I remember when I was first coming into a full realization of the sovereignty of God. I had, in fact, made the conscious decision to disprove the idea of God’s absolute sovereignty, especially in salvation. My plan was to take the Bible and show that this idea was inconsistent at best. Well, I’m sure you can guess the result. Instead of disproving the sovereignty of God I found every page of Scripture full of evidence and declaration of God’s sovereignty in all things.
Two verses in our readings today are particularly strong evidence of this truth. “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” (16:4) What better evidence could there be that God has divinely ordained that even the wickedness of man will fulfill his ultimate purposes. But let’s be clear. God made men; he didn’t make men wicked. Man makes himself a sinner. But God will ultimately use even that for his purpose. What is that purpose? The greatest ultimate purpose is God’s own glory. One evidence of this is what God said to Pharaoh in Exodus 9:16: “But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” One day those who have believed will be saved to everlasting life displaying the glory of God’s mercy and love. However, at the same time those who have lived and died in sin will be damned to eternal destruction displaying the glory of God’s justice and holiness.
The other verse that so strongly points to the sovereignty of God today is 16:9: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Oh, how grateful I am for this reality. Some great doctrines have to be taken on faith alone — such as the eternality of God — because they are too big for us and we have no way to experience the full truth. But everyone of us can acknowledge this doctrine by our own experience. We have seen how God takes our plans and sometimes stops them while opening other doors or sometimes turns them in new, unexpected directions. This doesn’t remove our responsibility for making the plans. But it does reassure us that we are not left to ourselves. Let me quote from an old theologian: “The work, as it is a duty, is ours; but as a performance, it is God’s. He give what he requires, and his promises are the foundation of our performances” (Bishop Reynolds). Glory!
Prayer: Father, you alone are sovereign in all things. To you be the glory and praise for ever! Thank you for displaying your love and faithfulness in the cross of Christ so that we can be assured that every situation, crisis or opportunity is in your divine control. Help us to see you in every turn of events and help us to give thanks.