Meditate on God's Names
Over What is
What Difference Can This Truth Make
NOTE: This chart is set up in columns that are to be read from left to right. In other words, when you finish the first column on the left, then shift to the related discussion in the middle and then the far right columns.
Even before you do this study, let me encourage you to listen to Robin Mark's great song ALL IS WELL - When I broke my left hip in May, 2011 at age 65 and came close to death's door, God gave me this song to remind me that He is the Most High God, El Elyon and that "He brings death and makes alive… He humbles and He exalts… He lowers us to raise us so that we can sing His praises. Whatever is His way all is well." God's Spirit used these deep truths to minister to my soul and make me realize that He was giving me a "wake up call" so that enabled by His Spirit, I would seek to surrender my heart fully to Him in the "last lap" of my race (1Cor 9:24-27) so that I would be enabled to redeem the time I had left (Eph 5:16KJV), press on toward the goal for the prize (Phil 3:14), running with endurance, fixing my eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:1, Heb 12:2), the One I would soon see (either through falling asleep in Jesus [2Cor 5:6-7, 2Cor 5:8-10] or meeting Him in the air - [1Thes 4:17-18]).
God Most High = El Elyon
The Most High God
Strongest of the Strong
He is the "Superlative" God - the all surpassing God!
Pause for a moment and allow the Spirit to take your heart and mind to Heaven as you listen to this song - El Gibbor v El Elyon
If He is the Most High then what is His perspective on the problems in my life?
No one can ward off His hand (no one can stop Him)
No one can question
If you are wrestling with God's sovereignty, study the verses on this chart and also consider consulting…
A Definition of Sovereignty: The right of God to do as He wishes with His creation (Ps 50:1; Is 40:15; 1Ti 6:15). This implies that there is no external influence upon Him and that He also has the ability to exercise His right according to His will. (Bible.org)
NOW READ THE COLUMNS TO THE RIGHT… WHAT IS GOD SOVEREIGN OVER? & WHAT DIFFERENCE SHOULD THIS MAKE IN OUR LIFE?
God is SOVEREIGN (see definition) which means GOD IS IN CHARGE OF THE ALL THE UNIVERSE ALL THE TIME.
Westminster Catechism says…
GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER…
The angelic hosts of heaven
All Inhabitants of earth
Read the stanza ("My sovereign"… ) below which sadly is omitted from most modern hymnals. Click on the hymn and sing to Him. It will be good for your soul dear suffering saint…
Even down to old age all My people shall prove
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
The Truth is that…
Inhabitants of the earth
(Note that "Host" can be translated "armies" and in context most likely refers to the angelic hosts of heaven, both good and evil - God is in control of both! Corollary - spiritual warfare is not so much a "power" struggle as it is a "truth" struggle and the "battlefield" is our mind! Fill your mind with God's Word of Truth!)
Job after suffering calamity caused by Satan but permitted by God came to know God's sovereignty in a very real and personal way declaring:
We learn the lesson of trust
How would this affect my worship? Worship Him in spirit & in truth (Jn 4:24) (Put it into practice right now dear saint -- Click and sing "O Father You Are Sovereign")
Job's God is the same today (He 13:8-note) and desires you to experience Him as did His saint Job. He desires you to know Him as the One in whom you can place your complete trust in every circumstance--whether times of great joy or trials of great affliction.
We would all to well to ponder and practice Paul's pattern of praise regarding God's omniscience, sovereignty and power…
SOVEREIGNTY ILLUSTRATED IN THE BIBLE
Lk 22:31, 32
God places limits on Satan, who can go no farther then God allows
Satan had to seek permission to sift Peter. Note that Jesus was praying for Peter and He is also praying for us as we experience circumstances through which we are sifted and sanctified. (Ro 8:34-note, Heb 7:25-note)
Similarly Satan could harm Job (What was his character prior to "sifting"? Job 1:1) no worse than God allowed - see Job 1:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Job 2:3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
We know that no one who is born of God sins (present tense = sins as a lifestyle) but He who was born (perfect tense = speaks of permanence of our new birth) of God keeps (present tense = continually watches over, guards, keeps His eye on) him and the evil one (Satan) does not touch (handling one so as to exert a modifying influence upon) him
Satan cannot touch a believer without El Elyon's permission and some sources commenting on "cannot touch" state that Satan cannot grasp a believer in a way that continually exerts a modifying influence on his life (or cannot cause permanent spiritual loss) (cp 1Jn 4:4). (See note)
NOW READ THE COLUMNS TO THE RIGHT…
Job 1:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 2:3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Who was initiator?
GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER…
Job 1-2 refutes the false teaching that Satan is in control. God is in total control, whether we believe it or not!
When God permits Satan to "light the furnace", you can be confident that He "keeps His hand on the thermostat!" (Da 3:19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25-note)
Nebuchadnezzar addressed the three as "servants of the Most High God"! (Da 3:26, 27, 28-note). Note that they convinced El Elyon could deliver them and yet were ready to burn if God allowed (Da 3:17, 18-note)
O Father, You are sovereign
In all affairs of man;
No powers of death or darkness
Can thwart Your perfect plan.
