God’s sovereignty

The sermon preached in my Church this morning concerned the sovereignty of God. The exposition was from Job 1:1 to Job 2:10. The following is a video recording of the online broadcast. (The sermon is from the 30min onwards)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dfol0EmBfNE&list=PLgETZJJFvtOCK7JEa5F55YC0Sv9PFhiN2&index=4&t=4s

I had a discussion with some young people after this sermon. One of them asked: if God already knew and decided what the end would be, why let Job go through all that? That is a legitimate question and shows that one is seriously thinking about the subject. I think there could be 2 ways in which we respond to the truth concerning God’s sovereignty.

The first response is that we can be unhappy with this truth because we feel that God already knows the “end-state” – why make us go through all these? The fact is there are some Christians who resist the truth of God’s sovereignty vehemently and they go through life very unhappy.

One such unhappy person in the bible was Jonah. He was not happy that God saved the Ninevites. He sulked under a bean stalk. He was initially happy about with the beanstalk because it provided him with shade. But when a worm destroyed the beanstalk (which Jonah was not aware of), he was angry and cursed the bean stalk. God’s responded to him very gently:

  1. God told Jonah that Jonah contributed nothing to bring about the beanstalk which gave him shade. Yet, Jonah complained when it was removed. (The fact is that God could have just destroyed Jonah for protesting, but God was patient with Jonah).
  2. God told Jonah that there were 42,000 people in Nineveh (probably children who did not understand right from wrong which God had compassion on) and so He had mercy on that city.

Like Jonah, we can go through life unhappy with God and all that we experience regarding His sovereignty. Yet, God will bring us to heaven because we are Christians.

The 2nd possible response is that we worship and take comfort in the sovereignty of God. We accept that we are mortals and God is divine. We accept Job 42:3 “You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”

We acknowledge that even if God were to reveal some deep truths for us, we may not even understand because we are sinful and mortal creatures. Perhaps one day we may, when we are in heaven with God. But we take comfort that there is a divine and sovereign God who cares for us and urged us to seek Him. And for everything in our lives, we seek to see His hand working things out for us. And in that way, praise and give God all glory even as He brings us through these experiences to appreciate His eternal wisdom.

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