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God is sovereign. This means he is in full authority over the universe he created. Nothing happens in God’s Universe that is outside the will of God or in some way surprises Him. Nothing.

That means that not only acts of good but also acts of evil are within God’s universal and permissive will. God does not cause evil. He is not the source of evil. Satan is the source, along with the evil heart of humankind. But even evil men or women committing evil acts do not catch God off-guard and do not unsettle Him in any way. God is always in control.

Recent events in Tucson might make us think otherwise. People killed, including a nine year-old girl. People gravely wounded, including a United States Congresswoman.

Christians killed in a church bombing in Alexandria, Egypt, the last day of 2010. People seriously wounded.

Is evil somehow triumphing over good? No, not in the worst imaginable circumstances. Not even in the face of tragic, senseless loss of lives.

Death, destruction, human savagery, terrorism, mass murder, abortion, and any other debauchery humankind is capable of devising still takes place under the restraining arm of God. I don’t understand this, but I believe it, for God says this is so.

Consider this passage from the Psalms: “God reigns over the nations: God is seated on his holy throne. The nobles of the nations assemble, as the people of the God of Abraham. For the kings of the earth belong to God. He is greatly exalted” (47:8-9).

Psalm 52 is too long to quote. Just think about these phrases: “Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man…Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin” (52:1,5).

No mass killer, no deranged gunman, no suicide inclined hijacker, no evildoer, no strongman, no terrorist, not even Satan himself can operate beyond the limits of God’s sovereignty. These thoughts should provide immense comfort, for they imply that life is fully understood by God.

While we are finite and cannot anticipate, much less eliminate, all risk, God is omnipotent and has us in the palm of his hands. While we may hear of random violence, nothing is ever random in the omniscient eyes of God. While we may at times be understandably fearful in an unsettling world, we need not live in fear. God is still in control.

God knows when we rise up and when we lay down. We belong to the Lord, and so does history itself.


A version of this blog was originally aired on “Making a Difference,” September 17, 2001.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

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