If your circumstances have ever been so bad that you wondered whether God was really in control, you are not alone. Those living in the days of Jesus and John the Baptist must have had occasion to feel the same thing. Matthew 14 describes how John had been thrown into prison merely for telling the truth about an immoral king. Then a young girl dances for the king, and he consequently promises her anything she wants. Unbelievably, her ungodly mother has her ask for John’s HEAD! Who is in control here?
It certainly appears that the will and desires of the most ungodly people are being gratified. What kind of woman asks for the head of a prophet?! What kind of daughter accedes to that kind of request? And what kind of ruler grants it? It seems as though the slightest whims of these wicked people were being gratified — and all at the dear cost of the most godly man who ever lived!
Even at the distance of time from which we stand, it is difficult to understand all this. Yet by faith we know that God’s purposes were being worked out. He “causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) He “works all things after the counsel of His will.” (Ephesians 1:11) Psalm 11 reminds us that even “when the foundations are destroyed” and people are saying, “What can the righteous do?”, that “The LORD is in His holy temple. The LORD’s throne is in heaven.” That was true even in the difficult days of John the Baptist. God’s purposes were being worked out in the world. And you can know that it is true in your worst days as well.