Unlike centuries ago, we no longer have many sovereigns in our world today. When we visited England, we stayed in London and went to Buckingham Palace, one of the homes of Queen Elizabeth II. It is in downtown London and it takes up significant acreage with the palace, gardens and grounds.
Looking at Buckingham Palace from across the grounds you can get a glimpse at the magnitude of the Queen’s residence.
Standing closer, we could see the guard making his route securing the sovereign, as we were on the other side of the gate looking in with a throng of others.
We in the United States have a hard time with the concept of “sovereignty”. Our whole corporate psyche is centered on freedom. We believe that we were born free, to live as and where we choose while doing whatever it is that we want to do. No caste system. No one dictating what profession or job we must take. No one telling us where we can or cannot live.
Having a person over us who is sovereign is exactly what our forefathers rebelled against and it was the springboard for the Revolutionary War between our country and England.
So, when we come to the attribute of God that is titled “Sovereignty”, we have a hard time comprehending all that such term entails. It is easy to speak the words that “God is in control of everything.” But the reality of a Sovereign God is much more far-reaching than a platitude.
In Exodus chapter 18, we have a beautiful vignette of Moses and his father-in-law, Jethro:
“And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them on the way, and [how] the LORD had delivered them. Then Jethro rejoiced for all the good which the LORD had done for Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. And Jethro said, “Blessed [be] the LORD, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh, [and] who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the LORD [is] greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, [He was] above them.“”
Exodus 18:8-11 NKJV
Jethro was glad for the deliverance of Moses and the children of Israel and, after Moses had described all that God had done in Egypt, Jethro rejoiced and praised the LORD who is sovereign over all. Nothing that some people may attribute to a god is outside His sovereign control.
The Psalmist says this about God’s sovereignty:
“Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.”
God is sovereign over all mankind or anything that he worships, nothing compares to our God and Lord.
“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”
God is sovereign over other monarchs on earth – while the king might be making plans, the Lord God controls that which happens.
“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”
As with kings, even the common man is subject to the sovereignty of God. Men cast lots and then make their decisions based on that result, but God is the One who controls the decision that the lot mandates.
In fact, God is even sovereign over the actions of animals.
Recall what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 10:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Now, remember Jonah’s free transportation in the belly of the great fish, and then, at the word of the Lord, his being catapulted from the fish onto dry land. Jonah 2:10. Also, remember how God gave Balaam’s donkey the power of speech when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the street, but his master did not. Numbers 22.
There is nothing outside the control of God’s loving hand.
- Not the plans of the wicked even if they are dictators or despots.
- Not the way our physical world works which sometimes seems to be in opposition to mankind such as when there are earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, or droughts.
- Not the actions of demons or even Satan, remember how Satan had to get permission to test Job and could only take action within the confines established by God.
- Not even my own free will. Regarding salvation, we may believe that we accepted Jesus through our own free will, but even then, it is God Who quickens our heart to become aware of our sin and our need of His grace.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. … For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:28, 38-39
God’s sovereignty is a tremendous comfort to the believer because it enables him to have confidence that he does not need to fear, God is still on His throne and He is still sovereign – in charge – in control, no matter what might be going on in this temporal world.
We must remember that when sin entered the world, man had turned himself into a headlong catapult toward sickness, illness, pain, sorrow and death. God intervened in Genesis 3:15 where we learn of a Redeemer, a Savior Who will pay the price of sin and redeem God’s children for Himself. We all must die physically because of the curse of sin on our mortal bodies. But, we don’t have to die spiritually if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Romans 8:31-32, 35, 37
Beloved, God’s sovereignty is an attribute that is hard for us to comprehend but it is the basis of God’s providence. We know that God’s will, His providence, shall prevail because God’s sovereignty mandates it. Nothing can defeat God’s will. Praise His Holy Name!
God’s sovereignty + His love for His children
Unassailable confidence and comfort for the believer.
Father, there are no words available to express my praise and love for You and for Your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord, I cannot comprehend Your sovereignty and all that such attribute entails, but I do have confidence in You and Your sovereignty brings comfort to my heart. Thank You, Lord.