God’s Sovereignty Over Nature

The following excerpt was taken from an article by John Piper, ‘The Sovereignty of God’ which can be found here.

He is sovereign over what appears the most random acts in the world. Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” In modern language we would say, “The dice are rolled on the table and every play is decided by God.” There are no events so small that he does not rule for his purposes. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?” Jesus said, “And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:29–30). Every role of the dice in Las Vegas, every tiny bird that falls dead in the thousand forests — all of this is God’s command.

From worms in the ground to stars in the galaxies, God governs the natural world. In the book of Jonah, God commands a fish to swallow (1:17), God commands a plant to grow (4:6), and commands a worm to kill it (4:7). And far above the life of worms, the stars take their place and hold their place at God’s command. Isaiah 40:26 says, “Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.”

How much more, then, the natural events of this world — from weather, to disasters, to disease, to disability, to death.

Psalm 147:15–18 says, “He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He gives snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.” Job 37:11–13 says, “He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning. They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen.”

God Could Have Stilled the Winds

So snow and rain, and cold, and heat, and wind are all the work of God. So when Jesus finds himself in the middle of a raging storm, he merely speaks, “Peace! Be still!” And as the text says, “the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). There is no wind, no storm, no hurricane, no cyclone, no typhoon, no monsoon, no tornado over which Jesus can say “Be still,” and it will not obey. Which means, that if it blows, he intends for it to blow. “Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?” (Amos 3:6). All Jesus had to do with Hurricane Sandy last Monday was say, “Be still,” and there would have been no damage and no loss of life.

And what about the other sufferings of this life? “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?’” (Exodus 4:11). And Peter said to the suffering saints in Asia Minor, “Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19). “It is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17).

Whether we suffer from disability, or from the evil of others, God is the one who ultimately decides — and whether we live or die. Deuteronomy 32:39 says, “There is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.” Or consider James 4:13–15: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’ — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” Or, as Job says, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

The roll of the dice, the fall of a bird, the crawl of a worm, the movement of stars, the falling of snow, the blowing of wind, the loss of sight, the suffering of saints, and the death of all — these are included in the word of God: “I will accomplish all my purpose” — from the smallest to the greatest.

Our Father,

There are no other gods but You. You are our Lord who created everything and breathed the breath of life into us. When suffering comes, it is not for us to question Your purpose, but we know that You are righteous, holy, and just and that we need only trust in Your will. Even though we may suffer, may we do so in the knowledge that You are fully in control. You are a powerful and loving God. We Praise You!

In Jesus Name, Amen.

2 thoughts on “God’s Sovereignty Over Nature

    1. Thank you, Steve. I’m glad you liked it. There’s so much I want to write about God, but I always find other writers who put it so much better than I ever could, praise God! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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