All chance & change transcending,
Supreme in time and space,
You hold your trusting children
Secure in Your embrace.
W e can know that…
God (Creator) is in control
NOT Satan (creation)
Even if Satan causes problems in my life, it is God Who PERMITS this to happen. And just as important, we need to remember and lay hold of the truth that…
JESUS IS PRAYING FOR YOU
"Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also (present tense = continually) intercedes for us (in our place, on our behalf)." (Ro 8:34-note)
"Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (Heb 7:25-note)
Isaiah (although using the name Jehovah Sabaoth) clearly describes God's sovereignty in…
Context: God predicts the destruction of Judah's enemy Assyria in Is 14:25,26 (reflecting His sovereignty over the nations)
What God intends will happen
What He plans will stand
No one can frustrate
No one can turn back
Beloved this is your God if you belong to Him (1Co 6:19-note, 1Co 6:20-note) for He does not change (Mal 3:6). Run into the Strong Tower of the sovereign God, El Elyon and He will lift you up, even in the midst of the attacks, adversities, afflictions, etc you are experiencing. (Pr 18:10-note)
NOW READ THE COLUMNS TO THE RIGHT…
Dearly beloved, meditate deeply on what God says about His sovereignty and as the Spirit illuminates this attribute of God, lay hold of the truth that El Elyon is in control and make the choice to run into the strong tower of this Name and you will be lifted up and obtain an entirely new perspective on your anxieties over what the future holds (because you will come to know and trust the One Who sovereignly controlled not only your past but your future) & with this truth comes the potential for His peace that passes all human understanding. (Php 4:6-note, Php 4:7-note)
J. B. Phillips wrote the classic book Your God Is Too Small and the title tells the whole story. Many of us have a problem because our God is too small. But if you ever understand that God is sovereign over the entire universe, you’ll never have a "small" God again.
When a cowboy applied for health insurance, the agent routinely asked if he had had any accidents during the previous year. The cowboy replied, "No. But I was bitten by a rattlesnake, and a horse kicked me in the ribs. That laid me up for a while." The agent said, "Weren’t those accidents?" "No," replied the cowboy, "They did it on purpose." The cowboy realized that there are no such things as "accidents." How about you, Christian? Do you believe that some things catch God by surprise? In the words of a good friend, "God is too sovereign to be lucky."
W e can know that…
WE ARE NOT VICTIMS
OR FATE OR LUCK
You can have God or chance,
During America's Great Depression in 1929, many men jumped to their death, because they failed to recognize that God is always in control. Dearly beloved, grasp the truth about God's sovereignty and you will experience the blessed assurance that whatever comes into your life will be filtered through His fingers of love. You must remember, beloved, that the Most High God, El Elyon, holds you in His sovereign, omnipotent hand. You are not subject to the "winds of chance". Nothing and no one can touch you without the Most High God's permission!
God in His sovereignty, makes a provision for things to get done the way He wants them done. Our job is to pray, to follow His leading, and to trust Him with the results. If He wants it done, God will make a way.
God will make a way when there seems to be no way.
Context: Upon receiving the answer to his prayer for the interpretation of the King's dream, Daniel praises God for His sovereignty over all things whether they be epochs (times) or empires (nations) "Daniel answered and said… "
NOW READ THE COLUMNS TO THE RIGHT…
GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER…
Times & epochs (history)
Wisdom & knowledge
(Da 2:20, 22, 23-notes)
We can know that…
GOD IS IN CONTROL OF
Click on the hymn below and sing this prayer to the Most High God
Sovereign of worlds! Display Thy power;
Set up Thy throne where Satan reigns,
Speak & the world shall hear Thy voice;
El Elyon, the sovereign God "removed the hedge" from His chosen people! God had prepared Israel to bring forth spiritual fruit (eg, Israel was to have been a light to the nations - Isa 60:3) and yet she brought forth only wild grapes (esp idolatry). Therefore, God judged His people by stirring up Nebuchadnezzar His servant (Jer 25:9) to taken them into captivity in Babylon (the land of idols!)
NOW READ THE COLUMNS TO THE RIGHT…
GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER…
(Isaiah 5:5, 6, 7-notes)
W e can know that…
God Alone is Sovereign over
See now that I, I am He, and there is no God besides Me (asserting the truth of monotheism! Isa 45:5,18,22). It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded, and it is I Who heal. And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
Note the repetition of “I” [My] which highlights the sovereignty of God. God was speaking to Israel so that they (and by application we today) might be convinced God alone (not the weak, non-existent idolatrous gods of the pagans) can save and destroy. "I, I only" is an expression of being (similar to "I am" or ego eimi of Jn 8:24, 58, 13:19, 18:5, Ex 3:14).
God is the only true, omnipotent, irresistible God.
