RPM, Volume 19, Number 40 October 1 to October 7, 2017

The Sovereignty of God: The Night Watches

Psa 63:6; 130:6; 42:8

By John MacDuff

All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?" Daniel 4:35

How blessed that elementary truth — "The Lord reigns!" To know that there is no chance or accident with God — that He decrees the fall of a sparrow — the destruction of an atom — the annihilation of a world!

The Almighty is not like Baal, "asleep." "He that keeps Israel" can never for a moment "slumber." Man proposes; but God disposes. "You have done it," is the history of every event, past, present, and to come. His purposes none can change — His counsels none can resist.

Believer, how cheering to know that all that befalls you, is thus ordered in the eternal purpose of a Covenant God! Every minute circumstance of your lot — appointing the bounds of your habitation — meting out every drop in the cup of life — arranging what by you is called its "vicissitudes" — decreeing all its trials; and at last, as the great Proprietor of life, revoking the lease of existence when its allotted term has expired!

How it should keep the mind from its guilty proneness to brood and fret over second causes, were this grand but simple truth ever realized — that all that befalls us are integral parts in a stupendous plan of wisdom — that there is no crossing or thwarting the designs and dealings of God; none can say, "What are you doing?" All ought to say, "He does all things well."

We dare not venture, with presumptuous gaze, to penetrate into "those secret things which belong unto the Lord our God." In all that is fitted, in the consideration of this august theme of the Divine Decrees, to impart encouragement and consolation, let us rejoice; in all that is mysterious and incomprehensible, let us with childlike reverence exclaim, "Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor?

And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it back? For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen!"

The contemplation of the Sovereignty of God, formed subject-matter of rejoicing to the Savior himself in His humiliation — " Even so, Father, for so it seems good in Your sight!" And what supplied material for comfort and joy to an Almighty Sufferer, may well dry the tears and soothe the pangs of His suffering people. Oh, how sinners may magnify their God by a calm submission to His will; by seeing no hand but One in their trials; in giving or taking: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised!" "Who knows not all in these, that the hand of the Lord has wrought this?"

Til Death the weary spirit free,
My God has said, 'Tis good for thee,
To walk in faith, end not by sight.
Take it on trust a little while,
Soon shall you read the mystery right,
In the fall sunshine of His smile!

Will it not further help to the breathing of the prayer, "Your will be done," when I think, in connection with the Sovereignty of God, of the grand end of His immutable decrees — it is, "His own glory." "Of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things." What more can I desire? "All things." — God's glory and my own good! "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

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