As I am preaching through Isaiah now in our church, we are continually being faced with the language of the Sovereignty of God. In chapter 37:21-32, there is astonishing language used that depicts the magnificence of God’s sovereignty. In this text we are exposed to what is perhaps the most comforting message of the Bible – It is a branch of the message of the love of God. That message can be summed up in the phrase in v32, “The zeal of the Lord will accomplish this.” This is THE great cause of everything. God is superintending all of history in order to prove Himself zealous to rescue His people. What we learn from Isaiah, is that it’s not our zeal for God that Isaiah is concerned about, but rather His zeal for us. During this sermon, I mentioned nine marks of the sovereignty of God. Here they are:
Nine marks of the sovereignty of God
1. Everything you have received is determined by a sovereign God, 1 Cor 4:7, “What do you have that you did not receive.”
2. He is the ONLY potentate and the king of kings, 1 Timothy 6:15-16, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen
3. He will capture His enemies and no one can stop it, Isaiah 43:13, Indeed before the day was, I am He; And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?
4. Nothing is outside His will for He works all things by the counsel of His will, Eph 1:11, In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
5. His dominion is unstoppable and unending and nothing can resist it, Daniel 4:34-35, And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?”
6. He initiates all calamity, Amos 3:6-7, If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it? 7 Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. 8 A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken!
7. He uses all evil for good, Genesis 50:20 you meant it for evil but God meant it for good. Romans 8:28
8. The most wicked act in human history (the crucifixion of Christ) was determined by Him, Acts 4:27-28, “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,
9. He hardens and soften hearts according to His will, Ex 7:3-4, And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.
Does God watch the sin and rebellion taking place, and then figure out a way to use it for good? NO. He ordains it because it glorifies Him.
Hezekiah is being reminded by the Lord that Sennacherib is an instrument in His hand. So are we this morning being reminded that the “Sennacheribs” and “Rabshakeh’s” of our lives are also tools in His hands for our good, for “what God ordains is always good.”
What stands here as a towering theological principle that is meant to affect your whole life and your interpretation of all of the events of your life.
In her book Choosing Gratitude, Nancy Leigh DeMoss shares a pledge written by a Bible teacher named Russell Kelfer. He challenged believers to write these words on a sheet of paper, and sign their names, then make a habit of recommitting themselves to it on a regular basis:
Having been born into the kingdom of God, I do hereby acknowledge that God’s purchase of my life included all the rights and control of that life for all eternity.
I do further acknowledge that He has not guaranteed me to be free from pain or to have success or prosperity. He has not guaranteed me perfect health. He has not guaranteed me perfect parents. He has not guaranteed me perfect children. He has not guaranteed me the absence of pressures, trials, misunderstandings, or persecution.
What He has promised me is eternal life. What He has promised me is abundant life. What He has promised me is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, meekness, and self-control. He has given me all of Himself in exchange for the rights to my life…
Therefore I acknowledge this day the relinquishment of all my rights and expectations, and humbly ask Him by His grace to replace these with a grateful spirit, for whatever in His wisdom He deems to allow for my life.
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