Why God Does His Works (Luther)

Table Talk

If a man ask, Why God permits that men be hardened, and fall into everlasting perdition? let him ask again: Why God did not spare His only Son, but gave Him for us all, to die the ignominious death of the cross, a more certain sign of His love towards us poor people, than of His wrath against us. Such questions cannot be better solved and answered than by converse questions.

True, the malicious devil deceived and seduced Adam; but we ought to consider that, soon after the fall, Adam received the promise of the woman’s seed that should crush the serpent’s head, and should bless the people on earth. Therefore, we must acknowledge that the goodness and mercy of the Father, who sent His Son to be our Savior, is immeasurably great towards the wicked ungovernable world. Let, therefore, His good will be acceptable unto you, oh, man, and speculate not with your devilish queries, your whys and your wherefores, touching God’s words and works. For God, who is creator of all creatures, and orders all things according to His unsearchable will and wisdom, is not pleased with such questioning.

Why God sometimes, out of His divine counsels, wonderfully wise, unsearchable to human reason and understanding, has mercy on this man, and hardens that, it beseems not us to inquire. We should know, undoubtingly, that He does nothing without certain cause and counsel. Truly, if God were to give an account to every one of His works and actions, He were but a poor, simple God.

Our Savior said to Peter, “What I do you don’t know now, but you shall know hereafter.” Hereafter, then, we shall know how graciously our loving God and Father has been affected unto us. In the meantime, though misfortune, misery, and trouble be upon us, we must have this sure confidence in Him, that He will not allow us to be destroyed either in body or soul, but will so deal with us, that all things, be they good or evil, shall redound to our advantage.

Martin Luther

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