“Holy, Holy, Holy, hear the hymn ascending, angles, saints their voices blending” was the refrain we sang yesterday as we read together Psalm 99 which beautifully extols the greatness of God and His Kingship over the earth. “The Lord is king; letthe people tremble! He sits enthroned on cherubim; let the earth quake! (Psalm 99:1).
This theme, of God sitting enthroned over the heavens and the earth as King, is one which is central to the biblical storyline and because of that is a central doctrine of the Presbyterian-Reformed theology. The Doctrine of the Sovereignty of God, as I understand it, explains that God, as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth is also the just ruler over them. In the Church, particularly in our hymnary we revisit this theme again and again to the point that I often wonder if it’s taken for granted. I often wonder if we forget that as Christians we believe that God the Blessed Trinity is still Sovereign over all Creation, even though it seems, because of the rule of sinful men that God’s rule is absent.
I wonder if the Sovereignty of God still relevant? I would say that it is, and that it is more relevant than ever to recognise that there is an everlasting King who sits enthroned over the world. A King, whose rule is not like the rule of men, but is one where peace, justice, mercy, and forgiveness abound. A rule that is free from malice, injustice, and power-hungry men lusting after more power. I think sometimes we are afraid of God’s Sovereign Rule, in part because we are afraid of God’s justice, but more so because we are afraid that God’s rule will be a reflection of the rule of men on earth. However, the rule of men, is a fallen and sinful reflection of the just rule of God. We can trust in God’s Sovereignty because we know that God is good, moreover, God fully revealed in His Son Jesus Christ, and in His death and resurrection showed us what the Kingdom of God is like, and showed us what God’s Sovereignty looks like. God’s rule is a saving rule, a freeing rule, and a just rule. It is no wonder that many of those great teachers who have gone before us have focused so much on the Sovereignty of God.
One final note about the Sovereignty of God. As the Church we are called to be a counter-culture, within the culture. We are called to be the visible signs of what God is doing to redeem the world and exercise is Sovereignty. The Sovereignty of God lets us do that because we are not ultimately bound to the political structures, and our ultimate allegiance is not to whoever sits in political office but to God, to whom we must give account of our lives. Sure we are bound to the law to live as citizens under it, but it will never be our final master. The Sovereignty of God gives us hope in a broken world, and gives us a taste of what the world should be like and what the world will be like in the New Heavens and New Earth. When we believe, live and act as if God is King, and serve as His subjects the world is being transformed. Saints living and working under God’s Sovereignty are a light even in the darkest political turmoil.
Sovereign God, let us all live as subjects of Your Kingdom. Serving under your Sovereign Will. Help us to live for You and under Your Kingship and let that be a light to the world. May the World see that You are King, May they tremble at your Rule of Justice and Mercy and bow before Your throne in Adoration. All Glory be to God; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost who sits enthroned as King over the heavens and earth from everlasting to everlasting.