Allow me for a moment to attempt to stave off the impending stampede.
I mean the stampede of professing Christians, falling all over themselves to excuse God from today’s awful slaughter on the campus of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia.
No doubt all of you have heard about the thirty-three victims who were gunned down today. It is a heinious thing that occurred, I am here to offer a warm blanket of encouragement: God is still sovereign.
Just as after 9/11, scores of professing Christians are going to be telling us that God had nothing to do with this. They will say that God had nothing to do with it. they will say that God has nothing to do with evil. They may say that God would have stopped it, if He could, but He couldn’t. They may say that God stands back while we work things out. They may insist that He is good, but that evil persists because God does not control everything.
They are all wrong, and I thank God that they are wrong.
The sovereignty of God offers us security because at a time like this the only thing that preserves my sanity is the knowledge that no detail escapes the the control of the Everlasting One. A world left to its own devices is a world in which I would fear to leave my own home. Life goes on because God is in control.
Many Christians believe that the only way to reconcile God’s goodness with the existence of evil is to excuse Him from control. However, God Himself claims to control everything:
1.) Creation (Genesis 1-2)
2.) Maintenance of the physical universe (Heb 1:3)
3.) Salvation (Romans 8:28-30)
3.) Calamity (Is 45:7)
4.) The very hairs on our head (Matt 10:30).
5.) The length of life (Job 15:20)
6.) Pretty well everything (Jer 32:17, 27, Psalm 115:3, Eph 1:11)
I could go on.
Yes this is an evil world. It is evil because of our sin. Those who died today did not personally heap this tragedy on their heads. We all make our contributions to this cesspool of a world we have made. The deaths suffered today were terrible, but because of sin we all will die in time (Rom 3:23). Made in the image of God, designed for immortality, we find ourselves in cursed bodies doomed to expire in time if sickness or violence don’t come for us first.
And yet God is in sovereign control of everything. That God allows evil to continue is part in parcel to His plan to bring the full number of His elect to salvation. That God allows us to continue breathing despite our sin is sheer mercy, That God saves any is utterly to His own glory.
We are not the first to wonder how God can be both good AND all-powerful, and yet evil can continue to exist in the world. The book of Habakkuk was written because of this very question. The prophet asks God how long He will continue to watch as the nation Israel slid into chaos. God responds by saying that He would deepen the crisis by bringing a foreign nation to judge them. An evil people as God’s own tool! How can it be? God responds by urging Habakkuk to trust him, as it says “The just shall live by faith (Hab 2:4).”
How is the sovereignty of God our blanket of security?
By faith the perfect life of Christ is credited to us as righteousness. By faith His death sees the just wrath of God for OUR sin poured out on Him. By faith we are united with His resurrection and are are born again. There is no greater security than that.
As with Habakkuk, we will have to wait in faith to see God vindicated and evil vanquished. As with Habakkuk, we will have to have to be satisfied not to see all the connections in our lifetime.
As with Habakkuk we can find joy in the worst of times because of the sovereignty of our great God.
“Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. “