Let me get on my soapbox here for just a minute of your time. I want to rant about something that is near and dear to my heart of hearts: The History Channel and Christianity.
Now most of the time when my daughters see I'm watching this channel and it has something about Jesus or Christianity on it they make me turn it to a different channel or just shut it off. ( My youngest girl calls the history channel the "all Hitler all the time" channel because it seems no matter the subject Hitler must appear in it.) Typically because when they are covering the subject of Jesus or Christianity rarely do they get some evangelical/conservative scholar on its usually some radical liberal or John Crossan. And I spend an hour yelling at the television. So in the interest of not watching dear old dad stroke out they take matters into their own hands.
However, since dear old dad has been having some bouts of insomnia lately the girls haven't been up to keep me from watching the History Channel. And last night to my pleasure and surprise they had something on Jesus that I believe was Decoding the past: Resurrection. I don't think that they actually made this I think this was a 20/20 special because it had Elizabeth Vargas on it. Anyway for once it had some conservative voices on it (William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel) who countered the claims of the liberals about Jesus' resurrection. All in all a very well done piece.
Well I was puttering around and then turned on the idiot box and what was on but the Spear of Destiny. Now for those of you who may not know the Spear of Destiny or Lance of Longinus is the supposed spear that pierced Christ on the cross. (John 19:31-37) Because of this a myth has arisen around it that supposedly whomever wields this spear will be able to conquer the world. Constantine according to this show had the spear in hand when he conquered Rome. One supposed scholar had the temerity to say that without Constantine western Christianity wouldn't exist today. Implying of course that it was the spear that helped this along.
Well of course when Constantine loses the Spear of Destiny that's when the empire collapses into ruin. And then it goes through many different hands including you guessed it Hitler.
So what is my point here? Well its this:
I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.
(Isaiah 45:7 ESV)
It is the sovereign Lord that is in charge of history. He is the reason nations rise up or fall. Its not some lousy piece of metal. Here is what the bible says about what the Lord causes:
Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
(Psalms 33:8-11 ESV)
God rules there is nothing that happens that hasn't been according to His purpose and plan. Nothing. Including the saving of His people:
this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
(Acts 2:23 ESV emphasis mine)
for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
(Acts 4:27-28 ESV emphasis mine)
So this Christmas remember it is because God sovereignty purposed all things that events happened and nothing occurred that God didn't plan.