The Sovereignty of God Revealed in Genesis and Exodus
While reading through the books of Genesis and Exodus in my personal Scripture reading time , I have really been meditating a lot on the sovereignty of God. Pastor Mark Dever in the book, The 9 Marks of a Healthy Church, says this about the importance of properly understanding this key topic:
“Our understanding of what the Bible teaches about God is crucial. The Biblical God is Creator and Lord; and yet His sovereignty is sometimes denied, even within the church. For confessing Christians to resist the idea of God´s sovereignty in creation or salvation is really to play with pious paganism. Many Christians will have honest questions about God´s sovereignty, but a sustained, tenacious denial of God´s sovereignty should concern us. To baptize such a person may be to baptize a heart that is in some ways still unbelieving. To admit such a person into membership may be to treat them as if they were trusting God, when in fact they are not.”
A.W. Pink speaks even more forcefully on the subject:
“The “god” of this twentieth century no more resembles the Supreme Sovereign of Holy Writ than does the dim flickering of a candle the glory of the midday sun. The “god” who is now talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday School, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day, and preached in most of the so-called Bible Conferences is the figment of human imagination, an invention of maudlin sentimentality. The heathen outside of the pale of Christendom form “gods” out of wood and stone, while the millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a “god” out of their own carnal mind. In reality, they are but atheists, for there is no other possible alternative between an absolutely supreme God, and no God at all. A “god” whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity, and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits nought but contempt.”
As mentioned, while reading through the books of Genesis and Exodus, I see that the fact that the Bible reveals God as being supremely sovereign is undeniable:
He is the Sovereign Creator of all things. (Genesis 1 and 2)
After the fall of man, He enacted a plan (Genesis 3:15) of redemption that we learn later on in Scripture is not plan B, but rather a plan that He had in His heart since before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-5, 1 Peter 1:17-21, Revelation 13:8). If the Lamb was slain since before the foundation of the world and the names of His own written in the book of life, then He obviously knew the events of the Fall and that He would enact His sovereign plan of redemption.
He is sovereign over sterility, fertility and the birth of children and nations (Genesis 20:17-18; 21:1-2; 25:23-24; 29:31; 30:2, 22)
He sovereignly called Abraham out of the land of Ur (Genesis 12:1-3) choosing him and his descendants to be the people group from which the Messiah would be born.
God sovereignly gave Abraham and Sarah a child even at their advanced age and foretold what his name should be and that His covenant would be with this child even before he was born (Genesis 17:19; 21:1-2).
Joseph told his brothers that it was God who sovereignly allowed him to be sold in to slavery so that multitudes would be saved by his leadership during the famine that plagued much of the known world at that time (Genesis 45:8).
God foretold to Jacob that his descendants would go to Egypt, become a great nation and eventually be gathered back to their promised homeland by His strong hand (Gensis 46:2-4).
In the book of Exodus, God sovereignly raised up Moses and even Pharoah so that He might show forth His glory to the Egyptians and His chosen people Israel (Exodus 14:4, 17, 18).
Here in the books of Genesis and Exodus, we see that Moses wrote about the events of history in such a way as to reveal that God is in fact Absolutely Sovereign over all things while at the same time highlighting the mysterious truth that men make “choices” within the parameters of the Divine will. The Bible presents God as all knowing and absolutely sovereign even down to the final page. The end of all things is no unknown mystery to Him, He declares that there will be a new heaven and a new earth and all things will be made new and that´s just how it is (Revelation 21). Now, here comes the big question for us, do we really believe that the Bible, including the books of Genesis and Exodus, are the inspired, inerrant, infallible very words of God? If we say that we do and yet don´t believe that God is Sovereign, then there is a problem, a logical disconnect. If we believe anything less about the Scriptures, if we hold the Scriptures in slightly lower esteem and question and make excuses for them, then we might as well pack our Bible up on our shelf right next to the myths and fairy tales of ancient Greece and Medieval literature because in effect, by our lack of belief and faith in the truthfulness and inerrancy of Scripture, we are declaring them to be nothing more than another large collection of ancient myths. It is mysterious, to say the least, how the Bible reveals God as Sovereign over the events of history and that nothing, not even something as common as the birth of a child or the death of a sparrow is “apart from our Father” (Matthew 10:29-31), but this is who the Bible reveals Him to be. The Bible reveals God to be the ever present I AM (Exodus 3:14), sovereign over all and we should worship Him for who His word reveals Him to be otherwise we run the risk of creating and worshipping an idol of our own imagination and not the God of the Bible.
(23) But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. (24) God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”