Sunday, January 16, 2022

Gog and Magog, Part 4: The Judgment of God

In this final installment of looking at Ezekiel’s prophecy about Gog and Magog, we’re going to look at the defeat of the attackers and God’s judgment upon these nations, even though it is God who will, Sovereignly, draw them into this battle.

 

The Defeat of Gog (38:17–39:8).

 

Ezekiel 38:17–23. 

It will be God, Himself, who crushes Gog’s attack.  In these initial verses, God asked Gog, “Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel?” This has caused some confusion among interpreters because there is no direct reference to Gog made by any of the previous writing prophets.  It could be that earlier prophets had predicted the coming of some invading armies, against Israel in the last days, which Ezekiel is just now linking to Gog (see, Joel 3:9–14; Zeph. 3:15–20).

 

When the armies finally reach Israel, God will be angry with them.  He will cause a massiveearthquake in Israel that will interrupt Gog’s invasion plans and spread fear and confusion throughout the ranks of the invading forces.  In the chaos, communication between the all the invading armies will break down and they will begin attacking each other,  “Every man’s sword will be against his brother”(Ezek. 38:21).  Fear and panic will sweep through the ranks in such a way that each army will shoot, indiscriminately, at the others.  The slaughter of theses armies will be aided by “natural” catastrophes, including torrents of rain, hailstones, and burning sulphur (v. 22).  The rain will combine with dirt and debris from the earthquake to produce massive mudslides and floods.  Large hailstones will bombard the survivors, killing many.  The burning sulphur could well be volcanic ash.

 


39:1–8. The invading armies will be totally destroyed by God.  Having brought them against the mountains of Israel, God will weaken them and strike them down.  This once-mighty army will then be food for birds and wild animals.

 

God will also punish the homelands of the invaders: “I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastlands.” Sending fire implies destruction and military devastation. The nations that will initiate the invasion will, themselves, be destroyed.  The “coastlands,” already mentioned several times by Ezekiel, imply the farthest reaches of the known world. Through all of this, God will teach Israel that He is holy and is not to be disrespected or blasphemed by their sins.  Also, the nations will see that God is the Holy One in Israel.

 

 

The Aftermath of the Battle(39:9–20).

 

39:9-11.  Those who will come to plunder Israel will be plundered.  Israelites will use the fallen soldiers’ weapons for fuel for seven years.  Should the weapons of war—horses, swords, shields, bows, arrows, clubs, and spears—be understood literally, or do they refer, figuratively, to modern-day weaponry?  The text itself can allow for both interpretations, but the normal meaning of the words would lead one to see Ezekiel referring to literal horses, swords, shields, bows, arrows, clubs, and spears.  Withthe other worldwide catastrophes taking place during the first three and one-half years of Daniel’s 70th Week, a reversion to more primitive methods of warfare might become, not only possible, but also necessary.

 

Throughout the remainder of the Tribulation period, and going into the beginning of the Millennium, as Israel will be burning those weapons, she will not need to cut down any trees.  At this point, there will be an amazing reversal of Gog’s fortunes.  Israel will, instead, plunder those who have plundered her and loot those who have looted her.

 

After the battle, Israel will also bury Gog’s dead.  The burials will take place in the valley of those who travel east toward the Sea.  “This translation is somewhat confusing as ‘toward’ was supplied by the translators, and the word ‘east’ should be translated on the east of.’  The valley where Gog’s army will be buried is ‘on the east side of’ the Dead Sea in what is today the country of Jordan.  The phrase ‘those who travel east,’ could be taken as a proper name.  It might refer to the ‘mountains of Abarim,’ east of the Dead Sea, that Israel traversed on her way to the Promised Land (Num. 33:48).  If so, Gog’s burial will be in the Valley of Abarim, just across the Dead Sea from Israel proper in the land of Moab.  Yet the burial wilbe in Israel because Israel controlled that area during some periods of her history (see 2 Sam. 8:2; Ps. 60:8).” 

