The Century Dictionary defines sovereign as, “supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion”. The sovereignty of God is defined as, “God’s absolute dominion over all created things.” So God’s sovereignty is his absolute rule and reign. However, my question is, if we believe this, is it enough? My answer is that actually it is not enough, nor do I think that God expects us to believe in him without some sense of his character. Let me explain. Every four years we elect or re-elect a president of the United States. But when a candidate announces they are running for president, does that mean we automatically vote for them – no, of course not. We want to know what their experience is, what have they done, how will they likely lead the nation. In other words, we want to know their character. And while many lies are told about what a candidate will or will not do, in reality to accept a candidate, we want to know how will they lead and by what principles they make decisions. While God is not voted in, he does have character traits and does operate according to principles. If we just say, he is sovereign, he is in charge, that is not enough. Nor should it be. He has already given us his character and principles. He tells us how he rules by his past actions.
If we know God is in charge of all things and our life does not work out the way we had hoped, then what do we think of God? He can become our scapegoat – we say in our hearts, “God reigns, but no good comes to me …” This type of reign is overbearing. His rule then means I am robbed of the good things I desire. In effect, God’s sovereignty becomes no different than the reign of Zeus in Greek mythology. So in this view, God reigns, but with an iron hand that crushes the innocent. He becomes to us an angry, abusive deity.
Is saying God is sovereign, without any knowledge of his character, enough? No, we must know his character to trust him and truly understand how he works. We must know HOW he reigns. Otherwise, God is just as distant to us as Zeus. And we never truly see him how he is. Our belief about God and his nature is at the center of how we view life. It determines how we will live.
Psalm 89 speaks of God’s great dominion over heaven and earth, but it also describes his righteousness, justice, love, and faithfulness. Verse 14 declares, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” When we understand how God reigns in his sovereign government, then we are comforted that his character upholds a pure and righteous reign.