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:25; Col 1:1617; and Heb 1:23; Jas 1:17), and 2) He governs and reigns supremely over the entirety of the created order in order to fulfill all of His intended purposes in it and through it (see Deut 32:39; Psa 135:57; Prov 21:1; Isa 45:57; Dan 2:21; 4:3437; Eph 1:11)
The sovereign power of God always accomplishes its purpose. Is. 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Zech. 1:6 “But did not My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers? Then they repented and said, ‘As the LORD of hosts purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us.” Prov. 21:30 There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD. Prov. 16:9 The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
Prov. 19:21 Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand. Is. 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; Dan. 4:35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven; And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ Jer. 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” Gen. 18:14 “Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
Matt. 19:26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Is. 14:24-27 The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand, Is. 14:25 to break Assyria in My land, and I will trample him on My mountains. Then his yoke will be removed from them and his burden removed from their shoulder. Is. 14:26 “This is the plan devised against the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations. Is. 14:27 “For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?”
God is sovereign of the natural world Gen. 1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. Gen. 1:6 Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” Gen. 1:9 Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. Gen. 1:11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. Gen. 1:14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;
God is sovereign of the natural world Gen. 1:20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” Gen. 1:24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. Gen. 1:29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;
Psa. 95:3-5 For the LORD is a great God And a great King above all gods, In whose hand are the depths of the earth, The peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, And His hands formed the dry land Psa. 146:5-6 How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the LORD his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever; Jer. 10:12 It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom; And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. Jer. 51:15 It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom, And by His understanding He stretched out the heavens. Psa. 33:6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
Psa. 33:9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. Jer. 51:16 When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, And brings forth the wind from His storehouses. Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; Col. 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
Psa. 65:9 You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; You greatly enrich it; The stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth. Psa. 65:10 You water its furrows abundantly, You settle its ridges, You soften it with showers, You bless its growth. Psa. 65:11 You have crowned the year with Your bounty, And Your paths drip with fatness.
Psa. 147:15 He sends forth His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly. Psa. 147:16 like ashes. He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost
Psa. 147:17 He casts forth His ice as fragments; Who can stand before His cold? Psa. 147:18 He sends forth His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow and the waters to flow.
(God gives rain to one town while withholding it from another town)
Exodus 9:13-26 Amos 4:7 “Furthermore, I withheld the rain from you, While there were still three months until harvest. Then I would send rain on one city, And on another city I would not send rain; One part would be rained on, While the part not rained on would dry up. (God sends prosperity and God sends famine) Gen. 41:28 “It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do. Gen. 41:29 “Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt; Gen. 41:30 and after them seven years of famine will come, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will ravage the land.
Psa. 135:6 -7 Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps. Psa. 135:7 He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who makes lightnings for the rain, Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries. Psa. 65:9-11 You visit the earth and cause it to overflow;You greatly enrich it; The stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth. Psa. 65:10 You water its furrows abundantly, You settle its ridges, You soften it with showers, You bless its growth. Psa. 65:11 You have crowned the year with Your bounty, And Your paths drip with fatness.
Psa. 147:15 He sends forth His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly. Psa. 147:16 ashes. He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like
Psa. 147:17 He casts forth His ice as fragments; Who can stand before His cold? Psa. 147:18 He sends forth His word and melts them;He causes His wind to blow and the waters to flow. Notice the specific statement in the Psalms above that indicates to us what God does because these things please Him. God does not merely allow these things to happen, He makes them happen. God waters the land; God drenches the furrow; God makes the clouds rise; God sends the snow; God causes the wind
Even the events in life that seem random are under the control of God: Prov. 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD. Jesus teaches on the sovereignty of God Matt. 5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matt. 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
Matt. 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? Matt. 6:28 “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, Matt. 6:29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. Matt. 6:30 “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
Matt. 10:29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. Matt. 10:30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. In summary: God sends the rain God makes the sun rise God feeds the birds God clothes the lilies of the field God accounts for the falling of sparrows
God governs the events of history for His purposes 1. Genesis 45:4-8 You remember the story, there was seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. So when the brothers went down to Egypt to buy food the one that they appeared before was in fact there brother Joseph. The brothers sold Joseph as a slave hoping that he would have a painful death. They had no idea that he was promoted, God had given him those dreams, and now he was second in command in all of Egypt. Then in Genesis 45 Joseph decides to reveal his true identity to his brothers.
4 “Then Joseph said to his brothers, . . . ‘I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Question – is this true? Did his brothers sell him into Egypt? Yes indeed they did, they plotted it and carried it out and did exactly what they wanted to do. First of all they wanted to kill him but Reuben was there and kept them from doing that, but when the caravan came along they decided that was better because they could make some money and also be sure he would have a painful death as a slave.
5 Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life . . . Now stop and think, notice is does not say this “don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me into Egypt for God took what you did and turned it into good. Instead it says that God sent me, this is the language of past tense or past action to indicate what God did and what they did. The brothers selling Joseph into Egypt was God’s sending Joseph into Egypt. It was not using what they did for some good purpose. Now here is the question – when you have two activities that converge in bringing about what happens: The brothers selling Joseph into Egypt God sending him to Egypt Now the question is would one of the two actions be more ultimate or primary? Or does one of the two weigh in heavier than the other in explaining what happens.
7 God sent me (notice who gets dropped out of the equation all together in this verse – the brothers are no longer mentioned because God’s purpose is fulfilled in what they did) before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. (It looks like a stronger weight given to God’s action than the brothers)
8 Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; (This verifies what we thought in verse 7 that God has the ultimate action here) and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.’” In an ultimate sense what happened to Joseph can’t be explained by what happened according to your jealousy and anger and vengeful action toward Joseph in selling him into Egypt. Basically what this means is that the brothers carried out God’s ordained will. God sent Joseph through the brothers selling him.
Question: If that is the case then on judgment day can the brothers of Joseph hold up this passage from Genesis 45 and say “we can’t be held accountable for this because we didn’t send Joseph but it was God and therefore we are off the hook.” Is that going to work? No way And the reason we know this is because in Genesis 50 when Jacob dies and the brothers are left with Joseph they are worried because the father is gone so what is Joseph now going to do with them? So they plead with him to forgive them and Joseph responds “you meant it for evil but God meant it for good.” It is very clear that God’s sending Joseph to Egypt through the brothers selling Joseph to Egypt does not in any way absolve them of responsibility. God is praised for the action that He does for the people and they are blameworthy for the action they did in selling Joseph down to Egypt.
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