 

“The number of corpses will be so great that the way of travelers will be blocked.  ‘The way of travelers’ could again be translated as ‘Abarim.’  The valley will be clogged with the bodies of soldiers.  The name of the valley will be changed to the ‘Valley of Hamon Gog, meaning ‘the Valley of the hordes of Gog.’”

 

 

39:12–16.  The number of soldiers killed will be so great that for seven monthsthe nation of Israel will be burying them.  Even after the initial cleanup, squads of men will be employed to search the land for additional remains. As they go through the land and one of them sees a human bone, he will set up a marker beside it.  Then, as gravediggers see the markers, they will take the remains to the Valley of Hamon Gog for burial.  The operation will be so vast that a town will be set up in the valley at the gravesites to accommodate those cleansing the land. It will be named Hamonah, a form of the word “hordes.”

 

 

39:17-20.  Another result of Gog’s defeat will be a feastfor the wild animals.  These verses expand v. 4, where God announced that the corpses of those who fall will end up as food for birds and beasts.  God will reverse the roles of animals and people.  Usually people slaughtered and ate sacrificed animals.  Here, however, the men of Gog’s armies will be the sacrifices and they will be eaten by animals.  In addressing the birds and animals, God said that at this great sacrifice they will eat the flesh and drink the blood, as if they were fattened animals from Bashan.  Bashan, which is east and northeast of the Sea of Kinnereth (later known as the Sea of Galilee), was known for its fertile land and fat cows (see Amos 4:1).  At God’stable, the animals will eat their fill of horses and riders, mighty men and soldiers of every kind.

 

 

The Effects of the Battle on Israel.(39:21-29).

 

39:21-24.  Two results will come from the battle:  (1) the nations will see God’s glory; (2) Israel will turn back to her God.  God’s spectacular defeat of Gog will force Israel to acknowledge His power.

 

39:25-29.  The defeat of Gog will also quicken God’s plans to restore Israelites from other nations.  Verses 25-29 look ahead to the end of the Tribulation, when God will restore the nation from her final dispersion. God will bring His chosen people back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel.  God will show Himself holy through them, once again, acknowledging them as His people.  He will also pour out His Spirit on the house of Israel.  The ultimate result of the battle with Gog will be Israel’s national repentance and spiritual restoration. This will, ultimately, be fulfilled in the Millennial Kingdom.

 

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you as you await the Rapture, His coming in the air for His Church (1 Thess. 4:13-18).

 

By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

 

 

(NOTE:  Some of this information has been taken from The Bible Knowledge Commentary,by Roy Zuck and John Walvoord).

Monday, October 25, 2021

Gog and Magog, Part Three: God's Sovereignty in the Attack

In the previous two articles about Gog and Magog, we looked at a brief introduction to the book of Ezekiel and in the second article, we looked at the identification of Gog and Magog, those nations that will form a coalition and attack the nation of Israel at a future date to Ezekiel and to us, presently.  We also looked at the time frame, that is, when would this attack take place.  If you didn’t get a chance to read the previous two articles, they are still on this website.  

 

 

God Is In Control

One of the most amazing aspects of this prophecy regarding Gog and Magog is that it is God who is controlling the nations, even though they believe this is all their idea.  In Ezek. 38:1-6 we read, “And the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.  4 And I will turn you about, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples with you.”

 

God Himself will actually coordinate Gog’s attack on Israel. We read in verses 1-6 that the Lord said, “Iwill turn you around, [I will]put hooks in your jaws, and [I will]bring you out with your whole army—your horses … horsemen … a great horde with … shields and swords.”

Whether the horses and weapons are literal, we will address that in another article.  God will use Gog and all his allies, effectively, as pawns in His plans and purposes for Israel. Yet the idea for attacking Israel will originate with Gog.  Gog will act freely to accomplish his own evil goals.  He “will devise an evil scheme” (38:10).

 

This attack will be against the nation of Israel, whose people will be gathered from many nations and will be living in safety.  “Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them.  8 After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them.  9 And you will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you” (38:7–9).

