GOD’S POWER OVER ALL THINGS
Why Bad Plans Go Bad
(Proverbs 21:30; Acts 5:1–10)
Ever heard this before: “Listen, young man [or young woman], you can run, but you can’t hide”? Christian parents, if they have learned the lesson themselves, try to communicate this fundamental life lesson to their children. Translation? It simply doesn’t pay to think that you can do wrong and then cover that wrong through craftiness or deceit. “By hiding your actions from us, you control the situation momentarily,” parents say, “but eventually the control will shift, and we’ll find out what you’ve done. And even if we never discover what you’ve done, you will always know that God knows.”
One story in the New Testament aptly illustrates this principle. Take a look for a minute at the well-known story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1–10. These two spiritual children in the infant Jerusalem church discovered how futile it is to strategize against God. To make themselves look good and generous in the eyes of others, they concocted a plan to lie to the church about their finances. God showed the apostle Peter what Ananias had done, and Peter declared: “You have not lied to men but to God” (v. 4). Instantly, Ananias died under God’s judgment. Three hours later, his wife was dead as well, having perpetuated the same deceit that her husband had attempted.
The point of this event in the Jerusalem church is not that God always instantaneously judges sin (though He might). It is that He knows. God has all wisdom and insight, and He certainly has power over the plans people devise. Read the passage from Proverbs again. Paul knew the truth of this: “‘He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness,’ and again, ‘the Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless,’” he wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:19–20.
But perhaps no better picture exists of God’s power to know all things than in Psalm 33:13–19, which says, in essence: He looks down from heaven, watches everyone, and considers all that they do. No force can outwit him. No king, no warrior, no battle-scarred steed escapes His look or His laugh (see also Ps. 2:1–4). His power reveals all and protects all who fear Him.
Don’t get caught in the childish web of trying to outwit God. He will always know more than we know. And thankfully, He also knows when we are honest with Him.
His purpose in opposing your plans is to protect you from them.