Friday, September 6, 2013

Job 9 - Our Sovereign God

One of the most vital aspects of God’s character, yet at the same time often the most misunderstood, if not downright vilified, is the concept of God’s sovereignty.   The idea that God not only created everything, but controls everything and dictates how we should act, is repugnant to the natural man.  As Christians, we know that God’s sovereignty is truly a gift, not a curse, but those outside of Christ, because of their fallen nature, cannot get past their desire for freedom (so called) and autonomy to see who God truly is, and what a blessing it is to be His bond-slave.

I don’t believe there is any message that is so clearly presented in the book of Job than the message that God is sovereign.  It is very clearly the point of God’s questioning of Job in the final chapters.  But even as early as chapter 9, this week’s suggested reading, it is clear that Job understands something of that truth.  However, he is not rejoicing in God’s sovereignty.  He is complaining about it.  He doesn’t understand what God is doing, he knows he has no recourse, and he’s frustrated.  If you have spent any time sharing the gospel on the street, you have heard similar complaints, and likely have talked to people who have walked away from church when things in their lives have gone wrong.  The problem of pain and suffering can be one of the most difficult questions to deal with, for believers and unbelievers alike.  But when God brings you to a deeper understanding of what His sovereignty means, it turns from a source of frustration to an amazing blessing and a joy.  Yes, God has allowed pain and difficulty, but He has also promised that He will wipe away every tear from those who are trusting in Him, and bring them into His kingdom.

So this week I encourage you, as you are reading, to challenge others, and yourself, regarding the sovereignty of God.  Present a God that is sovereign in His power over His creation, and in His judgment of His creation’s disobedience.  Then, present a God who is sovereign in salvation.  Our God is mighty to save, and  as Psalm 138 tells us, the Lord will fulfill his purpose for you, and He will not forsake the work of His hands.

All for His glory,



In Job 9, Job asks questions and makes statements about who God is, and what He is like 

They are questions that ought to make us pause and think. 

Stop and listen for a moment, and you will see how these truths impact you 

Job asks "Can a man be in the right before God?  Who can contend with Him?" 

Then Job talks about what God is like, about His power.

Job says that God removes mountains, and overturns them in His anger 

He says that He shakes the earth out of its place 

He commands the sun and it does not rise, and He seals up the stars 

Job tells us God made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades.  These are star clusters and constellations we still recognize today. 

He says God passes by, but we do not see Him, that He moves but we do not perceive Him. 

He ask  if God snatches away, who will turn Him back?  Who will say "What are you doing?" 

And Job reminds us that God is not a man that we might answer Him, and there is no arbiter between us. 

This whole passage emphasizes a message that is at the heart of the book of Job, and indeed the entire Bible.

It is a message Job understood in part, but not fully, until the end of the book.  And it is a lessen all of us need to learn, or to understand better. 

That truth is that God is sovereign.

When we say God is sovereign we mean that He has the authority and ability to do what He desires with His creation.   

It means nothing happens in this universe unless He either causes it, or allows it. 

1 Chronicles 29:11 says "Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all." 

Psalm 115:3 tells us "Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases." 

The idea of a sovereign God is a wonderful thing when He is a God who will take our side, and be our support.

But we get much more uncomfortable when He becomes our ruler, one who dictates what is right and punishes what is wrong. 

We don't want someone to control us.  We want to believe we can and should control our own lives. 

It is that desire that drove Adam and Even to sin in Eden, and it is that desire that drives us to deny or rebel against God today.   

It come from a desire for autonomy, and ultimately, from pride. 

But we are not our own.  We belong to God, and He has made His power and authority clear, in the world around us, and within us.

God has revealed Himself to us in His creation

Psalm 19 tells us that the heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies proclaim the work of His hands

Romans 1 also tells us that what can be known about God is plain to those who deny Him, because He has made it plain to them.  For His invisible attributes, He eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from the things that have been made, so they are without excuse.

God has also revealed Himself in His word. 

2 Peter 1 tells us how men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit

2 Timothy 3 reminds us that all scripture is breathed out by God

But even if you disagree with these truths, you cannot escape the law God has written on your heart

Our conscience is God’s internal witness to His existence.  You know you are wrong when you break His law, even if you try to suppress it.  You feel guilt when you sin, because you know you are guilty.

We will all stand in judgment before God one day.  You may not have thought much about that, or you may have thought that was OK, since God sees your heart and knows your good intentions.

But God does know your heart, and that’s not a good thing

Consider the 10 Commandments.  You would probably agree with many of them.  But a moment of reflection will show you that even those you agree with, you have not kept.


In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus Christ told His followers to be perfect, as His Father was perfect.

All of us have fallen far short of perfection.  All of us are guilty of breaking God’s law.

Guilty criminals like us deserve to be punished, and the punishment we deserve for our rebellion against the God of the universe, is eternity in Hell.

In Hell, those who have rejected God and broken His law will suffer in a place of fire and darkness and pain, paying the price for their past and continued hatred of God.

But though we deserve pain and punishment, God, who is not only sovereign but loving and merciful, made a way of escape.

We could not satisfy our sin debt, so Jesus Christ, God the Son, satisfied it for us on a Roman Cross.

When Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago, He lived the perfect life we never could, and then died a perfect death.

He nailed Himself, and our sins, to the cross.  And there, justice was satisfied.

Then He rose from the dead, ascended, and now sits at God’s right hand.

Now, if you turn away from your sins and put your trust in Christ alone, you will still stand before God one day.

But when you do, God will no longer look at your sin.  Instead, He will look at His own Son, and see His perfection credited to you. 

Only through that gift of grace, only through that perfect life, substitutionary death, and representation before God on judgment day, can you escape the Hell you deserve.

I deserve Hell, but I won’t go there. 

I will spend eternity in heaven, but not because I’m good. 

I will spend eternity in heaven because GOD is good, and because Jesus Christ died to save me.

Are you trusting in Christ?  Are you trusting in the only way to salvation?

If you are not, please, turn to Christ and live.

God is sovereign, and God is good.  Humble yourself, throw yourself on His mercy, and He will save you.

And because God is sovereign, He will keep you, and you too will have the joy of knowing God, and spending eternity in loving worship of Him.

Then you can say, as Paul did in his letter to the Philippians, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ!

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