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The sovereignty of God is the attribute of God that brings great comfort and assurance in the life of a believer.
To know God
The obligation of a believer is to know God. Paul said in Philippians 3:10-11 (ESV)
that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Paul knew God, but he still wanted to know God—knowing God is an ongoing process. Jeremiah 9:23-24 (ESV) says
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.
You and I cannot genuinely know God apart from His Word and the Holy Spirit. And friend, especially in the times we live right now, we need to make a priority in knowing God and His Word. If you do not know God, you cannot trust Him—no one can trust, obey, worship and serve an unknown God.
In the words of A. W. Pink
Something more than a theoretical knowledge of God is needed by us. God is only truly known in the soul as we yield ourselves to Him, submit to His authority, and regulate all the details of our lives by His holy percepts and commandments.
[Also, read Hosea 6:3, Daniel 11:32 and John 7:17]
The Sovereignty of God in the Bible
What is the sovereignty of God? You can find many definitions for it but I want to share with you how A. W. Pink defines it
The sovereignty of God may be defined as the exercise of His supremacy. Being infinitely elevated above the highest creature, He is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; God does as He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases. None can thwart Him, none can hinder Him.
(I love how Pink encompasses so many things about God in a short paragraph) Isaiah 46:10 (ESV) declares this truth so well
declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose
One can see a similar declaration in Ephesians 1:11 (ESV)
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will
Psalm 115:3 (ESV)
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
Psalm 135:6 (ESV)
Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
I believe the Bible is straightforward about the sovereignty of God.
The first thing any believer should know about God
I believe that when we teach others about God, this should be the first thing we tell them after the gospel—that God is sovereign and that the sovereignty of God is limitless. Spurgeon said it so well
There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldings, no truth of which they have made such football, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne.
I believe this is so true. Many people of this world have no problem with God being the Creator of the stars, or the One who blesses the earth with rain and with warmth. But most of the unbelievers hate when we proclaim an enthroned God who does all that he pleases (Psalm 115:3).
Now is the time to declare more than ever the sovereignty of God over all the world. He knows what He’s doing, He knows what He allows to happen on the earth. Storms, lightnings, earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, wars, world hunger, the fall of the stock markets or Covid-19—nothing takes our God by surprise. God is where He’s always been—on His throne.
Mankind is not God
The people of this world do not love a God on the throne. Mankind loves to be in control but they are not—God proves to us again and again that we, men, are not in control. Moreover, mankind, in general, hates to lose control or give up control to a God they do not know. They hate the fact God does not ask their opinions and counsel on how to rule the Universe. So, mankind tried to remove God from His throne and rule their lives as they wanted as they pleased—men without Yeshua think they are little gods. When, in fact, there is only One God—and that God is not you and I.
Friend, take comfort in the fact that whatever happens right now in your house, family, church, city or country—God is on His throne and in control of all things. Satan is not sovereign, men are not sovereign, your problems are not sovereign, but God is the Sovereign God.
Nevertheless, the sovereignty of God does not cancel human responsibility. We need a godly balanced view over the sovereignty of God and the world situation. Pink said it so well:
[God is] unrivalled in majesty, unlimited in power, unaffected by anything outside Himself. But we are living in a day when even the most orthodox seem afraid to admit the proper Godhood of God. They say that to press the sovereignty of God excludes human responsibility, whereas human responsibility is based upon Divine sovereignty, and is the product of it.
One can see the sovereignty of God over angels and men
God created the angels—they are created beings, like the humans beings. The angels which sinned (2 Peter 2:5) were God’s creation just as the angels who did not sin. God knows everything (1 John 3:20) and He foresaw that part of His angels would fall, out of their choice—God was not the Author of their fall but He knew what would take place.
Likewise, God was not the Author of Adam and Eve’s fall—I believe to say that is an error. From the text in Genesis 3:9-19 it’s crystal clear for me that God kept Adam responsible for his decision. Adam had the God-given liberty to eat from all trees in the garden, but he was commanded not to eat from one tree—the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16). God was on the throne when Adam sinned.
Often we hear people debating about God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. I think Pink nailed it when he said
Many have most foolishly said that it is quite impossible to show where Divine sovereignty ends and creature accountability begins. Here is where creature responsibility begins: in the sovereign ordination of the Creator. As to His sovereignty, there is not and never will be any ’end’ to it!
One can see the sovereignty of God over the world
In Psalm 29:10-11 (ESV) we read
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!
God orchestrated the flood, and the flood was God’s will and plan. The sovereignty of God kept Noah—but do not disregard Noah’s part, because His obedience was crucial in his salvation (Hebrew 11:7). Obedience to God’s Word will save you and me from the chaos of this world.
See the connection in Psalm 29 between God sitting on His throne and strength and peace. To know who God is, to know the sovereignty of God over all creation, brings shalom and strength in a difficult circumstance. [Psalm 29 is my wife’s favorite Psalm]
One can see the sovereignty of God over Israel
God directed His people to go to Egypt, and at the right time God brought them out of slavery of Egypt. What happened to them was part of God’s plan—and no power of Egypt, Pharaoh and his armies or satan and the gods of Egypt could stop God’s plan. Moreover, one can see how perfectly God led His people throughout the Bible and history—for more insights I recommend Rabbi Jonathan Cahn’s book The Oracle.
One can see the sovereignty of God in the life and ministry of Yeshua
Galatians 4:4 (ESV)
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law
You see, Yeshua came into our world when the fullness of time had come—that means at the perfect time. Not a day early, not a day later. He came in the perfect context of history for God’s plan to be fulfilled, He was born in the precise family He was supposed to be born and in the perfect location. Do not miss the sovereignty of God in Yeshua’s life and ministry.
Everything Yeshua did was part of God’s sovereign plan. The cross—His betrayal, death, and resurrection was God’s sovereign plan. Acts 2:23 (ESV)
this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
I already spoke about the cross in my previous posts—you can read them here. As Pink says it
It was a sovereign will that appointed Him, sovereign love that sent Him, sovereign authority that assigned Him His work.
No wonder Paul declares in Philippians 2:9-11 (ESV)
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus Christ is Lord means that Jesus is God.
I have a question for you: Where do you find your security in life? I hope you can answer: in God. Make sure you have no other foundation in your life and family than Yeshua—that’s the only unshakable foundation. Perhaps many other bad things will fall over world, but if you know that God is the sovereign God and if you can trust the sovereignty of God, you can experience peace in the midst of whatever will come.
I feel so much security when I think God knows what He is doing and everything He does is perfect and at the perfect time. His purposes are glorious and His ways beyond human understanding.
You can trust the God who gave His only begotten Son to die for you on a cross. And if you live in a covenant relationship with God through Yeshua, His Son, then be assured that nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:35-39)—not even a financial crisis or COVID-19.
In Romania we have strict rules from the government so we cannot get out of the house as we used. I plan to know the Lord in His Word more. And I plan to redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16) and go deeper in His Word, believing that His Word will go deeper in my heart.
I saw the sovereignty of God so many times in my life that I can trust Him—even though often it’s hard.
Trust God. Be responsible, do your part, and trust the sovereignty of God.
Do you agree?
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