The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. (See also 2Ki 5:7, Jas 4:12)
God alone is the Arbiter of life and death, giving life as it pleases Him. Only He has the right to take it away.
He inflicts pain and gives relief; He wounds and His hands also heal. (cf Is 30:26, Hos 6:1, 2)
When the Sovereign God does allow pain to come into our lives (note it is in the context of the rod of discipline Job 5:17, cp He 12:5, 6-note, He 12:7, 8, 9, 10-note, He 12:11-note), it is not to harm us, but to make us better - not bitter but better! (see devotional illustration)
GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER…
Life & Death
Wounding & Healing
Click on the link below for a booklet which has more discussion of this often perplexing topic - Why Would A Good God Allow Suffering? - discusses 4 answers - to alert us, to direct us, to shape us, and to unite us
W e can know that…
God is in control
of our life
Read John Piper's sermon…
Below is an excerpt…
Remember (not a suggestion but a command) the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; [I am] God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done (His ability to control the future is proof of His sovereignty over time), saying, 'My purpose (or "My counsel" = it originates from Him and not from consultation with the creature) will be established (will stand for He Himself has decreed it), and I will accomplish all My good pleasure."
Nothing can prevent God from doing all that is His pleasure, that is all His purpose and inasmuch as He will perform it, it will stand. Beloved, this is your Most High God. Trust Him!
GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER
Absolutely NOTHING happens outside his control. ALL things happen in accordance with His plan. Consequently He rules over all things, including your future.
You may not know what the future holds but you can know Who holds the future. Do you know Him? Paul is in prison, suffering for the Gospel, facing imminent death and yet he is able to "hang on" - the question is "How?" or "Why" - see "Who" Paul knew and what this did for his faith (confidence) - 2Ti 1:12-note
We can trust our
The LORD has established His throne in the heavens and His sovereignty rules over all.
Though I know not what awaits me—
What the future has in store,
Yet I know that God is faithful,
For I've proved Him oft before.
In the margin of many pages in D. L. Moody's Bible, he wrote the letters T and P, meaning "Tried and Proved." He had put into practice (applied) passages from God's Word, proving that they work which of course they always do!
Isaiah 45:6, 7
That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD Who does all these.
All that happens-light, darkness, prosperity and disaster (cp Amos 3:6) comes from God, the sovereign Lord of the universe Who can do everything. Do you believe this is true?
GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER
W e can know that…
God Permits our circumstances
The Most High God "will make me to walk upon my HIGH PLACES.” (Hab. 3:19)
FIRST USES OF EL ELYON IN SCRIPTURE:
Ge 14:18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.19 And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." (cp Is 43:13, Josh 10:42, Ps 44:3) And he gave him a tenth of all. 21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself." 22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich.' 24 "I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share."
Because you belong to God Who is the Possessor of heaven and earth (twice for emphasis - Ge 14:19, 22!), He will deliver you from all your enemies (study God's ability to deliver YOU - ponder Ex 6:6, 23:14, 1Sa 7:3, 2Ki 17:39, 2Ki 20:6, Job 5:19, Pr 2:11, 12, Is 38:6, 46:4, Je 1:8, 19, 20, 21, 39:17, 42:11, Da 6:16, 20, Jdg 7:7 contrast Jdg 10:13,14!). Even temporary defeats are turned into victory if we walk in the Spirit (Ga 5:16-note), abiding (believing and obeying) in the truth that He is El Elyon. How easy it is to trust Him with our eternal destiny in Heaven and yet how often we struggle with trusting El Elyon with our day to day struggles.
GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER
Heaven & Earth = Possessor/Creator
OUR GOD REIGNS
How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him
He had no stately form, He had no majesty
It was our sin and guilt that bruised and wounded Him.
Meek as a lamb that’s led out to the slaughterhouse,
Out from the tomb He came with grace and majesty;
To know God as "God Most High", sovereign over everything and everyone is an empowering doctrine for if you truly believe that He is sovereign, no mere human can intimidate you. You’ll respect authority but you won’t cringe before it.
If you know that God is sovereign, then you can be content—and even find joy—in the midst of circumstances that are less than ideal.
If you know that God is sovereign, then you will be encouraged in evangelism because you understand that winning the lost is not your job. Your job is to share the gospel, tell your testimony , talk about Jesus, look for opportunities, and pray for open doors but it's God's job to sovereignly lead us, to empower us, to give us those open doors, and then when we share Christ, to convict sinners and create in them a hunger for Him and His Word
If you know that God is sovereign, then you can know that He will win the battle with Satan and in fact because He lives outside time the victory has already won at the Cross and in eternity. From our perspective the battle rages all around us, and all too often evil seem to be winning. God’s sovereignty guarantees the ultimate victory of good over evil, but we must remember that God’s timetable and ours are not the same.
What should be the conclusion we draw if we truly believe that God is El Elyon, sovereign Ruler over everything?
We will come to know in our experience that absolutely nothing happens to a child of the Living God that the Most High God is not sovereign (exerting control) over and that He is high above every difficult circumstance, over every demonic force, over ever sorrow, over every tragedy.
