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Many of us who attended Sunday School as little kids grew up singing the song “He’s got the whole world in His hands” – a very melodious tune that has the capability of taking over one’s mind completely. Even now, as old as I am, I cannot help myself each time I remember the song. I find myself humming the tune beneath my breath for days at a stretch. I sleep humming and I wake up humming. The downside is that the melody is so good that as we hum, we tend to forget the import of the words in the song. That song pretty much says, that the whole world is in the hands of the Lord to do with as He pleases. Just exactly what Psalm 24 says that “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”. For emphasis, that Psalm says God’s ownership is not limited to the earth or the world alone, but it includes all who live in it. When you own something, you reserve the right to do with that thing as you well please. So, God’s ownership of the earth and everything in it means we are all in His hands. This ability of God to do all things, know all things, control all things is what the theologians refer to as God’s sovereignty.
The Psalmist in Psalm 115:3 says “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” God said to Cyrus the King of Persia, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” Our God will do what He pleases because He has the whole world in His hands. Yes, God will do what He pleases, and we cannot even question Him. First law of God’s sovereignty is “question me not”. All of these have implications for us; far reaching implications that may elude our understanding sometimes. We have questions like, why am I suffering like this? I thought the basic foundation of Christian morals is that good begets good and evil begets evil. Why am I experiencing the opposite?
How do we explain it when someone who seems to be doing good is struck by evil? How do we explain people who have seemingly given their lives completely to God and are yet struck down by debilitating illness? Should we question God? This is the story of Job and he indeed questioned God when he decided to list all the good things he has done. The Lord had a classic response for him in Job 38:2, “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?” It continued in Job 38:4-6, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone”. There are a couple of things here – 1) When we question God we may be standing in the way of his plans? 2) Who is Job anyway to question God?
In spite of all the above, Job understood one thing and he made it clear that He knows who controls His life, “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10). God has the whole world in His hands to do with as He pleases. This sovereign God is a master orchestrator. All we need to do is to “trust the Lord and do good” (Psalm 37:3), because His plans for us are for good (Jeremiah 29:11). We cannot question his actions at every moment because whatever happens to us is part of His grand design for us. God is not man, so we cannot relate with Him as if He were man. Man rewards positive actions with trust. God requires that we trust Him, and He rewards our trust with His actions. We however cannot question His actions because they are part of a grand design, the end of which only God knows. He is an unquestionable God. When we question Him, we get in the way of His plans (Psalm 38:2). Our questions are often based on what we know, and unfortunately, we do not know much because for now we only know in part (1 Corinthians 13;9). He is sovereign, and we can rest on His words in how He deploys His sovereignty, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Our God is able to use every circumstance we may find ourselves in to work for His good and His glory. Abide in Him and watch His plans for you unfold. – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya