“The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.‘” Ezekiel 2:4
Ezekiel, an old Testament prophet, writes to a people who are in Babylonian exile because of their wicked idolatry and unbelief. And he is called by God to minister to a particular group of Jewish exiles along the river Chebar. And yet much of what Ezekiel says is difficult to understand. Much of what he said may not have been understood by his contemporaries. In fact, some of the prophecies regarding Gog and Magog are still being debated today.
But one thing is absolutely clear from this Old Testament book: the God of Israel is the Sovereign Lord of the universe! In the New International Version of the Bible, the English word “Sovereign” is used 297 times in total. This one book of Ezekiel contains 210 of those 297 total occurrences. The people of God were obstinate, stubborn, and rebellious! Ezekiel was in despair! The one truth that they desperately needed to know was that God was absolutely sovereign over every detail of their lives!
There is some mystery and tension to the doctrine of God’s sovereignty! As finite, sinful creatures, we cannot fully comprehend or wrap our mind around this incredible truth! How could God be sovereign over the extremely wicked actions of Hitler, of Stalin, and of child molesters in our own day? How could God be sovereign over your seemingly free choices? And yet, God’s Word declares our God to be the Sovereign Lord, executing His perfect plan for His ultimate, eternal glory! Evil men are 100 % responsible for their evil actions, but God is, nevertheless, 100 % sovereign over all that happens.
We cannot fully understand this, but this incredible truth should serve to comfort our hearts in the midst of confusing circumstances. This truth was never meant to threaten us or confuse us, but to reassure us and strengthen us! The Sovereignty of God should be the pillow on which you rest your weary head, after a difficult day. “I cannot understand all your ways, O God! But I trust that you are sovereign, and that you are intimately involved in every detail of my life! I rest in that knowledge! I rest in the sovereignty of my God! Ultimately, I rest in you, God!”