Gog and his allies will attack Israel with massive strength,advancing like a storm and a cloud(38:16).

 

Gog’s purpose in the attack will be to plunder and loot the unwalled and unsuspecting nation of Israel, which, at that time, will be rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.  Israel’s importance geographically, politically, and economically will be noticed.  She will be a strategic target for any power wanting to control commerce between Asia and Africa.

Thus says the Lord God, It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil plan, 11 and you will say, I will go up against the land of unwalled villages.  I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls, and having no bars or gates, 12 to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world. 13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all its villages, will say to you, Have you come to capture spoil?  Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?” (38:10–13).

 

Gog’s attack against the nation of Israel will come from all sides.  Gog will come from the far north. With him will come his allies from the east (Persia=Iran), the south (Cush=Sudan, southern Egypt, and northern Ethiopia), and the west (Put=Libya).  They will advance against Israel like a cloud(v. 9) that covers the land.  This awesome army will overrun all obstacles as effortlessly as a cloud moving across the sky.

 

This attack, however, will be another way of God displaying, to all the nations, His holy character and Sovereignpower.  In going against Israel, the nations will come to know God for He will show Himself to be the holy One of Israel (20:41; 28:22, 25; 36:23; 39:27).  As a result of the unsuccessful attack, Israel will be delivered and God will be glorified.

 

“Therefore, prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord God, On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it?  15 And you will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; 16 and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land.  It will come about in the last daysthat I shall bring you against My land, in order that the nations may know Me when I shall be sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog” (38:14–16).

 

 

God’s Sovereignty throughout Scripture

One of many problems found in the Church today is that the complete and total sovereignty of God is either not taught, not understood, or not believed.  Yet the Bible speaks of God’s complete and total sovereignty repeatedly.  Here are but a few places in Scripture for your own study:  Psalm 29:10; Daniel 4: 34-37; Matthew 10:29-30; 1 Timothy 6:13-16; Revelation 19:16.

 

To really understand exactly Who the God of the Bible is, read Job chapters 38-42.  It will put everything in perspective and, if you are sincere in your wanting to know more about the God of the Bible, it will be a most humbling experience.  

 

May the Lord help you to understand who He really is as you read through His holy Word.

 

 

By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

 

(NOTE:  Some of this information has been taken from The Bible Knowledge Commentary,by Roy Zuck and John Walvoord).

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Gog and Magog, Part Two: Identification and Time-frame

Throughout biblical history, because of their disobedience to their God, Israel has been conquered, enslaved and scattered by her enemies.  They are back in part of their land now but as Ezekiel tells us, in the future, they will be attacked again.  But God will clearly intervene in the future to ensure the safety of His people.  He will defend the nation of Israel and judge her enemies in distant countries (for this judgment on these countries see chaps. 25–32), and by so doing, Israel, as a nation, will return to Him.

 

 

Identification:

Who are these countries that Ezekiel has identified?  

 

The New International Version translates the word rō’š (38:2) as “chief.”  However, other translations have taken the word as a proper noun and translated it “Rosh.”  Should the Hebrew word, which means “head,” be taken as an adjective (“head prince,” i.e., “chief prince”), or as a proper noun/name (“Rosh”)?  The evidence seems to point to taking it as an adjective.  “Rosh” never appears as a nation/vcountry in any other biblical list of place names, while all the other names are well verified (Gen. 10:1–7; 1 Chron. 1:5–7; Ezek. 27:13–24; 32:26).

 

For many years, theologians have attempted to identify exactly who and where these nations are, that Ezekiel names.  For many, the geographic area of the former Soviet Union seems to be the exact location. The question for us, in the twenty-first century, is should these names be connected with the area that was former Soviet Union?  First, we must identify the areas against which Ezekiel prophesied, and then determine the countries that occupy those land those landmasses today.  

