Summary: The sovereignty of God
The Sovereignty of God, what do we mean by this expression? The Sovereignty of God refers to the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the Godhood God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in heaven, and on earth. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, frustrate His purpose, or resist His will (Psalm 115:3). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is "The Governor among the nations" (Psalm 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleases Him. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15).
The Sovereignty of the God of Scripture is absolute, irresistible, and infinite. When we say that God is Sovereign we affirm His right to govern the universe that He has made for His own glory, just as He pleases. We affirm that His right is the right of the Potter over the clay, that He may mold that clay into whatsoever form He chooses. We affirm that He is under no rule or law outside of His own will and nature, that He is a law unto Himself that He is under no obligation to give an account of His actions to any. He is Sovereign in all His attributes, the exercise of His power and His will. Pharaoh dared to hinder Israel from going forth to worship Jehovah in the wilderness, what happened? God exercised His power, His people were delivered and their cruel taskmasters slain. When Israel entered the land of Canaan, the city of Jericho barred their progress, what happened? Israel did not draw a bow nor strike a blow; the Lord stretched forth His hand and the walls fell down flat. However, the miracle was never repeated, no other city fell as Jericho fell; every other city had to be captured by the sword.
The exercise of the power of God is revealed in David’s deliverance from the hand of Goliath, the giant; the mouths of the lions were closed and Daniel escaped unhurt; the three Hebrew children were cast into the burning fiery furnace and came forth unharmed. However, God did not always exercise His power to deliver His people from the hands of their enemies. In Hebrews 11:36 and 37, we are told the people of God “experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, ill treated, tormented” Why were these people of God not delivered like the others? Why did God exercise His power and rescue some and not the others? Why allow Stephen to be stoned to death, and then deliver Peter from prison? Why did God endow Methuselah with a vitality that enabled him to outlive all his contemporaries? Why did God impart to Samson a physical strength that no other human has ever possessed? The answer to all of these questions is, because God is Sovereign, and being Sovereign He does as He pleases.
The Sovereign exercise of God’s mercy was displayed when He became flesh and dwelt among men.
During one of the Feasts of the Jews, the Lord Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He came to the Pool of Bethesda where there lay a great multitude of people, some blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. Among this multitude, there was a man that had an infirmity thirty-eight years. What happened? "When Jesus saw him He asked him if he wanted to be made whole. The man answers Him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool, but when I am coming, another steps down before me. Jesus said to him, rise, take up your bed, and walk, and immediately the man was made whole, took up his bed, and walked (John 5:3-9). Why was this one man singled out from all the others? We are not told that he cried out, “Lord, have mercy on me." There is not a word in the narrative that intimates that this man possessed any qualifications that entitled him to receive special favor. Here then was a case of the Sovereign exercise of Divine mercy, for it was just as easy for Christ to heal that multitude as this one certain man. But He did not. He put forth His power and relieved the wretchedness of this one particular sufferer, and for some reason known only to Him, He declined to do the same for the others.