So it is also with men; they, too, are ruled by God; ruled by and unseen Hand; often, unknown to themselves. Little did they know it, yet nevertheless, the sons of Jacob were but performing the pleasure of Jehovah when they sold Joseph into the hands of the Ishmaelites who carried him down into Egypt. Little was she aware of it, but when Pharaoh'sdaughter went to the Nile to bathe, she was being directed by God, directed there to rescue from the waters the babe Moses. Little did he know it, but in issuing the decree that all the world should be taxed (Luke 2:1) Caesar Augustus was but setting in motion a movement which caused the word and decree of God to be fulfilled. Yes, even "The King's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will" (Pro.21:1). And so it is with Satan himself. He, too, is the (unwitting and unwilling) servant of God. He could not touch Job without first gaining Divine permission. He could not sift the apostles till he gained consent from Christ. At a word from the Lord Jesus Satan "left" Him (Matt.4:10, 11). Of him, also, God has said, Thus far shalt thou go and no farther.
Even death, the "king of terrors," that which no arts of man can defy, is absolutely subject to the bidding of the Lord. In his sermon on Ps.68:20, 21 -- "unto God the Lord belong the issues from death" -- the late C. H. Spurgeon well said, "The prerogative of life or death belongs to God in a wide range of senses. First of all as to natural life, we are all dependent upon His good pleasure. We shall not die until the time which He appoints: for our death-time, like all our time, is in His hands. Our skirts may brush away the portals of the sepulchre, and yet we shall pass the iron gate unharmed if the Lord be our guard. The wolves of disease will hurt us in vain until God shall permit them to overtake us. The most desperate enemies may waylay us, but no bullet shall find its billet in any heart unless the Lord allows it. Our life does not even depend upon the care of angels, nor can our death be compassed by the malice of devils. We are immortal till our work is done, immortal till the immortal King shall call us home to the land where we shall be immortal in a still higher sense. When we are most sick, we need not despair of recovery, since the issues from death are in Almighty hands. The Lord killeth and maketh alive: He bringeth down to the grave and bringeth up!' When we have passed beyond the skill of the physician we have not passed beyond the succour of our God, to whom belong the issues from death."