El = Hebrew masculine noun for God, mighty one, plural elohim.
Elyon = masculine noun meaning Most High, Highest. Elyon is from Hebrew root 'ly meaning to go up, to ascend. The Lxx translates Elyon with the adjective hupsistos = highest in spatial sense or status, clearly the latter sense in this context. Where there is truth, there is usually a counterfeit - thus the Greeks called Zeus hupsistos, the "highest" to be distinguished from their lesser false gods!
If we really believe El Elyon is sovereign would it change my thinking about…
My present circumstances?
My past (which is forgiven if I am a believer - If you doubt this truth read and meditate on the following asking what God has done with your sins! - Ps 103:12, Is 38:17, 44:22, Micah 7:18, 19)?
My IRA? The Stock Market portfolio's rising and falling?
My government (including leaders I might not agree with - cp Da 2:21-note)?
Acceptance of and perseverance in and through adverse circumstances will bring God glory…and this is the grand purpose for which we have been created (Mt 5:16-note)
If you really know Him as El Elyon, the sovereign God then you will come more and more to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that…
And you be able to truly
If God is not SOVEREIGN
The Most High God, El Elyon, is in TOTAL CONTROL
“I liken them to two ropes going through two holes in the ceiling and over a pulley above. If I wish to support myself by them, I must cling to them both. If I cling only to one and not the other, I go down.
“I read the many teachings of the Bible regarding God’s election, predestination, His chosen, and so on. I read also the many teachings regarding ‘whosoever will may come’ and urging people to exercise their responsibility as human beings. These seeming contradictions cannot be reconciled by the puny human mind. With childlike faith, I cling to both ropes, fully confident that in eternity I will see that both strands of truth are, after all, of one piece.” (John Morren, Lake City, Michigan)
Bible.org has the following story -
Marcel Sternberger was a methodical man of nearly 50, with bushy white hair, guileless brown eyes, and the bouncing enthusiasm of a czardas dancer of his native Hungary. He always took the 9:09 Long Island Railroad train from his suburban home to Woodside, N.Y.., where he caught a subway into the city.
On the morning of January 10, 1948, Sternberger boarded the 9:09 as usual. En route, he suddenly decided to visit Laszlo Victor, a Hungarian friend who lived in Brooklyn and was ill.
Accordingly, at Ozone Park, Sternberger changed to the subway for Brooklyn, went to his friend’s house, and stayed until midafternoon. He then boarded a Manhattan-bound subway for his Fifth Avenue office. Here is Marcel’s incredible story:
The car was crowded, and there seemed to be no chance of a seat. But just as I entered, a man sitting by the door suddenly jumped up to leave, and I slipped into the empty place. I’ve been living in New York long enough not to start conversations with strangers. But being a photographer, I have the peculiar habit of analyzing people’s faces, and I was struck by the features of the passenger on my left. He was probably in his late 30s, and when he glanced up, his eyes seemed to have a hurt expression in them. He was reading a Hungarian-language newspaper, and something prompted me to say in Hungarian, “I hope you don’t mind if I glance at your paper.”
The man seemed surprised to be addressed in his native language. But he answered politely, “You may read it now. I’ll have time later on.”
During the half-hour ride to town, we had quite a conversation. He said his name was Bela Paskin. A law student when World War II started, he had been put into a German labor battalion and sent to the Ukraine. Later he was captured by the Russians and put to work burying the German dead. After the war, he covered hundreds of miles on foot until he reached his home in Debrecen, a large city in eastern Hungary.
I myself knew Debrecen quite well, and we talked about it for a while. Then he told me the rest of his story. When he went to the apartment once occupied by his father, mother, brothers and sisters, he found strangers living there. Then he went upstairs to the apartment that he and his wife once had. It also was occupied by strangers. None of them had ever heard of his family.
As he was leaving, full of sadness, a boy ran after him, calling “Paskin bacsi! Paskin bacsi!” That means “Uncle Paskin.” The child was the son of some old neighbors of his. He went to the boy’s home and talked to his parents. “Your whole family is dead,” they told him. “The Nazis took them and your wife to Auschwitz.”
Auschwitz was one of the worst Nazi concentration camps. Paskin gave up all hope. A few days later, too heartsick to remain any longer in Hungary, he set out again on foot, stealing across border after border until he reached Paris. He managed to immigrate to the United States in October 1947, just three months before I met him.
All the time he had been talking, I kept thinking that somehow his story seemed familiar. A young woman whom I had met recently at the home of friends had also been from Debrecen; she had been sent to Auschwitz; from there she had been transferred to work in a German munitions factory. Her relatives had been killed in the gas chambers. Later she was liberated by the Americans and was brought here in the first boatload of displaced persons in 1946.
Later, she was liberated by the Americans and was brought here in the first boatload of displaced persons in 1946.
Her story had moved me so much that I had written down her address and phone number, intending to invite her to meet my family and thus help relieve the terrible emptiness in her life.
