This past week has been absolutely crazy for me. The internet is no place to broadcast the personal challenges of my own life and the lives of others I have encountered and had to deal with during the past week. However, reflection doesn’t require disclosure and the reflection of these things leads me to thoughts on the sovereignty of God. Is the sovereignty of God just a dry doctrine meant to tell us that God is all-powerful and in control and we’re not? Is it just God’s way of showing us He’s the boss? Does it have any real-life applicability to our lives in an intimate and personal way?
For many, the sovereignty of God is a thing of the mere intellect. Something to be understood as God’s way of showing us He’s in charge and we’re not. This is a sad way to view God’s sovereignty because, in truth, God’s sovereignty may be one of the greatest things we benefit from. I recently read a quote from a professor at a Christian university that seemed to portray the love of God as being antithetical to the sovereignty of God. Not only did it seem to portray God’s love as antithetical to His sovereignty, but it also seemed to suggest that His love was more important and more descriptive of God than His sovereignty.
Several questions immediately came to mind.
- How can any character trait of God be more descriptive of Him than the others?
- How can any character trait of God be more important than the others?
- How can two character traits of God be antithetical to each other?
- Is this not a grand way to put God in our box of limited understanding?
I could write an entire discourse far too long for this blog simply answering those four questions. (Maybe I will one day.) The reason I bring it up here is that it’s a prime example of the negative light our minds like to cast on the sovereignty of God. Which I believe we do only because our sinful nature doesn’t like the thought of somebody having more control over our lives then we do.
However, it is a beautiful thing that a loving and supremely wise God has the power and authority to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves through His sovereignty. The beauty of God’s sovereignty is found in declarations like that of Romans 8:28.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
If there is any verse in the Bible that would trump the idea of God’s love and God’s sovereignty being antithetical to each other; if there is any verse in the Bible that would cast down foolish speculations that God’s love is more important or more descriptive of Him than His sovereignty; this would be that verse and we would need not look any further. We love the idea of God causing all things to work together for our good and yet we cringe at the sovereignty which enables Him to do so. How ridicules we can be sometimes.
God causes all things to work together for our good because of His love. God is able to do this because of His sovereignty. Would you honestly want to worship a God who had no control over the world He created? Would you honestly want to worship a God who did not know the end from the beginning before He ever spoke anything into existence? Would you honestly want to worship a God who brought all this forth at the roll of a dice like a craps player who is never sure how the game is going to turn out in the end? How do you like the thought that your life is a mere gamble and some higher power than you is the one doing the gambling?
What if you were just the dice in a craps game or the chips on the poker table? Praise be to God that you aren’t! God knew every poor decision you would make and every hurtful word you would speak before He ever spoke you into existence. He also knew every pain you would experience. Even still, He gave you life and created a world just for you to sustain that life. It was not only because of His love that He did this; but God, being sovereign, knew that despite the mistakes and pains you would face He would be able to work all that out for your good because He is sovereign.
This is the harmonious synthesis between His sovereignty and His love. This is the loving hand of majesty. Almost all of the encounters that characterized my past crazy week involved sticky situations created by people’s poor decisions due to high flying emotions. Praise be to God that because of His sovereignty when all was said and done, those who had humbled themselves before the Lord were able to see how these situations, which looked so horrible and painful in their eyes, were really blessings in disguise from the hand of a loving and majestic God.
Copyright © Lawrence Joseph Sterling 2017. All rights reserved.