"Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Whatever exists has already been named, and what man is has been known; no man can contend with one who is stronger than he." Ecclesiastes 6:9-10
Solomon reminds us that God is sovereign and no one can argue with Him. Or as James Weldon Johnson reminds us: “Your arms are too short to box with God.” The word “sovereign” is both a noun and verb. As a verb it means “to rule,” and as a noun it means “king” or “master” or “absolute ruler.” God’s sovereignty means that He is in charge of the entire universe all the time.
Sovereignty reminds us that God is God and we are not. When we think we’re ready to advise God on how to run the universe, he just looks at us and says, “How many stripes do you have on your sleeve?” It’s like a person who visits my house and starts to criticize things. He doesn’t like the color of the wallpaper, he doesn’t like the decorations, he doesn’t like the picture that hangs over the kitchen table. Once he is finished with his criticism, only one comment is appropriate. “Mister, whose name is on the title deed to this house? When you start paying the bills around here, you get a vote on the decorating. Until then, feel free to say nothing.” Sovereignty puts us in the place where we feel free to say nothing about the way God runs the universe.
Daniel 4 tells the story of a pagan king who learned the truth about God’s sovereignty the hard way. As Nebuchadnezzar took a walk on the roof of the royal palace, he began to say, “Is this not the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” (v. 30). In that very moment the mightiest man on earth lost his mind, began to run through the streets of Babylon, shedding his clothes as he went, bellowing like a cow. He made his way outside and began to live with the cattle. His hair grew long and his nails were like the claws of a bird. Seven years later he came to his senses. Then the king gives us the moral of the story in verse 35: “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say, ‘What have you done?’” You will search through all 66 books of the Bible and you won’t find a better statement of what God’s sovereignty really means.
Let’s take a lesson from a pagan king. All God’s ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
My Father, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Amen.
This is 1 of 100 devotionals from an ebook called Something New Under the Sun.
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