Last week we saw a reluctant Moses getting a theology lesson from God Himself about just who this God was that was calling him to deliver the Jews from Egypt. We saw God teach Moses that He is: Evident, Personal, Holy, Eternal, Omniscient, Caring, Faithful, Present, Particular, Self-existing, and Omnipotent
This week the lesson continues as Moses continues to try and get out of this great task that God has called him to. But this time the attribute of God shown here is something that’s all-encompassing yet mysterious in a way. This time God shows Moses that He is sovereign!
Basically, when we say that God is sovereign, we’re saying that He is the Supreme Ruler of the universe who is in control of everything. Everything! Listen to what President Reagan wrote about this subject in the opening pages of his autobiography, “An American Life”.
I was raised to believe that God had a plan for everyone and that seemingly random twists of fate are all a part of His plan. My mother, a small woman with auburn hair and a sense of optimism that ran as deep as the cosmos, told me that everything in life happened for a purpose. She said all things were part of God’s plan, even the most disheartening setbacks, and in the end, everything worked out for the best. If something went wrong, she said, you didn’t let it get you down: You stepped away from it, stepped over it, and moved on. Later on, she added, something good will happen and you’ll find yourself thinking - "If I hadn’t had that problem back then, then this better thing that did happen wouldn’t have happened to me." After I lost the job at Montgomery Ward, I left home again in search of work. Although I didn’t know it then, I was beginning a journey that would take me a long way from Dixon and fulfill all my dreams and then some. My mother, as usual, was right.
God is sovereign. God is in control. The tough part of understanding this is when we try and correlate His sovereignty as God and our free will as humans. And there is some mystery surrounding how this works. But we will see that the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The sovereign God has given His creation free will.
Let’s look at this through the ongoing story of Moses in Exodus chapter four. Remember, Moses doesn’t really want to do what God’s asking him to do. But now he gets to see that:
I. God is sovereign in nature
[Read Exodus 4:1.]
Now this is actually a legitimate concern. The Jews had been in Egypt for hundreds of years and there’s no record of God speaking to them during this time. Why should the people believe that God had finally appeared to the people at this time through Moses?
[Read Exodus 4:1-9.]
God gives Moses the ability to perform these three signs to convince the people that he was indeed a messenger of God.
He has control over a staff that can turn into a snake and then back again. He has control over disease. And He even has control over Egypt’s main water supply the Nile river. God has given Moses power over these things because God is sovereign over nature.
It’s so amazing how we as humans can lay claim to affecting things like weather patterns and global temperatures. In the seventies people were worried about global cooling. Now people are worried about global warming. I remember that when hurricane Katrina hit some people even blamed that on President Bush and his lack of environmental policies!
God is the One who is sovereign over nature – not us. All through the Scriptures we see God fashioning the earth, bringing a flood, bringing a drought, stopping the sun, calming the sees, multiplying the fish and healing the sick. God is sovereign in nature.
Along those lines, we see how:
II. God is sovereign in creation
He answers another of Moses’ concerns by pointing to the fact that God has made him just as he is. God is sovereign in creation.
[Read Exodus 4:10-12.]
Moses was claiming to not be an eloquent speaker and thus unable to impress Pharaoh when he spoke to him. But God reminds him that He is sovereign over creation and Moses’ speaking abilities, or lack thereof, were designed specifically for him by God.
This should have been enough for Moses. But since Moses continues to question God it’s starting to look like Moses didn’t fear the mission, he just didn’t want to do it.
[Read Exodus 4:13-17.]
God tells Moses that his brother Aaron, who was a Levite, would be Moses’ mouthpiece through the mission. God had created Moses and Aaron to be able to work together and accomplish God’s will. God is sovereign in creation.