It seemed impossible that there could be any connection between these two people, but as I neared my station, I fumbled anxiously in my address book. I asked in what I hoped was a casual voice, “Was your wife’s name Marya?”
He turned pale. “Yes!” he answered. “How did you know?”
He looked as if he were about to faint.
I said, “Let’s get off the train.” I took him by the arm at the next station and led him to a phone booth. He stood there like a man in a trance while I dialed her phone number.
It seemed hours before Marya Paskin answered. (Later I learned her room was alongside the telephone, but she was in the habit of never answering it because she had so few friends and the calls were always for someone else. This time, however, there was no one else at home and, after letting it ring for a while, she responded.)
When I heard her voice at last, I told her who I was and asked her to describe her husband. She seemed surprised at the question, but gave me a description. Then I asked her where she had lived in Debrecen, and she told me the address.
Asking her to hold the line, I turned to Paskin and said, “Did you and your wife live on such-and-such a street?”
“Yes!” Bela exclaimed. He was white as a sheet and trembling.
“Try to be calm,” I urged him. “Something miraculous is about to happen to you. Here, take this telephone and talk to your wife!”
He nodded his head in mute bewilderment, his eyes bright with tears. He took the receiver, listened a moment to his wife’s voice, then suddenly cried, “This is Bela! This is Bela!” and he began to mumble hysterically. Seeing that the poor fellow was so excited he couldn’t talk coherently, I took the receiver from his shaking hands.
“Stay where you are,” I told Marya, who also sounded hysterical. “I am sending your husband to you. We will be there in a few minutes.”
Bela was crying like a baby and saying over and over again. “It is my wife. I go to my wife!”
At first I thought I had better accompany Paskin, lest the man should faint from excitement, but I decided that this was a moment in which no strangers should intrude. Putting Paskin into a taxicab, I directed the driver to take him to Marya’s address, paid the fare, and said goodbye.
Bela Paskin’s reunion with his wife was a moment so poignant, so electric with suddenly released emotion, that afterward neither he nor Marya could recall much about it.
“I remember only that when I left the phone, I walked to the mirror like in a dream to see if maybe my hair had turned gray,” she said later. “The next thing I know, a taxi stops in front of the house, and it is my husband who comes toward me. Details I cannot remember; only this I know—that I was happy for the first time in many years.....
“Even now it is difficult to believe that it happened. We have both suffered so much; I have almost lost the capability to not be afraid. Each time my husband goes from the house, I say to myself, “Will anything happen to take him from me again?”
Her husband is confident that no horrible misfortune will ever again befall the. “Providence has brought us together,” he says simply. “It was meant to be.”
Skeptical persons will no doubt attribute the events of that memorable afternoon to mere chance. But was it chance that made Marcel Sternberger suddenly decide to visit his sick friend and hence take a subway line that he had never ridden before? Was it chance that caused the man sitting by the door of the car to rush out just as Sternberger came in? Was it chance that caused Bela Paskin to be sitting beside Sternberger, reading a Hungarian newspaper'
Was it chance—or did God ride the Brooklyn subway that afternoon'
Paul Deutschman, Great Stories Remembered, edited and compiled by Joe L. Wheeler, Focus on the Family Publishers, December 1996. It Happened on the Brooklyn Subway - Was it chance—or did God ride the Brooklyn subway that afternoon?
HOW ICEBERGS ILLUSTRATE GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY - In the frigid waters around Greenland are countless icebergs, some little and some gigantic. If you’d observe them carefully, you’d notice that sometimes the small ice floes move in one direction while their massive counterparts flow in another. The explanation is simple. Surface winds drive the little ones, whereas the huge masses of ice are carried along by deep ocean currents. When we face trials and tragedies, it’s helpful to see our lives as being subject to two forces—surface winds and ocean currents. The winds represent everything changeable, unpredictable, and distressing. But operating simultaneously with these gusts and gales is another force that’s even more powerful. It is the sure movement of God’s wise and sovereign purposes, the deep flow of His unchanging love.
GOD'S SOVEREIGN CLOUDS - Newscaster Paul Harvey told a remarkable story of God’s providential care over thousands of allied prisoners during World War II, many of whom were Christians. One of America’s mighty bombers took off from the island of Guam headed for Kokura, Japan, with a deadly cargo. Because clouds covered the target area, the sleek B-29 circled for nearly an hour until its fuel supply reached the danger point. The captain and his crew, frustrated because they were right over the primary target yet not able to fulfill their mission, finally decided they had better go for the secondary target. Changing course, they found that the sky was clear. The command was given, “Bombs away!” and the B-29 headed for its home base. Some time later an officer received some startling information from military intelligence. Just one week before that bombing mission, the Japanese had transferred one of their largest concentrations of captured Americans to the city of Kokura. Upon reading this, the officer exclaimed, “Thank God for that protecting cloud! If the city hadn’t been hidden from the bomber, it would have been destroyed and thousands of American boys would have died.”
