SERIES: DOES IT MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE ABOUT THE BIBLE?
DOES IT MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE ABOUT THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN ALL MATTERS?
Scripture: Job 12:1-25
TEXT: 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
Does it matter what you believe about the absolute sovereignty of God? God must either rule or be ruled; he must either control or be controlled. Any thing or any one whom God cannot rule would rule God and thus dethrone God as God and himself become God. In a sermon preached Dec. 26, 1982, which he called "I Am Only human," Jack Hyles, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, argued that "God can be maneuvered," saying, "The Old Testament saints knew God so well they maneuvered with God." Hyles has also preached on the subject, "How to Make God Your Slave!" When you do not believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, such nonsensical error and outright blasphemy can be the result.
The very Godhood of God is dependent on his being sovereign. The god (and I spell that with a lowercase G) whom I can maneuver, whom I can make my slave, whom I can control, whom I can make do what I want him to do is not God at all.
In the message concerning the Godhood of God I said, "God is either God of all, or he is not God at all. God is either Lord of all, or he is not Lord at all." Let me now add to that by saying, "God is either sovereign over all things or he is sovereign over nothing. God must either work all things after the counsel of his own will, or bow to the will of his creatures. God must either impose his will in all things or have the will of the creatures imposed upon him."
It does matter what you believe about the sovereignty of God.
I. SCRIPTURE AFFIRMS THAT GOD IS THE GREATEST, MOST POWERFUL, MOST GLORIOUS AND VICTORIOUS, MOST MAJESTIC, AND DOMINANT BEING THERE IS. 1 Chronicles 29:10-12 Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. 11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
II. CONSIDER THE LOGICAL CONCLUSIONS OF DENYING THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
- He has no equal in greatness.
- He has no parallel in power.
- He is unrivaled in gloriousness.
- He is always and ever the victorious in all things.
- He has no match in majesty.
- He has no peer in possessions.
- He has no equal in dominion.
- He is unequalled in exaltation.
- He is the only one who can make one rich or poor.
- David proclaimed "Both riches and honour come of thee."
- Moses reminded Israel that it is God who gives the power to get wealth. Deuteronomy 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
- Hannah, the godly mother of Samuel, declared that God controls one's wealth or lack thereof. 1 Samuel 2:7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
- In fact, Hannah praised God for his absolute sovereignty over several things. 1 Samuel 2:7-10 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. 8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORDS, and he hath set the world upon them. 9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. 10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
- In our text, David argues that God rules over all things without exception. "Thou reignest over all."
- Since God reigns over all he must have dominion over all and none can have dominion over him.
- Since God reigns over all he must rule over all and none can have the rule over him.
- Since God reigns over all he must have sway over all and none can have the sway over him.
- Since God reigns over all he must have power over all and none can have the power over him.
- Since God reigns over all he must be sovereign over all and none can be sovereign over him.
- Since God reigns over all he must reign over all and none can reign over him.
- The Hebrew word [mawshal] that is translated "reign" here means "to rule, to have dominion, to have power over, to be governor over."
- On this great occasion David also declared that, in essence, that every thing we give to God belongs to him anyway. 1 Chronicles 29:14-16 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. 15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. 16 O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.
- Let us study in some detail the words of Job that I read in the beginning. Job 12:10-25
- In verse 10 he declares that the soul of every living thing is in the hand of the Lord. In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
- In verses 11-14 Job gives God's qualification to so reign and rule. 11 Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat? 12 With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding. 13 With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.
- In verse 14 he affirms that when God breaks something down it cannot be built up again. Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again.
- When he stopped the building of the tower of Babel; it was never resumed.
- When God broke down the glory of Nebuchadnezzar, he could not regain it until God himself set him back up. Daniel 4:24-25 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: 25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
- God did, as he had decreed, remove Nebuchadnezzar from the kingdom.
- Nebuchadnezzar was driven from among men just as decreed.
- Nebuchadnezzar did live as a beast of the field for seven years just as God sovereignly determined he would.
- At the end of the seven years he was returned to the throne just as God had determined he would.