 

Ezekiel’s Hebrew word rō’š does not point to “Russia” simply because the words sound similar.  Neither should one identify “Meshech” with “Moscow” or “Tubal” with “Tobolsk.”  Ezekiel had historicalplaces in mind (not modern-day names) and these areas must first be identified in Ezekiel’s time period.  However, while one must avoid being dogmatic, three reasons suggest connecting the area of the former Soviet Union with Ezekiel’s prophecy:  (1) Some of the countries named by Ezekiel were located in what is now modern day Russia; (2) The armies are said to come “from the far north” (Ezek. 38:6, 15; 39:2).  This probably includes the land bridge between the Black and Caspian Seas, which is now part of Russia; (3) Ezekiel describes a coalition of several nations, many of who are today aligned with, or at least under the influence of, modern day Russia.  These include:  Iran (“Persia”), Sudan and northern Ethiopia (“Cush”), Libya (“Put”), and Turkey (“Meshech,” “Tubal,” “Gomer,” and “Beth Togarmah”).  All these nations, perhaps led by Russia, will unite to attack Israel in the future.

 

 

Time Frame

When will this prophecy be fulfilled?  There is no past historical event to match this prophecy, so it must be a future fulfillment.  Some think this attack on Israel should be identified with the attack of Gog and Magog at the end of Christ’s millennial reign (Rev. 20:7–9), but this idea has several flaws: (1) The results of Ezekiel’s battle do not coincide with the events that follow the battle in Revelation 20.  Why bury the dead for seven months after the battle (Ezek. 39:12–13) when the next prophetic event is the resurrection of the unsaved dead (Rev. 20:11–13)?  Why would the people remain on earth after the battle to burn the weapons of war for seven years (Ezek. 39:9–10) instead of entering, immediately, into eternity (Rev. 21:1–4)?  The events after each battle are so different that two separate battles must be assumed; (2) The effect on the people is different.  In Ezekiel, the battle is the incentive God will use to draw Israel to Himself (Ezek. 39:7, 22–29) and to end her captivity.  But the battle in Revelation 20 will occur after Israel has been faithful to her God and has enjoyed His blessings for 1,000 years.

 

If the battle of Ezekiel 38–39 is not at the end of the Millennium, could it be at the beginning of the Millennium?  This also seems extremely doubtful.  Everyone who enters the Millennium will be a believer (John 3:3), and will have demonstrated his faith by protecting God’s chosen people, Israel (Matt. 25:31–46).  At the beginning of the Millennium, all weapons of war will be destroyed (Micah 4:1–4).  Therefore, it seems difficult to see a war occurring when the unsaved warriors have been eliminated and their weapons have been destroyed.

 

It seems best to place Ezekiel’s battle of Gog and Magog in the Great Tribulation period.  Other markers indicate that it should be placed in the first three and one-half years of the seven-year period.  The attack will come when Israel is at peace (Ezek. 38:8, 11).  When Israel’s covenant with the Antichrist is in effect, at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week (Dan. 9:27a), Israel will be at peace.  But after the covenant is broken, at the middle of the seven-year period, the nation will suffer tremendous persecution (Dan. 9:27b; Matt. 24:15–22).  This will provide the time needed to bury the dead (Ezek. 39:12–13) and to burn the weapons of war (39:9–10).  So, the battle described by Ezekiel may take place sometime during the first three and one-half years of the seven-year period before Christ’s second coming.  Possibly the battle will occur just before the midpoint of the seven-year period.

 

Ezekiel was describing a battle that will involve Israel’s remotest neighbors.  They will sense their opportunity to attack when Israel feels secure under the false protection of her covenant with the Antichrist, sometime at the beginning of the seven-year period.  The nations involved in the attack will include the former Soviet Union, Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Libya. Ezekiel first pictured the invasion by Gog and his allies (38:1–16), and then he described the judgment of Gog and his allies (38:17–39:29).  

 

While some of this may seem farfetched to those how are not believers, we know that God’s Word is true. He has said it will happen, therefore, it will.  Though our finite minds cannot see what the future holds, God’s Word has described it for us very clearly.  