God’s ways are behind the scenes;
When God wants to drill a man,
How He ruthlessly perfects
How He bends but never breaks
He sat by the fire of seven-fold heat,
He knew He had ore that could stand the test
So He laid our gold in the burning fire,
And the gold grew brighter, and yet more bright
Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow,
Can we think that it pleases His loving heart
So He waited there with a watchful eye,
He Maketh No Mistake
My cherished plans may go astray,
Though night be dark and it may seem
There's so much now I cannot see,
For by and by the mist will lift
SOVEREIGNTY - Term used to describe the fact that God is the supreme ruler of everything. God created the world and all that is in it. He sustains the entire created order in existence. He guides the affairs of human beings and nations. He providentially interacts with all that takes place. He works for the good of the world and finally will bring all things to a satisfactory conclusion. Because he is God, he has the absolute right to work his will. Sometimes sovereignty is misunderstood to mean that God forces his will on people and that we are not free to choose. That is false. God’s sovereignty includes the free choices of human beings. What makes God’s sovereignty effective is that his will it ultimately done—sometimes along with, sometimes in spite of our free choices. (The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook)
1 Kings 1:15-31 1:15-31 Power Struggle
The Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses. Daniel 5:21
The president of a company in Michigan had suffered a minor stroke, and he was not spending much time at the office. He didn't know that one of his sons, with the help of two vice presidents, was scheming to take over the firm. He learned of their plot just in time, though, and was able to retain control.
In some parts of the world, power struggles result in assassinations, bloody coups, or civil wars. We see power struggles in politics all the time. They also occur in neighborhoods, families, and even in churches.
Adonijah made a power move to grab the throne of Israel (1 Kings 1:5-10). But God had other plans. Bathsheba (David's wife) and Nathan the prophet were able to stop the takeover (1 Kings 1:11-31), and God's appointed leader, Solomon, soon became king (1 Kings 1:38-40; 2:12).
We need to remember that God rules over the kingdoms of earth (Dan. 5:21). He raises up leaders and brings them down, whether in politics or in the church. Sometimes it's necessary to replace an ineffective leader, but we must pursue that option only after careful thought and earnest prayer for God's direction. We should never become part of a move that serves the ambition of some power-hungry person instead of honoring the Lord who rules over all. –D C Egner
The Most High still rules over kingdoms of men,
The most powerful position on earth is kneeling before the Lord of the universe.
Devotional by Allen Ross - Genesis 14:18-24 “God Most High”
Robert Girdlestone - The Most High
The Hebrew title rendered ‘Most High’ is ʾElion (עליון), for which the LXX usually has the reading ὁ ὓψιστος, the Highest. The word ʾElion, however, is not confined to this sacred use. It is found in Gen. 40:17; 1 Kings 9:8; 2 Chron. 7:21; 2 Kings 18:17; 2 Chron. 23:20, 32:30; Neh. 3:25; Jer. 20:2, and 36:10. This title is first applied to God in the account of Melehizedek (Gen. 14:18–22); it is used by Balaam, who ‘knew the knowledge of the Most High’ (Num. 24:16); and Moses adopts it when he speaks of the Most High dividing the earth among the nations (Deut. 32:8; compare Acts 17:26). It occurs also several times in the Psalms, e.g. Ps. 18:13, ‘The Highest gave his voice;’ Ps. 78:35, ‘They remembered that God was their Rock, and the High God their Redeemer.’ In Ps. 89:27, this title is applied to the Messiah:—‘I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth.’ When we read of the Most High God in Micah 6:6, the Hebrew Marom (מרום), exalted, is used; compare Ps. 99:2, 113:4, 138:6; and Isa. 57:15, where a simpler form of the same word is rendered High, and applied to God.
In Knowledge Of The Holy, A. W. Tozer attempts to reconcile the seemingly contradictory beliefs of God’s sovereignty and man’s free will:
ARE YOU IN GOD'S "POUNDER ROOM"? - The Most High God is in control of all the adverse and difficult circumstances of our lives. You may be going through an adverse experience as you read these notes. Let's call it ,for illustration purposes, a "STEINWAY EXPERIENCE" (read on).
If you had to name the most famous piano, the one that produced the most beautiful sound in the world which one would you name? Most people would say "Steinway". The Steinway piano has been preferred by keyboard masters such as Rachmaninoff, Horowitz, Cliburn, and Liszt and for good reason. It is a skillfully crafted instrument that produces a phenomenal sound. Steinway pianos are built today the same way they were 140 years ago when Henry Steinway started his business. 200 craftsmen and12,000 parts are required to produce one of these magnificent instruments. Most crucial is the rim-bending process, where 18 layers of maple are bent around an iron press to create the shape of a Steinway grand. Five coats of lacquer are applied and then hand-rubbed to give the piano its outer glow. The instrument then goes into the "Pounder Room", where each key is pounded 10,000 times to ensure quality and durability. Followers of Jesus Christ, much like the grand Steinway, are being "handcrafted" with all of the steps being watched over and directed by our Most High God, El Elyon , the One Who is in sovereign control of every detail of this process often referred to as "sanctification". We are being pressed and formed and shaped , all that we might "become conformed (molded with an inner and essential and not merely superficial conformity) to the image of His Son" (Ro 8:29). We are being polished, sometimes with the what seems like a great amount of what we could call the "rubbing of affliction", until we "glow." We are then being continually tested in the laboratory of everyday human experience. The process of sanctification is not always pleasant, but we can persevere with hope, knowing that our lives will increasingly reflect the beauty of holiness to the eternal praise of the Most High God. Amen.
