“Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:11
Sometimes (okay, a lot of the time), when I’m reading the Bible, I come across verses like this and wonder how I can elaborate on them in a way that makes sense to my compassionate sensibilities and minimizes the shock factor. I’ve tried several times to comment on this verse—years, in fact—but have always stopped, never feeling like I could do it justice.
But the truth of the matter is that the Bible does not need defending, and God’s actions don’t need justifying. We just need to let the Bible say what it says. And I need to be okay with not having all the answers. He is God. We are His creation. He can do with us whatever He pleases in order to bring about His good and righteous plan. His desires and plans take precedence over ours. That’s what it means for God to be God, and that’s what it means for us to be servants of the King. He carries out His will and uses us to do it.
To be fair, this action is the judgment of God upping those who “refused to love the truth and so be saved” ( v. 10), so if you’ve found yourself with the desire to love the truth that God gives us in order to be saved; i.e., the Gospel, then you can rest assured that you’ve not been deceived.
But even still, passages like this show me that I’ve got to let go of what I think God should do, as if my plans could possibly be more wise, righteous, and fitting than His. He is God. He is Good. He is wise. He is sovereign. And He is just. Nobody will receive what they don’t deserve. For those who have placed their trust in Christ, they will receive reward and blessing, because the merits of Christ imputed to them requires that they be rewarded. Not for anything that they’ve done, but solely because of what He’s done, by His mercy and grace, for rebellious sinners. This is just and right and good. But for those who deny Him, who do not love the truth, who do not submit to or acknowledge His lordship over their lives, God will deal with accordingly and justly.
This is God. He does whatever He pleases. And my only response to this truth about Him is humble reverence.
How low we should bow before Him.