Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass.”
Psalm 72: 6
“When across the heart deep waves
of sorrow break, as on a
dry and barren shore;
When hope glistens with no bright
tomorrow, and the storm seems
When the cup of every earthly gladness
bears no taste of the life-giving stream;
And high hopes as though to mock our
sadness, fade and die as in some fitful dream.
Who shall hush the weary spirit’s chiding?
Who the aching void within shall fill?
Who shall whisper of a peace abiding,
and each surging billow calmly still?
Only He whose wounded heart was broken
with the bitter cross and thorny crown;
Whose dear love glad words of joy has spoken,
Who His life for us laid meekly down.”
Today’s Study Text:
“So the Lord caused Hadad, of the royal family of Edom, to turn against Solomon…God also caused Rezon son of Eliada to turn against Solomon…Another man who turned against King Solomon was one of his officials, Jeroboam son of Nebat.”
1 Kings 11: 14, 23, 26
Good News Bible
“5 Lessons From the Life of Solomon” – Part 3
Lesson #3: God Is Sovereign!
“Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.”
Psalm 135: 6
Definition of Sovereign: Having supreme rank or power. Independent and self-governing. Superlative in strength.
“The Lord’s presence is infinite, His brightness insupportable, His majesty aweful, His dominion boundless and His sovereignty incontestable.”
How does it make me feel to know that God is sovereign, not only in the universe but in my life?
In what ways have I asked God to “rule,” solely, in my world?
“To say that God is sovereign is to say that His power is superior to every other form or expression of power; it is to say that God is completely free of external influences so that He does what He chooses, as He chooses, when He chooses.”
“Oh! For a spirit that bows always before the sovereignty of God!”
C. H Spurgeon
The British pastor and author, J. C. Ryle acknowledged that he believed that, “Of all the doctrines of the Bible, none is so offensive to human nature as the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.”
The reason I believe this to be so true is that who among us doesn’t like to think we are in control of things -- be it the work we are doing or the people we encounter. I don’t believe even one of us likes to feel we are being manipulated like a reed in the wind by every happenstance that comes along.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that God is like the great puppeteer in the sky. Pulling the strings on our life and letting us just dangle, never knowing what’s going to hit us next.
But, J.C. Ryle, who was a devout scholar of the New Testament, really understood human nature when he recognized that it can be tough to believe the words of David in Psalm 115: 3, NIV, where he states, “Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him.”
It is this thought that takes us back to 1 Kings 11. God chose Solomon. He even named him Jedidiah, the beloved of God. In fact, the prophet Nehemiah, in addressing the children of Israel, made this observation about Solomon who, he noted, took wives from the nations surrounding Israel. Here’s what Nehemiah said, “Yet among many nations was there no king like him (Solomon), who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.” (Nehemiah 13:26, KJV) Please note, it was God who placed Solomon on the throne of Israel – our Sovereign God. And when Solomon willfully went his own way, the Bible tells us, in today’s study text, that God sent three different individuals who brought a wakeup call to Solomon. Here’s how Dale Davis describes the situation: “Hadad, Rezon, and Jeroboam are not accidental blobs that happened to appear in the historical menagerie; rather their place, their time, and their impact took place at the beck of Yahweh’s sovereign finger.” God used these attacks to bring Solomon to repentance. God placed Solomon on the throne and he could remove him as well. As Solomon himself said in Proverbs 21: 1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water; He turneth it whithersoever He will.”
God’s handling of Solomon’s waywardness leads us to a larger and deeper working out of our heavenly Father’s sovereign will and it is this, at the center of all God does in your life, in Solomon’s life and in my life as well, it is to bring us to repentance and the joy of spending eternity in the presence of our heavenly Father. As Paul W. Harrison so beautifully expressed, “Wherever God rules over the human heart as King, there is the kingdom of God established.” Donna Partow conveyed this thought also when she wrote, “ More than anything we can give for God, be for God, do for God, He simply wants our heart.” And through our Father’s sovereign rule, He will act purposefully to, as Preston Parrish penned, “orchestrate all things to harmoniously converge and culminate in the glory, honor, and worship of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
So the next time you or I wonder who is in control or for those times when we mistakenly think we have everything handled, how grateful we can be that even when we can’t see the future, our Father promises, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending” (Revelation 1: 8, KJV). Or as I like to personally paraphrase this passage, “Dorothy, I was with you at your beginning and I will be with you to the very end.”
Here’s how A. W. Pink defined the sovereignty of God: “We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God…To say that God is sovereign is to declare He is the Most High, doing according to His will, so that none can stay His hand, defeat His counsels, or thwart His purpose.”
I’m so thankful I know and can trust my Father who is in control -- my Father who is sovereign.
“We are God’s own, to Him, therefore, let His wisdom and will dominate all our actions. We are God’s own; therefore, let every part of our existence be directed towards Him as our only legitimate goal.”
“In Thee would we lose ourselves utterly; do in us what thou wilt.”
“Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
Lead me by thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.
Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to thy rest.
Choose thou for me my friends,
My sickness or my health;
Choose thou my cares for me,
My poverty or wealth.
Not mine, not mine the choice
In things great or small;
Be thou my guide, my strength,
My wisdom, and my all.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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