It is because the Lord is independent of all, that He is never obligated to depend upon anything outside of Himself. He has absolute liberty to govern and sustain all creatures and all events at all times without employing a single second cause. A God who is self-contained, self-sufficient and self-satisfied does not need any assistance whatsoever from any law or creature to accomplish His purposes in His universe.
He is often pleased, however, to use means and causes to carry out all the counsel of His will. The prophet Hosea writes, “…I will respond,” declares the LORD, “I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, and the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil.” God is the Cause behind every cause in the universe.
God has appointed the angels to minister to the heirs of salvation; God has established natural laws to govern His creation; God rules and overrules every circumstance for the glory of His great name; God uses means! Every day we are sustained by means.
He could have judged the world in Noah’s day without using water; He could have destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah without fire; He could have dispossessed the Canaanites without the armies of Israel. When Jonah did not respond to the voice of the Lord, He hurled a great wind on the sea; He appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah; He appointed a short-lived plant to shade Him, a worm to destroy his trust in things rooted in this earth, a scorching sun to humble him. God never needs to use means but He chooses to use means!
God uses means to carry out His purposes in the world. All things, by the providence of the Lord, are redemptive. Everything God does or allows is designed to conform the lovers of God more perfectly to the image of Jesus. In the high wisdom of the Lord, everything is orchestrated by the Lord using causes, to bless and benefit His people. Christ is given “as head over all things to the church…” (Ephesians 1:22)
“All things are Your servants,” wrote the Psalmist. I am quite certain that roads built by Rome were constructed as military highways. From man’s point of view, the roads were made to expand the Roman Empire. The reality is that those roads were built for the spreading of the gospel. Those Roman roads were the servants of the Lord. God used Rome to advance His kingdom.
The march of science and technology are also the servants of the Lord. Who can measure the benefits and blessings of medical technology? The technology that placed the computer within the reach of millions of people, as the servant of God, has also placed the knowledge of the Lord within the reach of millions of people.
From the beginning, fallen man has abused the servants of the Lord. It is no surprise that the blessings of technology have been corrupted and misused. The Lord is able to rule and overrule; He can turn the curse into a blessing. Like Joseph’s brothers, they may imagine they are selling Joseph into slavery when God is actually sending him to liberate slaves; they may intend to do evil while God means the same event for good. God will use Goliath’s sword to decapitate Goliath; Haman will hang on the gallows he built for Mordecai; the very cross by which Satan bruised the heel of the Seed of the woman will be the instrument that crushes his head. All things are the bond slaves of the Lord.
The strong man has attempted to usurp authority and bind the servants of the Lord, but the “Stronger than the strong” has, once again, bound him and spoiled his goods. To the end of the age, the sovereign God will make all things redemptive! Praise the Lord! All things are His servants!
All things are Thy servants; All things serve Thee well—
— Ed Miller