- When he returned to the throne Nebuchadnezzar made a declaration that showed that he had learned the lesson which God had purposed that he learn. "till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." Daniel 4:30-35 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? 31 While the word was in the kings mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. 32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles feathers, and his nails like birds claws. 34 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: 35 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?
- When God broke down the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar no man could restore him for what God breaks down no man can build back up.
- When God would break down the Babylonian empire and set up the Medo-Persian empire, there was nothing haughty, blasphemous Belshazzar could do. Daniel 5:26-31 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. 27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. 28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. 29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. 30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. 31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
- When God would break down the rule of Saul over Israel and give the throne to David, there was no way Saul could prevent it though he tried every way possible.
- In verse 14 he also declares that when God shuts up a man there can be no opening for that man. He shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.
- Heman said of his plight, Psalm 88:8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
- David prayed, Psalm 142:7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
- When God purposed to give Goliath into the hand of David, there was no army of giants that could have delivered him. 1 Samuel 17:46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
- Jesus declared that when he shuts and what he shuts no man can open. Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.
- Job also affirms that God is in complete control of and rules the waters; he is sovereign over the weather. 15 Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.
- When it is his sovereign will to withhold the water from the earth there is a drought.
- When it is his sovereign will to send out the waters, if it is his will to do so, they will wreak all kinds of destruction described as overturning the earth.
- Consider what God did when he sent forth the waters in the days of Noah. Genesis 6:13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
- God sent forth the waters and they covered the earth. Genesis 7:11-12 In the six hundredth year of Noahs life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. Genesis 7:17-20 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. 18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. 20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
- When the waters had reached the divinely appointed level and had accomplished their purpose, God sent forth the command and the rains ceased, the fountains of the deep were closed up and the water began drying up at his command. Genesis 8:1-3 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; 2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; 3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
- When it was the will of God he parted the Red Sea and caused Israel to go across on dry ground.
- When is was his will he rolled back the waters of Jordan and they stood up while Israel crossed.
- When it was his will Elijah prophesied and it did not rain for three years and when it was his will Elijah prayed and it rained again.
- When it was his will Moses could smite a Rock and rivers of water would come forth.
- God is also in control of and sovereignly rules over strength and wisdom. 16 With him is strength and wisdom.
- He gives men strength as he wills.
- He gives men wisdom as he wills.
- When he desires, he destroys wisdom among a people. Isaiah 29:14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
- Even the deceived and the deceiver are in his hands and under his sovereign rule. The deceived and the deceiver are his.
- When it is his sovereign will to do so, God will deceive a prophet and then punish him to teach the people to not go after false prophets. Ezekiel 14:9-11 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. 10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him; 11 That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.
- God chooses delusions and brings them upon sinful people. Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
- God sends strong delusions so that many will believe a lie. 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
- When the princes of Noph were deceived and they deceived Egypt it was because the Lord had mingled a perverse spirit in their midst. Isaiah 19:13-14 The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof. 14 The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.
- Commenting on this Matthew Henry wrote, "The deceivers make tools of the deceived, but the great God makes tools of them both, wherewith he works, and none can hinder him. He has wisdom and might enough to manage all the fools and knaves in the world, and knows how to serve his own purposes by them, notwithstanding the weakness of the one and the wickedness of the other. When Jacob by a fraud got the blessing the design of Gods grace was served; when Ahab was drawn by a false prophecy into an expedition that was his ruin the design of Gods justice was served; and in both the deceived and the deceiver were at his disposal. See Eze. 14:9. God would not suffer the sin of the deceiver, nor the misery of the deceived, if he knew not how to set bounds to both and bring glory to himself out of both. Hallelujah, the Lord God omnipotent thus reigns; and it is well he does, for otherwise there is so little wisdom and so little honesty in the world that it would all have been in confusion and ruin long ago."
