I have often been troubled by the false portrayal of Gods sovereignty, as if He is some kind of puppet master in the sky that moves and directs people in some sort of robotic, takeover fashion. I think Gods sovereignty is greater than this, and that there is something of a mystery to it. For example I believe the Bible shows us, God sovereignly uses human beings, whether good or bad to bring about His purposes. To me this is where the greatness of Gods sovereignty is on display! The fact that in many cases, both consciously and unconsciously people are under the sovereignty of God in their actions.
Today I would like to look at two men who were opposers of God who were even Sovereignly used by God in their sin and wickedness to bring about Gods purpose. 1. The Pharoah in the Exodus account. 2. Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus.
I used to be troubled by the statement, that God hardened Pharoahs heart. As if God just hardened Pharoahs heart against his own will! The Bible is true when it says God hardened Pharoahs heart! God sovereignly did this and would use this for His own glory. See EXODUS 7:3, 9:12. Even though Pharoah did not know the Lord, The Lord had a sovereign purpose for him, and had raised him up for this very hour. See Exodus 9:16.
Something that shouldn’t be overlooked however in this topic is, Pharoah was a free moral agent in this event. The Bible is also very clear that Pharoah hardened his own heart. See Exodus 8:15, 32. Gods sovereignty is so amazing that, even though Pharoah was his own free moral agent in this, Gods sovereignty is still in control. Man is free to act, yet in reality he is never outside the jurisdiction of the sovereignty of God. This is how God in the Bible is portrayed to be.
There are many in our day who misconstrue Gods sovereignty and start second guessing everything they do, and so begin to put themselves in some kind of spiritual straight jacket. We need to trust as we commit our lives to him, that He is guiding and directing us making our straight. Proverbs 3:5-6.
I had intended to also cover Judas Iscariot, but the basic premise is the same as Pharoah. Judas was also a free moral agent in his wicked deed, yet it was Jesus who also chose him for this very purpose. See John 6:70. Because we are free moral agents, this means that we are accountable to God for our actions, and will give account to the Judge. Judas Iscariot and Pharoah paid an awful price for their wickedness, even though God sovereignly used their wicked actions to bring about His purpose in both cases.
Hopefully we can be comforted by thoughts of Gods sovereignty in some of the troubled times we live in. to end with a song quote, “God is God and I am not!