Sovereignty of God
Three articles by Loraine Boettner
Contents:1. The Sovereignty of God
SCRIPTURE PROOFDan. 4:35: He doeth according to His will In the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou? Jer. 32:17: Ah Lord Jehovah! behold thou hast made the heavens and the earth by thy great power and by thine outstretched arm; and there is nothing too hard for thee. Matt. 28:18: All authority bath been given unto me (Christ) in heaven and on earth. Eph. 1:22: And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church. Eph. 1:11: In whom we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His will. Is.14:24, 27: Jehovah of hosts hath sworn, saying, surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass . . . . For Jehovah of hosts hath purposed, and who shall annul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back? Is. 46:9, 10, 11: Remember the former things of old; for I am God. and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me; declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure . . . . yea, I have spoken; I will also bring It to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it. Gen. 18:14: Is anything too hard for Jehovah? Job 42:2: I know that thou canst do all things, And that no purpose of thine can be restrained. Ps. 115:3: Our God is in the heavens. He hath done whatsoever He pleased. Ps. 135:6: Whatsoever Jehovah pleased, that hath He done. In heaven, in earth, in the seas, and in all deeps. Is. 55:11: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Rom. 9:20, 21: Nay but, 0 man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus? Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?
SCRIPTURE PROOFThat this is the Scripture doctrine of Providence is so plain that it is admitted by many whose philosophical views lead them to reject it for themselves. We shall now present a summary of Scripture proof, showing that all events have a divinely appointed place and purpose, that God's providence is universal, and that He thus secures the complete fulfillment of His plans. God's providential control extends over: (a) Nature or the physical world. "Jehovah doeth His will in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet," Nahum 1:3. "Only in the land of Goshen where the children of Israel were, there was no hail," Ex.9:26. "He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust," Matt. 5:45. The famine in Egypt appeared to men to be only the result of natural causes; yet Joseph could say, "The thing is established of God, and God will shortly bring it to pass." Gen. 41:32. "And I also have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months before the harvest; and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city," Amos 4:7. "He gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, filling your heart with food and gladness," Acts 14:17. "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?" Is. 40:12. (b) The animal creation. "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny and not one of them shall fall to the ground without your Father," Matt. 10:29. "Behold the birds of the heavens, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them," Matt. 6:26. "My God hath sent His angel and hath shut the lions' months, that they have not hurt me," Daniel 6:22. "The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God," Ps. 104:21. "Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father (Laban) and given them to me" (Jacob), Gen. 31:9. (c) Nations. (Nebuchadnezzar's humiliation was) "to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the lowest of men," Dan. 4:17. "Behold, the nations are as a drop in the bucket, and are accounted as the small dust of the balance; behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing," Is. 40:15. "Let them say among the nation Jehovah reigneth," I Chr. 16:31. "For God Is the King of all the earth," Ps. 47:7. "He changeth the times and the seasons; He removeth kings, and setteth up kings," Daniel 2:21. "Jehovah bringeth the counsel of the nations to naught; He maketh the thoughts of the people to be of none effect," Ps. 33:10. "And Jehovah gave them rest round about .... Jehovah delivered all their enemies into their hands," Joshua 21:44. "And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah; and Jehovah delivered them into the hands of Midian seven years," Ju. 6:1. 'Shall evil befall a city, and Jehovah hath not done it?" Amos 3:6. "For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, that march through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs," Hab. 1:6. (d) Individual men. "The king's heart is in the hand of Jehovah as the watercourses; He turneth it whithersoever He will," Prov. 21:1. "A man's goings are established of Jehovah," Ps. 37:23. "A man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps," Prov. 16:9. "For we ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall both live, and do this or that," James 4:15. "Of Him, and through Him, and unto Him are all things," Rom. 11:36. "Who maketh thee to differ? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive?" I Cor. 4:7. "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, And delivereth them," Ps. 34:7. "If it be so our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and He will deliver us out of thy hand, 0 king," Daniel 3:17. "Jehovah is on my side; I shall not fear; What can man do unto me?" Ps. 118:6. But now, 0 Jehovah, thou art our Father; we are the clay and thou our potter; and we are the work of thy hands," Is. 64:8. "And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us (the returning exiles) from the hand of the enemy and the lier-in-wait by the way," Ezra 8:31. "And God brought their counsel to naught," Nehemiah 4:15. "But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or bent; that ye way know how Jehovah doth make a distinction between the Egyptians and Israel," Ex. 11:7. "And the Lord said unto Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace; for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to harm thee," Acts 18:9. (e) The free acts of men. "It is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for His good pleasure," Phil. 2:13. "And Jehovah gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked." Ex.12:36. "And the king (of Persia, Artaxerxes) granted him (Ezra) all his request, according to the hand of Jehovah his God upon him," Ezra 7:6. "For Jehovah had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God" (rebuilding the temple), Ezra 6:22. "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep mine ordinances, and do them," Ezek. 36:27. (f) The sinful acts of men. "For of a truth in this city against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, and the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel foreordained to come to pass," Acts 4:27, 28. "Jesus answered him (Pilate), Thou wouldst have no power against me, except it were given thee from above," John 19:11. (David, rebuking Abishai, in regard to Shimei) "Because he curseth, and Jehovah bath said, Curse David.... Let him alone, and let him curse; for Jehovah bath bidden him" 2 Sam. 16:10, 11. "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee; and the residue of wrath shalt thou gird upon thee' (or restrain), Ps. 76:10. "And I, behold I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians and they shall go in (the Red Sea) after them; and I will get me honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, and upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen," Ex. 14:17.