(The beast) was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. …
The fact that you are reading this indicates we survived the Mayan “end of the world” December 21. That’s nice but it doesn’t mean an apocalyptic end is not coming. This passage warns us one is coming. But doesn’t this passage seem strange to you?
Biblically we know any power originates in God so whatever power the beast has ultimately comes from God. The beast is given power, from God, to conquer God’s people. Lord, I see a few reasons You would do this but it still confuses me that these folks, who have your Word and all its wonderful promises of overcoming Satan, are going to be conquered. That seems strange to me.
Then I think of Mary. Gabriel appears telling her she will become pregnant by the Holy Spirit – a story folks are not likely to believe. (Luke 1) You could have had Gabriel tell the whole town or tell her parents so at least they would believe her story. Instead, you do it privately and let her bare the ridicule that certainly accompanied such a fantastic story. I can see some reasons You would do that but it still seems strange to me.
Or how about the fact that the road to salvation is narrow and few find it. (Matthew 7:14) I know it is not your will that any perish (2 Peter 3:9) so why not make the road huge, wide, almost impossible to miss? When you say few find it, that means the majority of people on earth will not be in heaven. I don’t like that idea. It looks to me, if you count winning and losing by the numbers you get on your team, that Satan wins and You lose. That seems strange to me.
Then there are all the promises about asking whatever we want, two agreeing upon anything, healing and miracles that sometimes happen but with no seeming predictability, rhyme or reason. No one forced you to put those promises in there or word them as absolutely as You did. Why not say, “whatsoever two agree upon I might do, if I think it is best for you?” I know we add those disclaimers but You didn’t. That seems strange to me.
I know you are God and I am not. I know there are other aspects of Your nature and Your actions that used to seem strange to me but as I came to know You better I discovered they actually revealed marvelous, mysterious aspects of your glorious character.
That being the case, I choose to believe that these things about You that still seem strange to me are there because You are infinitely wiser than me. I am confident once I discover, in this life or the life to come, why You did things as You did I will find each of these “strange” actions are reasons to revel in You and Your wisdom. Until then I will declare:
Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? (Romans 11:33, 34 NLT)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”