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The Sovereignty of God 2 of 3
FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2007
Posted by: Scott McMahan | more..
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Furthermore, God stretched forth His hand to deliver David from
Goliath, Daniel from the lions' den, the three Hebrew children from
the fiery furnace; but in the Book of Hebrews we read, "And others had
trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and
imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted,
were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and
goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented." Then, you ask the
question, "Why?" The answer: "God is sovereign, and He exercises His
power as He pleases, when He pleases, and on whom He pleases."

Take this example: He let Stephen be stoned to death, as recorded in
the seventh chapter of Acts, and then He delivered Peter from prison
by His angels (Acts 12). Now, why? The answer is: God is sovereign,
and He does everything according to His own will for His own glory. He
got more glory out of Stephen being stoned to death, by delivering him
out of the hands of his enemies through death. Stephen was delivered,
but not like Peter was. He let James be killed with the sword; John,
his brother, died a natural death. Here was a man, David Brainerd,
whom He let live and preach only seven years. He died with
tuberculosis before he was thirty. On the other hand, there was
Charles G. Finney whom He let live and preach until he was ninety
years of age. Why? The Sovereignty of God.

Why did He let Methuselah outlive all his contemporaries? Why did God
enable Samson to have superhuman strength that no other man possessed?
Here is one man who makes his millions; here is another who lives in
rags. Remember, Deut. 8:l8 says, "But thou shall remember the LORD
thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth." Why does
God let one man preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to multitudes
and then keep another one in seclusion and let him deal with a small
number? Why does He put one on a pinnacle and let the world hate him
and drive him from pillar to post, and then put another where the
world never hears from him? God is sovereign, and sits on the throne,
and does as He pleases with His own. Now, my friend, those are truths
you can't get around. No, you can't.

In the second place, let me say that God is sovereign in the
manifestation of His mercy to the souls of men. Let's face this
fact-no man deserves mercy; no individual has a right to God's
mercy. As someone has said, "Mercy is that adorable attribute of God
by which He pities and relieves the wretched." But face this fact:
every individual is wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked
(Rev. 3:l7), and deserves to be so because he is totally depraved,
wrecked and ruined by the fall. Now, let's face this further
fact-everyone who is miserable is miserable as the result of sin and
therefore deserves punishment and not mercy. Let me repeat this
fact-no individual deserves mercy or it would not be mercy. You
deserve to be damned; you deserve the wrath of Almighty God, because
"the soul that sinneth it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4). Rom. 3:23 tells us,
"All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Therefore all
deserve to die, and none deserve mercy.

Now God is sovereign in the exercise of His mercy, or in the bestowal
of His mercy upon man; in other words, God bestows His mercy upon whom
He pleases and withholds it from others as He pleases. Take the two
thieves on the cross. God in His infinite mercy and grace saved one,
and let the other one go out under the clouds of the wrath of Almighty
God. Take this other illustration: the sentence of death was passed
upon Moses for one act of disobedience. He asked God to remove it,
but God in His sovereign power said, "No" (Deut. 3:26). But take the
case of Hezekiah who was sick unto death. God told him he was going to
die; the sentence of death was upon him. He turned his face to the
wall, confessed his sins, asked God to spare his life, and God added
fifteen years to his life (2 Kings 20:1-6). Now, why did He hear the
prayer of one, and not the prayer of the other? Because He is
sovereign. This bears out Rom. 9: 15 -- "I will have mercy on whom I
will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have
compassion." Aren't those gracious truths? But, my friend, the natural
man won't have them. You won't have them; no, you won't! You gnash
your teeth; you say, "I don't want a God like that." Well, that is the
only God I know, and that is the only God I want to worship.

Let's take another illustration. One day the Lord Jesus Christ during
His earthly ministry was walking by the Pool of Bethesda, where lay "a
great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting
for the moving of the water." There in that large group lay a man who
had been a cripple for thirty-eight years. The Scripture says, "When
Jesus saw him lie he knew that he had been now a long time in that
case," and "He saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?" Then He said,
"Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." Christ healed that poor man. Now,
why didn't He heal the others? This man seemingly exercised no faith;
he had not even asked to be healed. He was not expecting to be healed,
but Christ healed him. He did not deserve to be healed any more than
anyone else, but God exercised His sovereign mercy on this one poor,
miserable cripple while He left all the others in their sick
condition. Why did He do it? The only answer is, the sovereignty of
God in bestowing mercy.

Remember one thing, friend, God does not have to save you. God does
not have to show mercy to you. God has only to let you alone for you
to go to Hell. Now, the question is, "Why should God save you?" You
don't deserve it; you don't deserve to be saved. You want to be let
alone, but for any individual to be saved God has to interpose His
sovereign grace and bring you to the place where you want to be
saved. I could go on through God's Word and give you illustration
after illustration of God's sovereign mercy. For instance, why did He
pick out Naaman and heal him of his leprosy and leave all other lepers
of his day to die in their disease? It is God's sovereignty.

Now, let's notice again that God is sovereign in the exercise of His
love, or the manifestation of His love to the sons of Adam's
race. When we say that God is sovereign in His love, we mean that God
loves whom He chooses. God does not love everybody; if He did, He
would love the Devil. Did you ever stop to think, there is not one
thing in any of the fallen sons of Adam's race, there is not anything
in any individual, that would attract the love of God? Therefore, God
loves whom He will and the cause of this love is found only in God.

Category:  Voice of Truth

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