Weekly Devotional 11-29-21 The Question of God’s Sovereignty
Many times you will hear someone say, “God is trying to do this or trying to do that,” not considering that such a statement calls into question His sovereignty, His power to accomplish whatever it is that He sets out to do. Granted, sometimes that statement is made unconsciously with no thought of God’s power to bring about whatever the subject of the statement may be, but considering or not, the statement could be harmful to a “young in the faith Christian,” or to a person who is outside of the faith. However, God is sovereign and He always, without exception, brings about that which He determines to do. (See Isaiah 55:10-11).
Someone may wonder however, if God is in control over all things why is there so much hurt, misery, and hardship in the world? Why does He allow strife and wars and all that is resultant of these things? Why does He allow His people to suffer many of the same things that those who are outside of the faith suffer? If He is a God of love and He is sovereign over all things, why doesn’t He intervene especially on behalf of those who are His children? The answer is: He has, and He does. Hurt, misery, and hardship exist because of sin. Because of sin, with sovereignty, God cursed the very ground that we walk on. (See Genesis 3:17-19). To what purpose? That man would desire relief. This is true of both the unbeliever and the believer. Consider for instance this excerpt from the apostle Paul’s letter to the Roman church. “22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?” (Romans 8:22-24). If life were all peaches and cream, so-to-speak, the unbeliever would be comfortable in his settings, and this is true also of the believer. Both the believer and unbeliever seek relief from hurt, misery, and hardship but many times God, by sovereign will, uses these things to draw man to Himself.
God knowing beforehand that Satan would seek to be worshipped as God and that man (represented in Adam) would be disobedient, before creating the world, made provision for man’s restoration This speaks of sovereignty (See Revelation 13:8; Ephesians 2:1-10).
In sovereignty God chose a man (Abraham) whom He brought to faith. God gave him a son (Isaac) born of a woman well past the years of childbearing and a grandson (Jacob) giving him twelve sons who would be the progenitors of the nation of Israel. God separated Israel from the rest of humanity and called them unto Himself, giving them His laws and statutes. Through this nation God provided man’s Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Nimrod, a human agent of Satan, thought to derail God’s plan by unifying man into a society that excluded Him (Genesis 11:1-9). However, God confused their language and consequently they separated into groups according to their languages and migrated to various parts of the earth. Pharaoh thought to thwart God’s plan by not allowing God’s chosen people to leave Egypt and relocate in the land promised to Abraham, their ancestor. God demonstrated His power over Pharaoh and Egypt by sending plagues upon them. Each plague was a proof to Egypt, and Israel, that God was superior and more powerful than anything that Egypt could bring against Him. Egypt got the message and let Israel go (Exodus, chapters 5-12). Assyria and the Babylonians thought they could wipe out Israel by assimilation, but God sent the Persians to liberate them and restore Israel to the Land of promise (see the books of Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah). The Jews thought to put an end to Christianity by killing Jesus. Rome, at behest of Israel crucified Jesus, but God raised Him from the dead and He has become the Cornerstone of the Church (See the Gospels and the book of Acts). God has preserved His Church through these many centuries, and Christianity has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Even though every person is born spiritually dead toward God, He moves in the minds and upon the hearts of those He calls convincing them of His reality. He convicts them of their sin and creates in them a desire to repent of their sin. God overrules the spiritual darkness that grips their souls and regenerates them to newness of spiritual life. Three biblical examples of this are Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1-22), Lydia of Thyatira (Acts 16:14-15), and the Philippian Jailor (Acts 16:16-34).
Reading their stories you will find that Saul was a persecutor of Christians, Lydia was blinded by her devotion to the God she thought she knew, and the Philippian jailor lived according to the dictates of the state. God, however, overruled (overcame) their spiritual darkness and brought them to spiritual life. They each turned to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins and their salvation.
In relation to hurt, misery, hardship, strife and wars, God is also sovereign. He will someday, perhaps soon, bring an end to these and will create a new heaven and a new earth where there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things will have passed away. He will wipe away every tear and He will dwell among men. He has declared it so and so it will be (Rev. 21:1-7). So Yes, God is sovereign.
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man