“Behold, the Lord God will come with might, with His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him ... I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images” [Isaiah 40.10; 42.8 NASB]
We all live in a fallen world and occasionally there is another national or, even worse, an international disaster and the concept of God as a caring creator is once again brought to the attention of the world’s media. It is at that time that the doctrine of the sovereignty of God is suggested by the Church theologians as a reasonable and possible solution to understanding and coping with the current crisis. We believe that God has not abdicated responsibility for His creation, but He is, even though we cannot see or understand it at present, working to a pre-determined plan where His justice and fairness will be available to all and righteousness and peace will be to the forefront of His agenda.
Understandably, not everyone agrees with their theological understanding and their particular point of view is quickly picked up and used as providing another powerful implement, and maybe even a deadly weapon in the arsenal of the ever increasing and the very influential, unbelieving community, who firmly believe that their opponent’s arguments are foolhardy, totally unfounded and illogical.
And yet, at the same time as these men are ranting and railing against the church, there has been, divinely provided, vast amounts of comfort and hope for the wounded people of God, some of whom are arising once again from horrific external happenings and are exceptionally busy trying to repair their shattered circumstances, piece by piece, into some orderly pattern of events and then to reconcile it, if possible, with what remains to be used.
From our perspective, we assist those in need in every way possible, while God, who is never perturbed or taken by surprise, and who alone knows the end from the beginning, continually views from His established throne in heaven the extremely satisfactory conclusion of the outworking of His eternal will over the entire creation, whether in relation to nations, past or present, people, believers or not, and finally, the fallen angels. This is why, when contemplating the doctrine of the sovereignty of God in relation to sinful man, it is of the utmost importance that we hold in our other hand the comforting truth that God is just and that no guilty one, whether great or small in the eyes of man, will remain unpunished.
However, for the current believer, it is spiritually enlightening and edifying to recognise and remember that the sovereignty of God is all-encompassing, for example, it even covers over all our mistakes, whether accidental or deliberate, and some of us may have made more spiritual errors than others.
Finally, God who has innumerable resources at His disposal will raise up another messenger who will come with a rhema word, which the spiritually sensitive will devour. For example, in [Isaiah 40.10], the prophet mentions the word “Lord” that is the title here for Yahweh, the covenant keeping God. The God of the exodus was going to visit His people once again.
At that time also, God was going to stretch out His almighty “arm” for action on behalf of His people. This would be a word in season for the exiles for, as a result of their wrong attitudes and actions they had spent seventy years in captivity and they desperately needed to know that the original promises, concerning the land and their future would still be fulfilled.
Maybe you, as a child of the covenant, need to know that God keeps His personal and positional promises, no matter how much time has passed between then and now. [David McArdle]