The Sovereignty Of God Seen In
His Everlasting Disposition Of Man
Let us look back before we go on. God has many attributes and among those attributes is His absolute sovereignty.
This attribute of Almighty God is one that His people seem afraid to admit to with commitment. To admit that God is sovereign is to realize that we must be in complete obedience to His will. It is to realize that He has the power of life and death over us just as the absolute monarchs of old had power over their people.
This attribute is like an ocean that has no bank nor bottom and one may not lightly launch out into it, no matter how strong one feels, without a divine compass, and an anchor in Christ.
The first witness of the sovereignty of God is: Our God has an absolute right and dominion over His creatures, to dispose and determine for them that which seems good to Him.
The above statement will not be popular with those who teach that man has an absolute "free will." How free is a man who has an absolute sovereign?
To admit that there is such power means that that power must belong to someone for the monarch who is sovereign over a country is not absolute, only He who is sovereign over all things and all life is truly sovereign.
To admit that there is such power is to admit that it must belong to God and no other reason for this can be assigned but that "...he is god, and there is none other beside him;..." (Deut. 4:35) there can be no other gods, because: 1) There can be but one Infinite, for such a being fills heaven and earth; and so there is no place nor any room for another. 2) There can be only one who is Omnipotent; for the Omnipotent has all others under His feet, for if He does not then He is not Omnipotent. Where there is one who can do all things and control all things and have in submission all things, another would be not only superfluous but impertinent. 3) There can be but one Supreme; supreme power may reside in many as in the Supreme Court of the United States, but as lawmakers and supreme they are but one. 4) There can be but one first cause from which all beings derive their origin; that is, our God, the one of whom Paul speaks in 1 Cor. 8:6, "...of whom are all things...by whom are all things,..." And if He is the author of all things, then He must hold sovereign right and power and determine all things, both as to their being, order, efficacy and end.
Following these truths we come to the second witness or landmark of God's sovereignty in scripture: Universal providence, or that which sustains His creation and by which all inferior causes are guided to their predestined conclusion, not withstanding all the possible accidents that could happen to obstruct or divert them.
Thirdly, the sovereignty of God is witnessed to in scripture by the general acceptance of men, but particularly those who knew Him best.
Thee fourth landmark or witness to the sovereignty of God is the evidence from the angels who are "great in power;" who nevertheless, do perfectly own and submit to that sovereignty.
When one has subjects who are not only numerous but who are wise, powerful and magnanimous but more importantly are perfectly submissive to the will of their Lord, it argues logically that their Lord is absolute sovereign; and just such subjects as we have described are the angels.
As believers there is one witness that we can in no way ignore, for to do so would make God a liar, that witness is His own assertion. For instance, God takes credit for the existence of Pharaoh in Exodus 9:16, "And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power: and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth."
If you believe in God you must accept this statement as a statement of fact for Romans 3:4, "...: yea, let God be true but every man a liar..." And in Titus 1:2, "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie,..."
Then there are those acts that are recorded in the scriptures and those recorded in our own lives and the lives of our Christian brethren that can only be derived from God's sovereignty.
For instance, the change in Esau's heart when Jacob returned with his family and his riches. Esau came with what amounted to an army but came to Jacob with a bear hug. It had to be God for Jacob had cheated him out of his birth-right and that was a high price to pay for even a thick lentil soup. Then he had deceived his father Isaac in order to steal the blessing that normally belonged to the eldest son. God had plans for Jacob who had just become Israel, Prince of God. Who can change the heart of a man? Only God. If you're saved He's changed yours just as He did mine and that's always a miracle.
The seventh landmark to the sovereignty of God is: Those actions by which the Lord God overruled the designs and actions of men so that He could bring about complete adherence to His will and His plan.
Instances of this landmark are numerous in scripture but we will recall just one: When Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery they did it out of jealously, hatred and perhaps even some greed, but they wanted to be rid of this brother they called a dreamer, but what they meant for evil God meant for good. In Gen. 45:4,5 we read, "...I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life." God prepared in advance to save the house of Jacob, His chosen people.
Then there is the great and glorious power that shines through when God predominates and subdues the spirits of men and so calls and saves whom He will.
When Jesus was at the pool of Bethesda He chose only one man to speak to, one man to heal and all according to His own will.
Here we come to the penultimate witness to the absolute sovereignty of God. His great power and supremacy proclaims self in spectacular glory in His eternal disposition of all mankind.
The Great White Throne judgment belongs to God the Father, the sins of the saved are as far from them as the east is from the west and has been buried in the deepest sea to be remembered against us no more forever. Man supposes and God disposes.
We come finally to that place where the Potter is very truly in charge. He can make of the same lump one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor, this idea is above all the most apparent demonstration of God's sovereign power where men are concerned. He has said, "...and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy." Ex. 33:19. God disposes of men, who were equally sinful, according to His will, according to His plan. One He calls and one He does not. One is loved and saved and one is not loved nor saved. Shall we judge God for this. May not the Creator do as He pleases with the creation. And according to His will His disposition is for eternity. People say it is unfair. Tell me as a man, is it unfair that you chose the woman you loved to be your wife and not all women? God chooses Jesus' bride for whatever reasons He has, but not for anything that the chosen is or has done, "...not of works, lest any man should boast."
God has never in His word tried to prove His existence and He never tries to prove His right to deal with His creation according to His right. He gives no reason for his election other than His right, in Matt. 20:15 we read, "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?..." And again in Rom. 9:18 we read that He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy and whom He will He hardeneth. As Nebuchadnezzar says in Dan. 4, "...none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?"
No matter what man's thoughts are on the subject of the eternal future, God disposes; for all creation is His and it is His right to dispose.