- When God's anger was kindled against Israel on one occasion during the reign of David, God moved him to number Israel which was a sin for which Israel and David were severely chastised. 2 Samuel 24:1-15 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2 For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people. 3 And Joab said unto the king, Now the LORD thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing? 4 Notwithstanding the kings word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel. 5 And they passed over Jordan, and pitched in Aroer, on the right side of the city that lieth in the midst of the river of Gad, and toward Jazer: 6 Then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtimhodshi; and they came to Danjaan, and about to Zidon, 7 And came to the strong hold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beersheba. 8 So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men. 10 And Davids heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. 11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, Davids seer, saying, 12 Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. 13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. 14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. 15 So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.
- This passage plainly tells us that it was God who moved David to do this. V-1
- It is interesting to note, however, that God used the instrumentality of Satan to carry this out. 1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
- Our text says that the deceived and the deceiver are God's and Satan is the great deceiver. Job 12:16 the deceived and the deceiver are his.
- Another event that demonstrates this amazing sovereignty of God over events is found in the thirteenth chapter of I Kings.
- God sent a prophet, one of his true prophets to cry out against the altar that Jeroboam had erected at Bethel. 1 Kings 13:1-32 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. 2 And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and mens bones shall be burnt upon thee. 3 And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. 4 And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. 5 The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD. 6 And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the kings hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.
- The king invited the man home with him for a meal and refreshments and for a reward for the healing of his arm. 7 And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.
- The man of God refused for God had clearly instructed him to not do such things. 8 And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: 9 For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.
- As instructed by God he left and headed home by a different route than he had taken when coming to Bethel. 10 So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.
- The news of what had happened in Bethel came to the ears of an old prophet who lived there and he went out to invite the man to his house for rest and food. 11 Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. 12 And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. 13 And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, 14 And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. 15 Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.
- The man of God at first refused and explained his instructions from God. 16 And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: 17 For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.
- The old prophet lied to him telling him that the angel of the Lord had also appeared to him and countermanded the instructions given him. 18 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
- The first prophet should have known that God does not change his mind or contradict himself.
- Since the angel of the Lord had delivered him his first instructions, he should have waited on the Lord to send his angel for any instructions contrariwise.
- Even if a man is a man of God and a prophet of God, what he says should be carefully examined in the light of God's word. Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
- This is especially true with us since we have the Bible as an all sufficient rule of faith and practice. Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
- The man of God went back with the old prophet even though he had been forbidden by the angel of the Lord. 19 So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.
- As they were eating the word of the Lord came to the old prophet. 20 And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: 21 And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, 22 But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.
- The man of God left for home and was slain by a lion. 23 And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. 25 And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.
- When the old prophet in Bethel heard, he brought him home and buried him and he was not buried in his own families burial place. 26 And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him. 27 And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled him. 28 And he went and found his carcase cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass. 29 And the prophet took up the carcase of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back: and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him. 30 And he laid his carcase in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother! 31 And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones: 32 For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.
- The Lord sent a prophet
- When it is his will, he leads counsellors away spoiled and makes fools of judges. 17 He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.
- God can cause the counsel of any counsellor to be spoiled and foolish as in the case of the counsel of Ahithophel. 2 Samuel 15:31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
- God appointed to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel because it was his purpose to bring evil upon Absalom. 2 Samuel 17:14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.
- Feeling he had been made a fool Ahithophel went home and killed himself. 2 Samuel 17:23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.
- The counsel of Ahithophel was probably wiser than that of Hushai, but since God had determined to bring evil upon Absalom, he caused it to be spoiled and to appear foolish and caused the counsel of Hushai to be accepted. He was in complete control of how Absalom and his advisors received the counsel of the two men.
- He makes judges to be fools.
- God may work on their minds causing them to appear foolish in their judgments.
- He may cause their judgments to appear foolish to others thus causing them to loose face and authority.
- He can turn any man into a fool if it serves his Divine purpose to do so. Isaiah 19:11-13 Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings? 12 Where are they? where are thy wise men? and let them tell thee now, and let them know what the LORD of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt. 13 The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof.
- God has declared in his word that he will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 1 Corinthians 1:19-20 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
- This was prophesied in Isaiah. Isaiah 29:14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
- A similar declaration is found in Jeremiah. Jeremiah 8:9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?