When we understand that our God is called El Elyon, then we're set on the road to victory.
There's nothing in the heavens nor anyone on the Earth that can match our God.
When we know God as El Elyon, then we live in a secure place.
Satan is no match for the Most High God.
No dictator can stop His Name from being proclaimed.
No government is too powerful for Him.
He is the Most High God. No god made of stone or carved out of wood can compare to El Elyon.
Trust in Him, and you will experience the peace that passes all human understanding .
Isn’t it easier to give thanks when you realize that your Father, El Elyon, God Most High, is in control and that nothing can happen in this universe without His permission?
Even when we are wronged by others or go through difficult times of testing, as Job did, we can still give thanks. God so rules that no person, angel, demon or devil, nor any circumstance of life, can thwart His plan. El Elyon rules supremely over all; and because He does, you can understand how "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Ro 8:28).
Dear saint, the next time you start to murmur and complain, or you are tempted to, run to your El Elyon, trust in His name, and give thanks that He, the Most High, is in control. Understanding this makes it easier to obey those commands that charge us to rejoice in all the circumstance of life.
A prayer you might want to pray:
1) Note on Dt 32:39 - The holy Scriptures confirm the dictates of reason upon this subject; assuring us that God "maketh peace and createth evil"; that "out of the mouth of the Lord proceedeth evil and good"; that the most casual events are under his direction, so that "not a sparrow falleth to", nor lighteth on, "the ground without him; "much less do his rational creatures and children die without his notice and appointment. By whatever disease or casualties they die, it is God who "taketh away their breath, changeth their countenance, and sendeth them into darkness." With awful majesty God claims this as his prerogative; "I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand." (Deuteronomy 32:39.) He removeth our friends who hath a right to do it. They were our friends, but they are his creatures; and may he not do what he will with his own? He gave them life of his free goodness, and he hath a right to demand it when he pleaseth. Dear as they were to us, we must acknowledge they were sinners; and, as such, had forfeited their lives to the justice of God: and shall not he determine when to take them away? They were our friends; but do we not hope and believe that, by repentance, faith in Christ, and sanctifying grace, they were become his friends too; dear to him by many indissoluble ties? Hath he not then a superior claim to them, and a greater interest in them? Is it not fit that he should be served first? May he not call home his friends when he pleaseth? Shall he wait for, or ask, our consent first? He doth it, whom we cannot, dare not, gainsay. "Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, what doest thou?" (Job 9:12.) He doth it, who is infinitely good and wise; and doth everything in the best time and manner. His knowledge is perfect and unerring; his goodness boundless and never failing. Though his judgments are a great deep, and his schemes utterly unsearchable by us; yet we may reasonably believe that he consulteth the happiness of his servants in what is most mysterious and most grievous; and his word giveth us the strongest assurance of it. So that whether we exercise the faith of Christians, or the reason of men, we must acknowledge the hand of God, yea, his wisdom and goodness, in removing our acquaintance into darkness. —Job Orton, 1717-1783.
2) Excerpt from "The Most High Rules" (Richard L. Strauss) - We still need to know Him as the sovereign God, and there is probably no more comforting truth about Him that we will ever learn. To know the sovereign God is to find peace in the problems and pressures of daily living.
God is truly and perfectly sovereign. That means He is the highest and greatest being there is, He controls everything, His will is absolute, and He does whatever He pleases. When we hear that stated, we can understand it reasonably well, and we can usually handle it until God allows something that we do not like. Then our normal reaction is to resist the doctrine of His sovereignty. Rather than finding comfort in it, we find that it gets us upset with God. If He can do whatever He pleases, why does He allow us to suffer? Our problem is a misunderstanding of the doctrine and an inadequate knowledge of God. If we can explore what sovereignty involves, then we can truly get to know our sovereign God.
It should not be any problem for us to admit that God is the highest and greatest being there is. If He is the eternal, self-existent, self-sufficient, unchanging Spirit, all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere, it is obvious that He stands alone, above all. No one can equal Him. If anyone existed before Him or is more powerful than He is or knows more than He knows, if He needs anyone else to complete Him, then that one would be God rather than the One we know as God. But that idea is ridiculous. There is only one true and living God, and in order for Him to be God He must be the highest and greatest. The very name by which he revealed Himself to Nebuchadnezzar shows that He is. He called Himself the Most High God, that is, the exalted One, lifted far above all gods and men.
