Summary: Learn more about the character and attributes of God. It is difficult to please God or respond to Him appropriately if we do not know what He is like.

Sovereignty of God

Why is the study of God’s sovereignty important?

Accepting someone’s sovereignty is never easy. God says that He is sovereign and as a result He does things that is all right for a sovereign God to do. But we humans object. We tell God that even if He is sovereign, He should not be doing such things.

This lesson is about God’s sovereignty; what it means and what privileges a sovereign God has and whether it is right for humans to question God’s actions.

The sovereignty of God has often been misunderstood resulting in God being branded as unfair. If such misconceptions are not corrected, they may one day cause us to lose faith in or respect for God. If we understand God’s sovereignty, we will also not sin by questioning God when we are not supposed to.

What do we mean when we say that God is sovereign?

God has the highest authority in the universe. (Similar in concept to the omnipotence of God). Since He is the highest authority, nothing can happen except that which is allowed by Him.

Life Application

Since God is sovereign and nothing happens except by His permission, we can be assured that nothing happen to us unless God allows. And God, who loves us, will never allow anything to happen to us unless it is for our good.

Romans 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Matthew 7:9 11 (NIV) "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Even the punishment he lets us experience is for our own good.

Hebrews 12:5 8 (NIV) And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.


If God hates evil and is also the highest authority in the universe such that nothing can happen except that which is allowed by Him, why is there evil in this world?

The Bible tells us that God did not create this world in the state which it is in now, but evil came as a result of the sin of man. God is a God who hates evil, but He is also a God who loves us and wants to create us with the freedom and choice to love Him back. This overriding factor makes God decide to still create man with free will even though He knows that it will lead to sin.

God is still in control even though things do not appear to be so

There is no need to feel frustration when the world seems to be unfair.

(Psa 73:3-12 NIV) For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. {4} They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. {5} They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. {6} Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. {7} From their callous hearts comes iniquity ; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. {8} They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. {9} Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. {10} Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. {11} They say, "How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?" {12} This is what the wicked are like-- always carefree, they increase in wealth.

The Psalmist was filled with frustration because he thought that God does not appear to be in control when the wicked seem to prosper while the righteous suffer. It is only when he learnt to acknowledge that God is still in control and will bring everything to justice in His own timing that he is released from frustration. God is always at work in this world, even when we can’t see what he is doing.

(Psa 73:17-22 NIV) till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. {18} Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. {19} How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! {20} As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. {21} When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, {22} I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.

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