Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
What a humbling and comforting statement. It is humbling to remember that, however clever and powerful we may think we are, our plans only serve the plan of the Lord. The rebellion of the wicked serves God’s purposes. The service of the righteous is carried out by his sovereign will. How he carries out his will is mystery. What his plans are remain hidden to us except the purpose of his glory through our redemption. Let us remember this as we plan and try to maneuver outcomes to fit what we think should be. It is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
This is a comforting statement to the redeemed. We are comforted to know that however it may seem that Satan’s purpose is being carried out, all is working to fulfill the Lord’s purpose. Our redemption is secure for the purpose of the Lord will stand. And it is comforting to know that all that is required of us is to do what is right and not to resort to what we think will be effective. We do not need to lie to protect ourselves; we do not need to manipulate others to get them to make a confession; we do not need to use the means of the world to get the world on our side and defeat our enemies. We simply need to be obedient to our Lord. It is he who will see that his purpose will stand.
I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.
5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds[a] of wheat for a day’s wages,[b] and six pounds[c] of barley for a day’s wages,[d] and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters,[e] were killed just as they had been.
12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us[f] from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their[g] wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”