It is so cool to me to see how God calls different people to different callings and uses. However, I always focused on the people that God called for good. I never even thought or considered how God could call someone for something that seemed not good. For instance, King Saul who was used to mold and shape David into the king God wanted him to be.
In 1 Peter we read in verses 7 and 8: “So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.”
As they were destined to do… Wow. God knew that they would stumble… Over Christ!
In the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians we read this: “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” (chapter 2 verses 14-17)
Here, Paul is saying that God spreads the “fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere” and to some it is of death leading to death. Wow! This great message of salvation, redemption, cleansing and coming close to the Creator is, to some, death leading to death? How can this be?
We find that answer in Romans 9:18-23 “So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory– even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?”
God works all things for His glory. In carving out a masterpiece in clay or wood or whatever, you need a sharp tool to do so, something that cuts into the “flesh” of the piece that is being carved. Sometimes, big chunks are needed to be removed and a chisel with harsh blows is used to remove these unnecessary pieces. So God, the Creator, creates these instruments, big or small, to remove from us things that are not needed in order for us to have a better relationship or show a better picture or final “master piece” of a child of God.
Praise God for these vessels that He has created to help mold us as His works.