 

Never lose sight of the fact that nation of Israel is, without question, God’s chosen people. The Church in no way has, or ever will, take the place of Israel.  “Replacement theology” is wrong.  Those to preach it are false teachers and do not understanding the clear differences between Israel and the Church.


 

The Church is the Bride of Christ  

The Church was a “mystery” prior to Paul explaining it in the New Testament.  The Church is made up of believers of every tongue, tribe and nation, Jews and Gentiles from around the world.  Becoming part of the Church is solely a matter of God’s grace alone, through a person’s faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.  

 

Next time we’ll take a look at how God actually draws these nations into the battle then uses  His defeating them to draw Israel back to Himself.

 

May the Lord bless you as you continue to faithfully study His Word.

 

 

By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

 

(NOTE:  Some of this information has been taken from The Bible Knowledge Commentary,by Roy Zuck and John Walvoord).

 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Finding Hope In All the Chaos

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:5-6a).

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write anything that I thought would be of help to those who frequent the Scofield Prophecy Studies website.  It seemed like every time I would sit down at my laptop to share something with all of you, the events of the past day, week, month and 1½ years would overwhelm my mind. I couldn’t focus or put any coherent thoughts on the page.  

 

There is no question that events, nationally and internationally, have taken some unbelievable twists and turns.  From the Covid-19 pandemic, international and national scandals, our presidential election, chaos at the border, confusion regarding vaccines, masks, social distancing, variants and potentially forced vaccinations, cities and businesses being destroyed by criminals hiding behind the mantra of “social justice,” most of whom will never have to face criminal charges or pay restitution, and the list goes on and on.  I’m quite certain that I’m not telling you anything that you haven’t seen and wondered about yourselves.  “Lord, what is going on around the world, in our country, our state, our city?” 

 

Add to all of that, as a hospital chaplain, I have seen more death in this past year than I have in my entire lifetime.  I’ve helped family members put on the PPE (personal protective equipment) so that they could go into the room and say good-bye to their dying loved one in the Covid ICU.  From a human perspective, its all been quite overwhelming.  To those of you who have lost someone you love to the Covid virus, my heart breaks for you. 

 

But today the Lord brought to my mind Psalm 42:5-6, a song written by the sons of Korah.  God reminded me that my “hope,” our hope, is supposed to be in Him.  To be honest, my hope has been in many other places:  doctors, scientists, medicines, etc.  Perhaps some of you have misplaced your hope, or lost it completely, with all that’s been going on all around us.  

 

It’s easy for our souls to become “downcast” when our hope gets misplaced.  It’s easy for “turmoil” to overpower the peace that the Lord has given to every believer, when we forget Who is in charge and that none of what we have seen, and are seeing, has taken the Lord by surprise.  On the contrary, He is quite aware of what’s happening now and what will happen in the future.  And He will use all the foolishness of fallen mankind to bring about the fulfillment of His plans and purposes.  Evil people are just too ignorant to know that God’s plans will never be thwarted or defeated.  “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds” (Proverbs 14:1) and God is noticing.

 

The LORD is the God of our “salvation.”  Every true believer can say, with the sons of Korah, He is “my God.”  We, too, can personalize it.  Jesus reminded us that He is “Our Father, which art in heaven.”  

 

If you’ve been struggling with hope, if your soul is “downcast” and filled with turmoil, I would encourage you to read and meditate upon Psalm 42.  It is a great place to go when we lose our way.  

 

Our Father is faithful, always.  “Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

 

May the Lord renew your hope, your strength and may your countenance be lifted up through Him and His glory.

 

 

By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Father, forgive them for they know not what they do

How many times have we read these words from the mouth of Jesus as He was being nailed to that horrible cross?  And when we read those words, we think along these lines, “Oh my, He’s asking God to forgive those Roman soldiers who are nailing Him to the cross.”  We marvel at Jesus’ ability to even think about them when the nails are being driven through His wrists and feet; when the pain must have been excruciating, unlike anything any of us have ever experienced.  

