Time passes, and we look back, and from the benefit of a future vantage point, we can see things we were blind to in the moment. We get a slight glimpse of what possible good could come from something that felt, at the time, so bad. And from that vantage point, we would never look back at the disease or evil or pain we experienced and call that “thing” good in and of itself, but we might, by God’s grace, be able to see that time and time again God took what was evil and painful and trying and brought good from it.
The word “sovereign” can be either an adjective or a noun.
As a noun, a “sovereign” is a a person who has supreme power or authority. As an adjective, the word is used to describe someone with supreme rank, power, or authority. And while we might use either form to describe an earthly ruler, we know that using the word like that has some inherent qualifications.
For example, to use the word in reference to, say, the British monarchy, implies great power and authority. And yet even in such a case we know there is a limited sense to that sovereignty. King Charles, the British sovereign monarch, cannot control how much rain falls on London.
That’s important to understand because when we call God “sovereign” we mean something similar, but different, than when we use that word in another context. And that’s because there are no limitations to God’s sovereignty. Rather, God’s sovereignty is the exercise of His power of His creation.
The weather? The orchestration of world events? The flight patterns of birds? Yes, and more:
“In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
that he channels toward all who please him” (Prov. 21:1).
It’s true, then to say that God is sovereign over all earthly sovereigns. Job sums up this truth well in Job 42:2:
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
That might be a terrifying truth for you. To know that there is a God who is directing all things to His ultimate ends. It might make you feel ridiculously small and feeble and weak… and it really should. But it’s only terrifying when it’s not blended with the truth of who this God is who is sovereign over all things.