At first glance this list of Old Testament proverbs may appear like a hodgepodge of random thoughts. A closer look, however, reveals a common theme we tend to overlook or ignore, and that is the theme of God’s absolute sovereignty over His creation. By sovereignty, I mean God’s right as the King of the universe to rule as He sees fit—without question, limitation, accountability, or resistance.
Sovereignty is a difficult concept to grasp in our age of democracy and the rule of law. Earlier civilizations understood the concept of absolute sovereignty all too well. In those days, rulers governed at their own discretion without having to consult anyone, and their decisions were absolute. Kings answered to no one, and the moral code of the land was determined by what they declared right and wrong. When neighbors had a dispute, they took their cases before the king, who then settled the matter by whatever standard he favored—even if that standard changed from day to day based on his mood. His decision was final; his word became law. People trembled before greedy, selfish, ignorant kings and longed for kind, generous, wise rulers.
Of course, the ultimate Sovereign is God. While a human king might be murdered, overthrown, or invaded, God cannot die, and He cannot be unseated from His throne. He answers to no one. His rule is absolute, His decisions permanent. Our moral code—the definition of right and wrong—is determined by His righteous and unchanging character. All must conform to His standard or suffer the consequences of their rebellion. Fortunately, our omnipotent King is good and kind, merciful and patient.
Our troubles begin, however, when our desires conflict with God’s and we refuse to acknowledge His sovereignty, His right to rule over His creation.
From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
In Embraced by the Spirit, we step away from the heat of theological battle that analyzes and criticizes and move quietly and closely to the One who has been sent alongside to help.