Summary: Hope in the current world situation.
The Sovereignty of God
We hear about the sovereignty of God frequently don’t we? To be sovereign means to have ultimate or absolute power. We know through scripture that God is omnipresent, Psalm 139:7-12 says Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night," even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. He is also omniscient, all knowing, Hebrews 4:13 says “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” God is omnipotent, all powerful. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” We talked about this a little bit in our study in Ephesians chapter 1 talks about His power, Jesus was raised to from the dead through the power of the Father and the Holy Spirit and was given all the power and authority before He ascended back into the heavens. Could you imagine speaking and something just appearing out of nothing? Bottle of water! Ice Cream cone! (hold out hand) Didn’t work, we as humans do not have power like that. There are those who use optical illusion and make things appear out of nothing, but it is slight of hand not creation. "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible' (Matthew 19:26). “'I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?'" (Jeremiah 32:27).
We see the hand of God in many instances of the Old Testament, He knows everything, he knows who to call on to accomplish His will on earth. Some may say that we have free will, which means we have control over things we can make decisions, and they are not wrong. Do you also know that God knows our thoughts? He knows our hearts. God has placed everyone exactly where He needs them to be. You are not here by accident. As we have been reading through Jonah and also through Daniel, we see just how well God uses us in obedience and disobedience. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were the great example of how God can use you in obedience. We have heard their stories and how they were used to bring non-believers to belief in God. Standing firm in their faith Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego refused to bow down to the idol created by the king. I’ll show you said the king, no I’ll show you said the King of Kings God is the King above all Kings. Daniel on the other hand was put in the lion’s den against the king’s wishes, he loved Daniel and didn’t want harm to come his way. The King protected Daniel in that den of lions. Once again bringing more people to know the true God because of obedience. Looking at Jonah, the disobedient one, we find that Jonah doesn’t want to go to Nineveh, matter of fact, he doesn’t want to go so bad that he sets off in a different direction. When we were in our study Thursday, we re-discovered how God still uses us in our disobedience if it is for His glory. Those sailors on the ship that Jonah chose to run from God on learned who the true God is. Jonah 1:14-16 'Then they called on the Lord and said, “We earnestly pray, O Lord , do not let us perish on account of this man’s life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O Lord , have done as You have pleased.” So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. Then the men feared the Lord greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. ' In Jonah’s disobedience sailors were brought to the feet of the True God. He could have stopped Jonah before he got on that boat, He didn’t because there were people that might not have heard about Him if this didn’t happen.
God is in control of all things. And yet we still have free will. He is a gentleman and will not force himself on anyone.
Do you know why there was a king over Israel? People rejected God as their king. They couldn’t see Him. They didn’t seek Him. They couldn’t hear Him, they weren’t listening for him. People wanted a king because they didn’t trust God’s power. Sounds a lot like the situation we are in today doesn’t it? God told Samuel the judge over Israel at the time, that the people were not rejecting him (Samuel) but they were rejecting God Himself. God said Samuel, tell them what the consequences of their choice will be. Samuel told them this is what is going to happen if you have a king over you. 1 Samuel 8:11-18 'He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” 'Even so the people said, we want a king to be over us to judge us, to fight battles for us that we will be like other nations. Careful what you wish for right? The people rejected God because they didn’t trust in His power to judge them, to fight the battles for them, they wanted to be like other nations when they didn’t know how good they had it having the King of Kings doing these things for them.