The Promise of Sovereignty

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The Promise of Sovereignty

Psalm 8

Divine Majesty and Human Dignity

To the leader: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David.

O Lord, our Sovereign,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

Out of the mouths of babes and infants

you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,

to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars that you have established;

what are human beings that you are mindful of them,

mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,

and crowned them with glory and honor.

You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;

you have put all things under their feet,

all sheep and oxen,

and also the beasts of the field,

the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,

whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

1 Timothy 1: 8-12

Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him.

Sovereignty is a scary word. It’s packed with too much implication an innuendo of submission and domination. In our lives today, with honor absent, we just do not have a good picture of what sovereignty can look like. For most of us, the closest picture we have is this:

Not a pretty picture. Little wonder why entire denominations of the church strategically avoid using the word “sovereign”.

I have no intention of bringing the popularity of the word back in our cultures. I am slightly interested in the scare tactic of imagining life on our own though. Strangely enough, the long string of movies that focused on surviving natural disasters back in the ‘90’s was rerouted into a focus on man-made disasters after September 11th, 2001. Ironically, the only one (as my best guess) of these movies that portrays God as being in control is the movie Noah, portraying the world’s first “natural” disaster. Apparently, we have been struggling with the idea of God being in control ever since then. What happens if God is not in control? Disaster – or at least every disaster movie attests so, save the one, and here the exception explicitly proves the rule.

Why is it always disaster? Because the one thing we are certain of from the day we are born until the day we die is: we are not in control. Furthermore, our attempts to take control seem to always bring harm. We don’t know enough, we aren’t strong enough, and we just aren’t good enough even to clean up our own messes most of the time.

Thankfully, God is all of those things, and while it may not be as self-evident as our lack of control, Scripture attests with the witness of history that God is indeed in control. Too many times we could have destroyed ourselves and did not. The poor and weak continue to survive and often thrive i-spite of our desires to keep them out of sight and out of mind. Places of persecution continue to be places of growth, and in spite of a deficit of material evidence or visible, recorded evidence of God Himself, there are believers on every continent in the world some 2,000 years after Jesus left for Heaven. When we, as believers, see what God does with the control He has, it only makes us love Him more. God is, has always been, and always will be sovereign, and because He is we have hope.

What do you need to quit pretending you have control over today?

What do you need to let God have control over today?

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