As I was thinking about the coming “Good Friday” remembrance, it dawned on me, “Wait, how many times could these same words apply to me? To all those who have believed and received Christ as their Savior? To all of humanity?”

If we’re honest with ourselves, though we may be true believers in Jesus’ death and resurrection, we still choose to sin, on occasion. We get selfish; we get prideful; we seek payback against someone who has messed with us.  If we’re honest, those words can apply to all of us, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  

Yes, in the immediate context, Jesus is speaking of His executioners.  But let’s be real, when we are in “sin-mode,” that is, we’re acting totally self-centered or “human,” do we really know what we’re doing?  

One pastor defined sin as “temporary insanity.”  Think about that for a while. It makes sense because when we’re in our “right” mind, when we are walking by the Spirit, when we are plugged into our power Source, we would never do such a thing, or behave in such a manner. Ever heard someone say, “I can’t believe I did that?  What was I thinking?”

Jesus, in His Deity, is omniscient and knows all things; in His humanity, He experienced all things, except for sin (Hebrews 4:15).  He is able to relate to our weaknesses and, at the same time, He has the power and authority to forgive us all of our sins – past, present and even future. 

There has never been anyone like Him and there never, ever will be, no matter what the crowd may say. He is God, Incarnate (in the flesh); He came to reveal the Father’s love and compassion; He is “the way the truth and the life” (John 14:6), and He is so because of His death and resurrection.  

An unknown author wrote the following:  
   “Buddha never claimed to be God. Moses never claimed to be Jehovah. 
   Mohammed never claimed to be Allah. 
   Yet Jesus Christ claimed to be the true and living God.
   Buddha simply said, ‘I am a teacher in search of the truth.’
   Jesus said, ‘I am the Truth.’ 
   Confucius said, ‘I never claimed to be holy.’
   Jesus said, “Who convicts me of sin?”
   Mohammed said, ‘Unless God throws his cloak of mercy over me, I have no hope.’
   Jesus said, ‘Unless you believe in me, you will die in your sins.’”

As we prepare to celebrate His death and resurrection, let’s remember that we, who are born again, need His forgiveness, not for eternal life (that comes at the moment of true faith in Jesus), but to keep our relationship with God healthy and thriving.

As Paul reminds us in Romans 8:31-35, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also, with Him, freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”   The implied answer is, “no one and nothing” can separate us from the love of Christ; the love that He so clearly demonstrated on His cross at Calvary.

May the Lord bless you as you remember and celebrate our great, loving Savior, Jesus of Nazareth at this years celebration of resurrection Sunday.

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).


By His Grace,
Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.



Monday, February 8, 2021

God Is Sovereign -- Believe It, or Not?

How do you respond to the phrase, “God is sovereign?”  Do you agree and submit to Him, or do you bristle and think, “That’s not fair!”

 

The truth is that God isthe supreme ruler of the universe (which He alone created) who brings about all things according to His desire, will and purposes.

 

God is sovereign and that will never change. The fact that He is sovereign cannot be denied by weak, puny, human beings who were created by the One and only Creator.  Whether some choose to acknowledge the truth of His sovereignty or not, quite honestly, is irrelevant!

 

·    Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things” (Ecclesiastes 11:5).

 

 

The dictionary definition of sovereign is: “self-governing, independent, possessing supreme power or authority.” At the end of the word “sovereign” is the word “reign.”  We say that a king “reigns.” That means he is the ruler, the one with the rightto make the rules. That describes God precisely!

 

“Sovereignty is a theological term that refers to the unlimited power of God, who has sovereign control over the affairs of nature and history (Is. 45:9–19; Rom. 8:18–39). The Bible declares that God is working out His sovereign plan of redemption for the world and that the conclusion is certain. Immediately after the Fall, He talked about the curse of human sin and specified the cure for it. To the serpent He said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen. 3:15). The whole redemptive story of the Bible is the fulfillment of this prophecy by the sovereign God, as Paul clearly teaches in Romans [Chapters] 8–11.

