1 SAMUEL 28
Several years ago, Rob Bell wrote a book called Love Wins. It generated a lot of controversy by posing the question of whether or not there is an eternal hell. But the chapter I was most intrigued by was one that asked the question, Does God get what God wants? Bell didn’t provide an absolute answer, but he seemed to insinuate that (since God wants everyone to come to a knowledge of salvation) if everyone wasn’t saved, God wasn’t “great” enough to get what He wants. (At least, that’s what I understood him to be saying.)
And I must say that I disagree. Oh, not about the part that God’s not great enough to get what He wants. He is and He does. God absolutely gets what He wants. But what He wants most is not for everyone to be saved. What He wants most is for His intelligent creatures to have the freedom to choose for or against Him. In other words, what God really wants is for us to get what we want.
Unfortunately, Saul got what he wanted. "When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets." (vs 5-6) How come the Lord didn’t answer Saul? Was He in a bad mood? Had He stopped talking to Saul? I don’t think so. As we have seen time after time, the Lord is eager to talk to those who are capable of listening.
But Saul was deaf. He got what he wanted. By his persistent refusal to listen to God, by his stubborn unwillingness to do things any other way but his own way, he eventually got to the place where he was no longer able to hear God’s voice. He was deaf.
Is that what God wants? For us to close ourselves off to the point where we can no longer hear Him? Of course not. But if what God wanted most was for there to always be peace, love, and harmony in the universe with no possibility of rebellion, He could easily have made billions of creatures that would fit the bill.
What God truly wants most, what He has always wanted most is love. And that is only possible within the atmosphere of freedom. Our freedom is what He wants most, and that’s why He gives us what we want—even when we make choices He doesn’t want us to make.