60 Seconds – The Sovereignty of GodAuthor: Dave Arnold
Martin Luther proclaimed, “God alone has secret plans, and what He’ll do we will find out when it happens. We’ll leave things in His hands and cast our cares on Him, for it’s His cause that is at stake, and He will advance it.”
To fail to recognize the sovereignty of God is to fail in all of life. In Psalm 67:4 we read, “For You…govern the nations on earth.” “Govern” means “To lead and guide them as a shepherd his flock.” The seal of one of the Waldensian churches pictures an anvil and a number of broken hammers, with the motto: “Hammer away, ye hostile hands! Your hammers break; God’s anvil stands.”
One purpose of the Book of Daniel is to demonstrate the overruling and providential power of God over all the affairs of man. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar, “That the living may know that the Most High rules in the affairs of men, and gives it to whomever He will” (4:17, 25 and 32). The word translated “Most High” is a title, and is used in Scripture for God only, never to a member of the human race, in his role as ruler. It is a title to describe God’s absolute position of authority. He is the Most High. There is none other above Him with any right to rule. Psalm 83:18, “That men may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.”
Proverbs 21:1 states, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” The Hebrew meaning of “rivers” refers to irrigation canals which were under the control of the farmer. Three times in the book of Jeremiah, the Lord refers to Nebuchadnezzar as, “My servant” (25:9; 27:6 and 43:10). In Ezekiel 29:20, God said of the entire Babylonian Empire, “they worked for Me.” The heart of King Cyrus was turned to send the Israelites back to their homeland after 70 years of captivity. God pre-named him some 150 years before his birth, and in Isaiah 44 and 45, told what he would do. He even turned the heart of Artaxerxes to send provisions as well as people, for rebuilding the temple (See Nehemiah). Psalms 47:3, “For the rulers of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted.”
Circumstances do not alter God’s great sovereignty. For this reason, a follower of Christ will recognize His hand in times of prosperity (Deuteronomy 8:18), or in adversity (Job 1:12). On the Day of Pentecost, Peter preached that Christ was “delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God” (to be) “crucified, and put to death” (Acts 2:23). “Delivered” means “handed over,” and “determined purpose” means “predetermined plan” or “set purpose.” What man declared to be an unjust tragedy, the foreknowledge of God knew it was for our redemption.
F. B. Meyer reminded, “The Oriental shepherd was always ahead of his sheep. He was in front. Any attempt upon them had to take him into account. Now God is down in front. He is in the tomorrows. It is tomorrow that fills men with dread. But God is there already, and all tomorrows of our life have to pass before Him before they can get to us.”
“All I know is…everything.” – God.