3) Definition of Sovereignty - Sovereignty is supreme power especially over a body politic. It describes freedom from external control or of other controlling influences. God is the ultimate authority in every sphere and place. It follows that all creation is subject to Him and that all creation is answerable to Him. As an aside, what verb do you see in the word sovereign? "Reign" of course, and this verb captures the essence of this divine attribute.
The 1828 Edition of Webster's defines Sovereign as
Easton's Bible Dictionary says Sovereignty is God's
New Unger's Bible Dictionary says that regarding the Sovereignty of God, that
The Sovereignty of God by A. W. Pink. Here is an excerpt to encourage you to read his entire discussion…
Divine Sovereignty by C H Spurgeon. Here is an excerpt to encourage you to read his entire sermon…
4) God's sovereignty overrules every calamity. Let's take a brief look at His sovereignty over historical events. Did you know that two great leaders, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt, almost died before the World War II began? In December 1931, Churchill was struck by a car as he crossed Fifth Avenue in New York City. In Miami in December 1933, an assassin's bullet barely missed Roosevelt and killed the man standing beside him. Both leaders survived and contributed mightily to the defeat of Hitler. Why did they survive to lead their nations in this time of crisis? Because God was in control back then and He is still in control. God is sovereign over nations causing their leaders to rise and to fall (Da 2:21; 4:32, 33, 34, 35; 5:21). The prophet Habakkuk complained that it didn't seem right for God to use wicked Babylon to discipline Israel, but God assured him that this did not mean evil would triumph. God was in control and would one day bring about perfect justice
Dear brother or sister in Christ, rest assured that your times are also in the omnipotent, omniscient God's hands. No matter what may happen in this world, He is always in control!
This Is My Father’s World—
The Sovereignty of God by Arthur Pink
John Piper on the Sovereignty of God
For edification and encouragement, take a moment to meditate on the uses of God's Name, Most High in the following passages (interrogate with the 5W/H questions) and consider making a list of the truths you learn about El Elyon and then taking time to pray those truths back to Him in praise, adoration, intercession and petition.
Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.
Gen 14:19 And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
Gen 14:20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." And he gave him a tenth of all.
Gen 14:22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth,
Num 24:16 The oracle of him who hears the words of God, And knows the knowledge of the Most High, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered.
Dt 32:8 "When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the sons of Israel.
2 Sa 22:14 "The LORD thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice.
Ps 7:17-note I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
Ps 9:2-note I will be glad and exult in Thee; I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.
Ps 18:13-note The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire.
Ps 21:7-note For the king trusts in the LORD, And through the lovingkindness of the Most High he will not be shaken.
Ps 46:4-note There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
Ps 47:2-note For the LORD Most High is to be feared, A great King over all the earth.
Ps 50:14-note "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High;
Ps 57:2-note I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me.
Ps 73:11-note And they say, "How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?"
Ps 77:10-note Then I said, "It is my grief, That the right hand of the Most High has changed."
Ps 78:17-note Yet they still continued to sin against Him, To rebel against the Most High in the desert.
Ps 78:35-note And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.
Ps 78:56-note Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God, And did not keep His testimonies,
Ps 82:6-note I said, "You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.
Ps 83:18-note That they may know that Thou alone, whose name is the LORD, Art the Most High over all the earth.
Ps 87:5-note But of Zion it shall be said, "This one and that one were born in her"; And the Most High Himself will establish her.
Ps 91:1-note He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
Ps 91:9-note For you have made the LORD, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
Ps 92:1-note (A Psalm, a Song for the Sabbath day.) It is good to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High;
Ps 97:9-note For Thou art the LORD Most High over all the earth; Thou art exalted far above all gods.
Ps 107:11-note Because they had rebelled against the words of God, And spurned the counsel of the Most High.
Isa 14:14 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'
Lam 3:35 To deprive a man of justice In the presence of the Most High,
Lam 3:38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That both good and ill go forth?
Dan 3:26-note Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!" Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire.
Dan 4:2-note "It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me.
Dan 4:17-note "This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers, And the decision is a command of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, And bestows it on whom He wishes, And sets over it the lowliest of men."
Dan 4:24-note this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king:
Dan 4:25-note that you be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes.
Dan 4:32-note and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes.'
Dan 4:34-note "But at the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
Dan 5:18-note "O king, the Most High God granted sovereignty, grandeur, glory, and majesty to Nebuchadnezzar your father.
Dan 5:21-note "He was also driven away from mankind, and his heart was made like that of beasts, and his dwelling place was with the wild donkeys. He was given grass to eat like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he recognized that the Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind, and that He sets over it whomever He wishes.
Dan 7:25-note 'And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
Mark 5:7 and crying out with a loud voice, he said^, "What do I have to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!"
Luke 1:32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;
Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.
Luke 1:76 "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS;
Luke 6:35 "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
Luke 8:28 And seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, "What do I have to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me."
Acts 7:48 "However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says:
Acts 16:17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation."
Heb 7:1-note For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,