Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Theme of God's Sovereignty

by Garth Gaddy

“I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” –Is. 43:15

We believe that God created and owns everything (Gen. 1:1; Ps. 24:1), yet this verse still struck me. The psalmist explicitly says that God is the Creator of Israel. Consider the theme of His sovereignty throughout the Word:

Abram was chosen from among all the peoples of the world to receive a blessing (Gen. 12) and be the father of offspring numbered as the stars (Gen. 15). Abram was chosen not on the basis of anything he had to offer but rather chosen by God. Abraham’s son of the promise, Isaac, was conceived by parents of an impossible old age (Gen. 21). Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. The elder served the younger by God’s choice (Gen. 25). Before they were born, Jacob was chosen and Esau was rejected (Mal. 1:2, 3). Jacob was the father of the sons who became the tribes of Israel. One of his sons was Joseph who was sold by his brothers, enslaved, but later positioned by God for good (Gen. 50:19-21). Prior to death Jacob gave a blessing to his sons. Judah, one of those sons, received a blessing that pointed directly to Jesus (Gen. 49:10). Judah was an ancestor of Jesus.

In the book of Job, God chose to allow Satan to wreak havoc with Job’s life. Job questioned God, who responded in chapter 38, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”. Job finally realizes the folly of his questioning in chapter 42; “I know that you can do all things,” “I uttered what I did not understand,” “I had heard of you…but now my eye sees you…I despise myself, and repent.”

In the New Testament we see God in the flesh sovereignly choosing His twelve disciples; healing some people but not all; choosing a zealous Pharisee who persecuted Christians–all to spread the Gospel. In Romans 9, we learn that God is the potter, and we are the clay. He chooses some as vessels of wrath and some as vessels of mercy. “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?” (Rom. 9:19).

The theme of God’s sovereignty extends throughout His Word. God chooses believers not because of greatness, righteousness, or anything else we have to offer (Titus 3:5). He is God, He is sovereign and He chooses for His glory. Our response must be humility, gratitude and submission.

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