- Kings are not exempt from his sovereign rule over them. 18 He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle. 19 He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty.
- He who is King of kings controls the dominion of kings.
- He sets them up and puts them down as he wills. Daniel 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.
- He controls the activities of kings so that they do his will. Proverbs 21:1 The kings heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
- He put it into the heart of Artaxerxes to beautify the temple at Jerusalem. Ezra 7:27 Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the kings heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.
- He may set a king free who has been put in bondage by another king when it pleases him to do so. 2 Chronicles 33:11-13 Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. 12 And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, 13 And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.
- He controls the speech of men removing the speech of the trusty and causes the aged to loose their normal understanding and wisdom. 20 He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged.
- Even a false prophet like Balaam must obey his sovereign command. Numbers 22:12 And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.
- When God puts words in his mouth, he must speak those words. Numbers 22:38 And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.
- He cause Balaam to bless those whom he was hired to curse. Numbers 23:19-20 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? 20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
- He sovereignly pours contempt upon leaders and weakens the mighty. 21 He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty.
- David confirms this same truth of Divine sovereignty. Psalm 107:40-41 He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way. 41 Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.
- C. H. Spurgeon, commenting on these two verses said, "In these two verses we see how the Lord at will turns the wheel of providence. Paying no respect to man's imaginary grandeur, he puts princes down and makes them wander in banishment as they had made their captives wander when they drove them from land to land: at the same time, having ever a tender regard for the poor and needy, the Lord delivers the distressed and sets them in a position of comfort and happiness. This is to be seen upon the roll of history again and again, and in spiritual experience we remark its counterpart: the self-sufficient are made to despise themselves and search in vain for help in the wilderness of their nature, while poor convicted souls are added to the Lord's family and dwell in safety as the sheep of his fold."
- When Pharaoh arrogantly resisted him God sent the plagues pouring contempt upon him and his gods. Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go. Exodus 8:1-4 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 2 And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: 3 And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: 4 And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.
- Consider the contempt that God poured upon Jezebel having her eaten by dogs. 1 Kings 21:23-24 And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. 24 Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.
- Consider the contempt he heaped upon Ahab causing him to die at the hands of an aimless, nameless bowman and to have his blood licked up by dogs in the same place in which the blood of Naboth was licked up after being slain through the wickedness of Jezebel.
- Consider the contempt he poured upon that great and proud city of Tarshish along with her great men. Isaiah 23:8-9 Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth? 9 The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.
- Consider the five kings who hid from Joshua and the army of Israel but who were put to shame before the soldiers. Joshua 10:24-27 And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. 25 And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. 26 And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. 27 And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the caves mouth, which remain until this very day.
- Consider the king Adonibezek who cut off kings toes and thumbs and made them eat under his table like dogs. Judges 1:6-7 But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. 7 And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.
- Consider Sisera who was put to shame by a woman who drove a nail through his head according to the purpose of God. Judges 4:21-23 Then Jael Hebers wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. 22 And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples. 23 So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.
- Consider how God smote all the men of Gath with Hemorrhoids or tumors because they had brought the ark of the covenant into their city. 1 Samuel 5:8-9 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither. 9 And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.
- God also cause a plague of mice on the land.
- To further increase their shame and contempt, they had to make images of mice and hemorrhoids and give glory to the God of Israel. 1 Samuel 6:4-5 Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords. 5 Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.
- 22 He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death. 23 He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again. 24 He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way. 25 They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.
If you have problems with the absolute, unadulterated sovereign control of God over all things, you must also be prepared to handle the following statement of the godly Hannah. 1 Samuel 2:6-8 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. 7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. 8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORDS, and he hath set the world upon them.
- If God is not sovereign over all things or people; those things or people over which he cannot exercise absolute sovereignty are equal to or greater than he and deserved to be called God and worshipped as such.
- If God does not have the power to exercise sovereignty over all things and people, anyone or thing that could keep him from exercising power over it or him would dethrone him as God and would itself become God.