The story of redemption from Genesis to Revelation is possible only because the sovereign God loves the created world, fallen though it is, and is able to do something about it. Without the sovereign love of the Father, ministered to us through the Son and the Holy Spirit, there would be no real human freedom and no hope of everlasting life” (Ronald F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, and R. K. Harrison, Thomas Nelson Publishers, eds., Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary(Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1995).

 

Here are only but a few verses to read and consider. There are hundreds more:

·    Deuteronomy 10:14.  Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.”

 

·    2 Samuel 7:22.  Therefore you are great, O Lord[sovereign]God, for there is none like you! There is no God besides you! What we have heard is true!”  

 

·    1 Chronicles 29:11-12. “O Lord God of our father Israel, you deserve praise forevermore! 11O Lord, you are great, mighty, majestic, magnificent, glorious, and sovereignover all the sky and earth! You have dominion and exalt yourself as the ruler of all. 12You are the source of wealth and honor; you rule over all. You possess strength and might to magnify and give strength to all.  

 

·    1 Samuel 2:6-8. “The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7 The Lord makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts.  8 He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor; for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and He set the world on them.”  

 

·    Psalm 50:10-11. “For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.  11 I know every bird of the mountains, and everything that moves in the field is Mine.”

 

·    Psalm 22:27-28. All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before Thee. 28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations.”

 

·    Romans 13:1. “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”

 

As you consider the sovereignty of God from these above verses, what do you think could stop God’s plans from being carried out in this world, or in your life, or in the life of someone you love?

 

Nothing can stop God! He will accomplish everything according to His will and purposes.  We may not understand it, but who are we to question the One who gives and sustains our very lives?  Our very next breath is purely a gift from Him.  

 

 

Theologians, generally, have three views of God’s Sovereignty:  

1.  Meticulous Sovereignty:  Everything that happens happens because God, who is the ultimate First Cause in all things, caused it to happen.

 

2.  Providential Sovereignty:  Everything that happens happens either because God caused it to happen, or He allowed it to happen.  He is sometimes the First Cause of the event and sometimes He utilizes secondary causes.

 

3.  Providential Oversight: Everything that happens happens because God allowed it to happen. 

 

These are here to give you something to think about as you form your view of God’s sovereignty.

 

 

For each individual:

·     God Himself told us, in many places in the Bible, that He created everything. God is sovereign—the king—over the universe, over the earth, over all the creatures on the earth, and over every human being. If you create something, do you have the right to make the rules concerning how your creation should live and work? God is the sovereign ruler of His creation. He rules it with supreme authority and power.

 

·    If God is the sovereign ruler of His creation, that means He is the sovereign ruler of all of us. Adding together God’s sovereignty with His great love, as expressed through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, should give us a great sense security and confidence.

 

·    We need to think of Him as our sovereign King and be willing to respect and obey Him. We can trust His care for His creation, including all of us. 

 

·    If you believe and continually remember the truth that the God of the Bible is sovereign, how might that influence the way you live your life, the way you connect with others, the way you share the Gospel with family and friends?

 

 

For world events:

·    As we watch the events of the world unfold before our eyes, remember, God is Sovereign and He is working out all things according to His sovereign plan for His creation and His people.  

 

·    The God of the Bible is the sovereign ruler of His creation. He rules it with supreme authority and power and no person, no political party, no style of human government will ever change that truth.

 

·    Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord before the new court, 6 and he said, “O Lord, the God of our fathers, art Thou not God in the heavens? And art Thou not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Thy hand so that no one can stand against Thee” (2 Chronicles 20:5-6).

 

 

If you really want an excellent understanding of God’s sovereignty and power, sometime this week read Job chapters 38 – 41 all at one time.  Be prepared to be humbled. 

 

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and your families.  

 

 

By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.