#76 The Sovereignty of God

26 February 2000

And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? Daniel 4:34-35
The book of Daniel is a book about the sovereignty of God. Each chapter reveals how God overrules the designs of angels(the armies of heaven) and men(the inhabitants of the earth) as He brings His sovereign councils to pass. It reveals that history is really HIS STORY unfolding unto an expected and predicted end. Though our text is taken from the confession of a heathen king, I could find no better scripture to depict the sovereignty of God that the one we have before you. Do you believe that God is sovereign? Many will confess a sovereign God. But when we begin to talk about specifics, I find there are limits placed upon His immutable council. It takes a lot for man to acknowledge God's sovereignty. Just as Nebuchadnezzar, we must be humbled to give up our pride and acknowledge God as sovereign. ELECTION Election is a great stumbling-block for many concerning God's sovereignty. Many cast it aside as a doctrine too deep to consider. But according to the Bible, God is sovereign concerning who will live with Him in glory, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world". Paul would have us to know that this choice was made before the world was spoken into existence to prove God's sovereignty in the matter. If God would have made His choice after man was created, man would thumb his lapel and usurp God's authority. Yes, man will choose his wife, his friends, and even those to rule over him, and yet deny that God has the same right to do so concerning the jewels that will make up His breastplate. Man will allow God to predict and plan the future of the world but not his own eternal destiny. But whose hands would he be safer in? He will allow God to dispense graces, gifts, money, titles, but not salvation even though that was the chief reason of Christ's advent. Peter preached God as sovereign in election (I Peter 1:2); Jesus preached Himself as sovereign concerning election(John 15:16); yet man continues to preach himself sovereign in election. But who has chosen who? Do you believe that God is sovereign? MAN'S WILL Vs GOD'S As we read the Bible, man's will continually collides with God's. But God always has His way. He is sovereign. It was man's will for Daniel to be devoured by lions. It was God's will for his enemies to fall in that place. It was Jonah's will to flee to Tarshish. It was God's will for him to preach to Ninevah. Where did he land? It was Herod's wish to destroy the Christ child. Whose kingdom still stands? It was Nebuchadnezzar's will to burn up God's witnesses. But whose men were consumed in the flame? It was man's will to silence the mouth of Peter and Paul. Who was really in prison? Whose literature is most read? Who are the most popular authors of the century? Of the millenium? And what about yourself? Where would you be today if God had turned you over to your free will? If He had not placed His spirit within and written His law on your heart in regeneration? If He had not convicted you of sin? If we have light, we will praise God for His sovereignty! A COMFORTING DOCTRINE There is a great comfort in knowing that God is sovereign. When trials and afflictions come our way; when wickedness is all about us; when the headlines are uncomfortable and the future is uncertain it is a comfort to know who is in control. When tribulations come our way, it is a comfort to know that God is sovereign. Though He may not have ordained our trouble, it may be of our own making, yet He allowed it to transpire for a purpose. To warn; to protect; to bring us closer to Him; to change the course of history; of our life; to prevent a worse tragedy; to reveal our depravity; to cause us to acknowledge God's sovereignty are a few suggestion I can offer the weary pilgrim. God ordained Job's trial and certainly it was not because He loved him less. He is sovereign. Though we may pray without ceasing, it is a comfort to know that God has heard our cries and can bring it to pass if it is His will. And there we may leave it, in the hand of a sovereign and Holy God who will do what is right. Though it may sound hard, I must say it: "Ask me to believe in a god that is not sovereign and you ask me to believe in a god that does not exist. If God is not sovereign then He is not God!" Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 each Sunday morning. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor