|Sovereignty: The Sovereignty of God|
|Written by David Lawrence|
|Wednesday, September 03 2008 14:17|
The best way to understand the sovereignty of God is to read the whole Bible and note carefully the consistent picture of God that emerges. Sovereignty is not a term with which Americans have much familiarity. It indicates a monarch who has absolute power, who controls everything, who rules without benefit of parliament or council. The kingdom of God is not a democracy, for it is governed by a monarch who will not share his glory with another (Isa. 42:8, 48:11). And this monarch governs the entire universe with absolute power.
God spoke, Genesis tells us, and the light came forth without arguing or stopping to consider whether it would obey or not. God created matter out of nothing, and then all created reality obeyed the sovereign's decretive order. God chose an old man without any children and promised him so many descendants that they would be like the stars of the sky and sand of the seashore: beyond counting. He told him he would give his descendants the land and make of them a great nation, and he promised one from his seed to be a blessing to all the earth. All this he did in spite of all the demonic world tried to do to prevent it.
As he directed the resulting nation of rebellious Israel, he reminded them again and again that he was in heaven and did whatever he wanted (Ps. 115:3), carried out whatever was his will (Ps 135:6), and that, as Isaiah, his prophet wrote, makes the end known from the beginning and makes his purpose stand, doing everything he pleases to do (Isa. 46:8-11).
Not only did God direct Israel, but he controls the affairs of the nations. Daniel wrote the words of king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon who came to realize that God regards all the peoples of the earth as nothing, does what he pleases with all the powers of heaven and peoples of the earth, and no one can hold back his hand or say "What have you done?" (Dan. 4:35) Solomon commented that the king's heart is in his hand and he turns it like a waterspout (Prov. 21:1). Paul wrote that all the authorities of earth are ordained or established by God (Rom. 13:1).
The meaning of sovereignty is that "there is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord" (Prov. 21:30). It is the truth that Job realized after all his trials: "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted." And for questioning God Job humbly said, "Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42: 2,6).
Sovereignty is what Paul was expressing when he wrote that "He works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will" (Eph. 1:11b). It is the reality behind Paul's assuring promise to Christians that he works everything for good in the lives of those who love God and are the called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28). God has a purpose for his creation, and he works out that purpose by controlling every aspect of existence, and is in no way dependent on man or any creature for the success of this great eternal plan. The omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal, immutable God rules over all created reality with truth and justice. This fact should bring peace to our hearts and be an occasion of great rejoicing (Ps. 93:1-2, 96:10, 97:1-2, 99:1 ). Any view of God that denies his sovereignty is false and idolatrous. In reality, God could not be God and be less than sovereign!