Tuesday, September 5, 2023

God Is Sovereign (Daniel 4:28-37)

"No one can restrain His hand …" (Dan. 4:35).

Because the underlying doctrine of Ecclesiastes 7:13–14, God’s sovereignty, is one of the most controversial in the church, we will spend most of this week studying this vital doctrine more carefully. The Preacher does not presuppose that chance is the mysterious cause behind the events of our lives. He attributes everything to God’s sovereignty. Sovereignty means absolute power and authority that is independent from anything else. When a monarch exercises his sovereignty over a nation, he has power over every individual, business, etc. He has the sole authority to rule.

The Webster’s dictionary defines God as “the Creator and Ruler of the universe, regarded as Almighty.” God, then, in the very definition of God, is sovereign over all creation. If He were not sovereign, then He would not be God. Yet it is not uncommon to hear some professing “Christians” say they believe in God but they do not believe He is sovereign. Some put it more subtly, saying that they believe God is sovereign, but that He does not control everything that happens. In other words, they do not believe He is all-powerful. Unfortunately, many fail to grasp a serious flaw in their reasoning about the nature of God. They do not understand that if they strip God of His sovereignty, of His power, then they strip Him of His divinity. If they do that, they cannot call themselves Christians; they cannot even call themselves theists for that matter. By their own admission, they have revealed their true atheism.

To admit the perfection, the infinity, the eternality, the all-powerful nature of God is to admit His sovereignty, for all these qualities of God necessitate His sovereign rule. The Bible gives us ample evidence of God’s nature and His sovereign control arising out of that nature: “Our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases” (Ps. 115:3); “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ ” (Dan. 4:35); “Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; for shall the thing made say of him who made it ‘He did not make me’? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?” (Isa. 29:16).

Read Isaiah 29:13–16. What does this passage say about man’s place before God? Do you humbly accept God’s plans for you—how He made you, the situation He has placed you in? Think about ways that you do not submit to His sovereign rule. Confess them to the Lord today and ask Him to give you a more humble spirit.