- If God is not absolutely sovereign over all things ever Scriptural declaration declaring him to be such is a lie.
- God himself was lying when he spoke in Isaiah 46. Isaiah 46:9-11 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
- The things Nebuchadnezzar had learned and proclaimed as a result of his humiliation and training in the seminary of insanity was of no import.
- His declaration that God does indeed set up as rulers whom he will is meaningless and we have no assurance that all is well when a wicked ruler comes to power. Daniel 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
- Nebuchadnezzar was just babbling nonsense when he claimed that God does as he wills in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. Daniel 4:35 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?
- Nebuchadnezzar even has the nerve to suggest that men have no right to even question God's actionsa statement that is totally unreasonable unless God is truly sovereign over all things. "and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?"
- And, how foolish was Daniel if he believed what he said to be true if God is not really sovereign over all things. Daniel 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.
- If God is not sovereign over all things one wonders why Paul wrote some of the things he did.
- He declared that God works all things after the counsel of his own willan impossibility for one who is not sovereign. Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
- He claimed that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy and hardens whom he willif God is not sovereign over the disposal of his grace and mercy I wonder why Paul would say he is. Romans 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Romans 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
- Perhaps Paul took Moses at his word rather than thinking the matter out for himself. This sovereignty doctrine came from Moses. Exodus 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
- Paul even went so far as to suggest that man has no right to question what God does in his sovereign dealings with man; a position which would be totally illogical if God is not sovereign over all things. Romans 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
- If God is not truly sovereign over all things Paul carried his error to the brink when he suggested that there are men who are vessels of wrath fitted to destruction and others who are vessels of mercy who were before prepared for glory. Romans 9:21-24 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
- If one has trouble with God being absolutely sovereign in all things, he would have had trouble with one of the Scriptures to which Bro. Ray referred this morning. Deuteronomy 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
- That sounds as if God kills some people but surely, God does not kill anyone. He makes alive but God would never kill anyone.
- It sounds as if God actually wounds some people but the God I worship would never wound anyone. I can believe that he heals those who have been wounded but surely he does not wound anyone.
- There is also that declaration, "neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand." But, I can control God; I can limit God; I can make God do what I want him to do. I can keep God from doing what he wants to do.
Those who do not believe in the absolute sovereignty of God face yet another dilemma when asked to deal with some of the writings of the Psalmists.
- Surely these are the babblings of an uniformed woman who knows nothing about the true God.
- Perhaps Eli was right the first time when he accused her of being drunk when she was praying for a child. I Samuel 1:13-14 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. 14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.
Another verse of the Psalmist with which the one's doubting the absolute sovereignty of God must grapple is Psalm 135:6. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
- Has God really done whatsoever he hath please? Psalm 115:33 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
- Surely I misread that. It must say that God has TRIED TO DO whatsoever he hath pleased.
- Why, God is trying to saved everybody; he wills to saved everybody; it is his pleasure to saved everybody so if that means what it says it sounds as if ultimately he will save every person in the human race. "He hath done whatsoever he hath pleased."
Of course, there is a verse in Isaiah that must be explained away if one denies the God's sovereign control over all things. Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
- To say that God has done whatsoever he pleased in heaven is believable.
- But, believing that God has done whatsoever he pleased in the earth is another matter.
- Surely there must be some limitation to that word whatsoever.
- Surely God does not mean he will do every last thing he pleases to do.
- Maybe the verse should have been translated, "I will try to do all my pleasure."
- It is God's pleasure to saver every person in the human race and if he does all his pleasure, that would be universal salvation.
CONC: This is an inexhaustible study. We have not even scratched the service though I have spent several evenings on the matter. I have first affirmed the absolute sovereignty of God over all things as revealed by the godly Job. And, I have taken a few passages that show the sovereignty of God over all things and have tried to show the problems faced by those who deny the absolute sovereignty of God over all things. We could take every passage that teaches this glorious truth and frustrate the person who denies it but claims to believe Bible. Thank God for delivering us from such perplexities.
Last updated on
Saturday, July 30, 2011