on earth…” (cf. Job 23:13–14; Ps. 115:3; Dan. 4:35)

Some conclude from passages such as this that God’s will can never be thwarted. Since Scripture explicitly teaches that God’s will is in fact sometimes thwarted (Isa. 63:10; Luke 7:30; Acts 7:51; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 3:8, 15; 4:7), we must reject this conclusion.

These passages certainly teach that the Lord can do whatever he pleases, but they only support the view that God meticulously controls everything if we assume that it pleases the Lord to control everything. There is no basis for this assumption, however. No mentally healthy parent would be pleased to meticulously control their children, even if they could.

We all know that relating to free persons is infinitely more rewarding than controlling people, though it is also much more risky. Why then should we assume that God’s greatest agenda for creation—what “pleases God”—is to meticulously control it?

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