June 20, 2021
“And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shal l the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,” (Daniel 2:44, ESV)
Several weeks ago, I was asked a question that I just can’t seem to forget so I’m exploring it further. The question, “Is God Sovereign?” It doesn’t take long to answer the question. A simple yes will do. But a simple “yes” does not deal with the subtleties of the question.
A quick word search for the word sovereign in a Bible program will give mixed results. I say that because it depends on which translation you are searching. The NIV will return many results while the E.S.V. will bring up only three. This has more to do with the choice of English words by the translators and the use of several different words in the original text. It seems to me if God is sovereign, and I believe he is, there should be a great deal more said on the subject.
There is more to the subject than just three references to the word sovereign. I can start with page one of Genesis. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1, ESV) In that verse, without using the word “Sovereign”, the sovereignty of God is on display. God did not consult with anyone or ask permission. He just created. After the creation, he assigned man work to do. Man’s first big task was to name all the animals that God had made. That was a huge task but again God did not ask Adam if he wanted to do it, God just told him what his job was. Without any discussion, Adam was also assigned the task of dressing and keeping the garden. God is sovereign!
God told Noah to build an ARK and gave him detailed instructions on how to construct it. Years later, Abram, who would later have his name changed to Abraham, was told to leave his home country, his family, take all that he had, and go to a new place that God would show him. Moses was commanded by God to speak to Pharaoh with a simple message, “Let My People Go.” After God convinced Pharaoh that He, the only living God, was sovereign, Pharaoh let the Israelites go. Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God told the people of Israel they would go into captivity for seventy years and they did. God knew the future because He is sovereign.
Isaiah, speaking for God, foretold of a day when a virgin would give birth and that child would answer mankind’s greatest need. Just as the prophet said that child was born in Bethlehem. Why? Because God is, and always has been sovereign. It will not change. The word may not be used that many times, but every page of the Bible drips with the Sovereignty of God.
““For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6, ESV)
Thanks for listening and keep on shining. —Scott
Stephen Covey was an American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. His most famous book is entitled, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” This book highlights seven ways one can be more effective in life, work, or their profession as they seek to hone their craft. Habit #5 is: Seek first to understand, then be understood. We are currently in the midst of a society where members are wanting to be heard.
We continue to see people from all walks of life desiring someone to talk to and seeking someone to listen to what they have to say. While some may see this as a challenge, Christians should see this as an opportunity! We too, have a message that we want to share. That message is the message of Jesus Christ. When people are heard, they will listen!
The first step to becoming a Christian is “hearing” what Scripture says when it comes to building our faith. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We must “listen” to what God has to say by reading and/or hearing His words. Proverbs’ central theme is based on the idea that wisdom is grounded in the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). The point is this, we must seek to understand God by listening to what He has to say, and we must work on growing a relationship with Him by wanting to know more about His wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 says, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”
The idea of “listening” to gain information is a valuable tool. We are expected to transfer this principle as we explain to others that Jesus is the answer (John 16:33). It is up to us to listen to the needs of others and then explain Jesus is the answer. We must put aside our own autobiography and listen to the concerns and needs of others so we can have information from them to point them to Christ. Let us listen to others so we can share Jesus.
South Green Street church of Christ