When you see that word, what images come to mind? A king or queen? A nation? A state? When I think of “sovereignty” I think of a sovereign, a king, who rules with one of those fancy scepters while sitting on a throne dressed in a flowing scarlet or purple robe, golden, jeweled crown on his head, and a confident disposition. He gives out commands and they are done without fail. After all, he has sovereignty.
Sovereignty is defined as: “supreme power or authority”
God is sovereign. And His sovereignty is the only thing that keeps me sane in this life. Just think… If there was a god over this world who did not hold absolute power, then what good would it do asking for help in a time of need? How do you know he can help you? It may be outside his power! Also, what foundation is there for hope in the future? Wanna trust in the goodness of man? How has man done on his own these past thousands of years? Is he reliable? Can he do everything he says?
I’m thankful the Bible paints a picture of God that is anything but weak. Does He pull every string like a puppet master? No. The Bible makes it clear that He has given mankind a certain level of free will. But absolute will? No. He reserves that for Himself.
This morning my pastor, Steve, preached on Romans 13:1-7, one of the most direct passages of the Bible on the sovereignty of God over world rulers. I know he thought it a tough passage going into this weekend while I thought it a more simple one. Maybe that’s because I’ve written so much about the role of God and government over the past decade for various curricula and on various blogs. I won’t opine on it greatly here, though I will say that I have spent a lot of time studying the Scriptures, the Church fathers, and developing a theology on the subject. It boils down to something like this:
God is sovereign over the nations, their leaders, and their armies. He acts to brings leaders into power and by His will they fall. He commands us to obey our leaders out of respect for Him, to pray for them, and to seek to live in peace and tranquility under their rule, even when they fail to honor Him. Oh, and to pay our taxes — whatever they ask, even if we think it unfair. Our only exception for this obedience is when the commands of God are challenged by the decrees of our leaders.
I’ve pasted the links to two articles I wrote last few year on God, government, and Christian responsibility. Read them if you’d dare.