The Bible ought to be the first port of call when seeking to grow in your understanding of God. Whilst theology textbooks, sermons and ministries can be helpful and should be used as an aid; nothing should take the place of diligent study and devotion to the Word of God. In particular, when it comes to the study of God’s attributes, the believer should commit to spending a number of hours per week in the Word.
To begin my post with such a disclaimer suggests I’ve seen too many believers wasting their time drinking from the wells of other people. For some of you reading this post, you need to put down your books and pick up your Bibles. The joy of discovering God from the drinking well of His perfect Word cannot be found elsewhere.
This short post is based on a sermon I preached on Sunday 31st May 2015 to the members and friends of Grace Church Southall. It comes from a place of prayer and seeking His face diligently in His Word. I did not go to a theologian or a theology textbook.
It gave me the greatest delight to speak about God’s character in the light of man’s sovereignty. This is perhaps a strange way to look at the topic but hear me out. God’s perfection and holiness is most understood and enjoyed when contrasted against man’s imperfect and sinfulness. In 1 Chronicles 29, David, the sovereign king is passing on the baton to his son Solomon. Prior to the baton being passed over, David implores the people of God to give generously to the building of the temple in Jerusalem. His son, Solomon, was to carry out the tremendous task.
When you study closely the entire chapter, you begin to see that both David and his Solomon had been blessed with great majesty, power, might, riches and authority. They were earthly sovereigns in their own right. But the chapter also discloses their many weaknesses. Yes, they were sovereign during a limited period of Israel’s history and had great power and control, but they had many a limitation. For example, the chapter tells us that Solomon was young and inexperienced and David was old, nearing death and only able to provide so much towards the building of the temple. Contrast this now to what the sovereign king David says about the eternal, glorious and true Sovereign:
“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 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. Both riches and honour come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.” 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 (ESV)
The eternal truth conveyed to us is that even earthly sovereigns are entrusted with power from on high. However, these truths are best seen and understood in the light of man’s frailties. Both David and Solomon were all too aware that they served the true Sovereign who was over all, past, present and future – the God of the nations and the cosmos.
This same God came into this dark and sinful world 2,000 years ago in the person of Jesus Christ and died for sinners. Do you know this Jesus?