This is a major passage on one of the major teachings of Scripture. It is repeated twice here for emphasis. We see the same manner of speech in Job 33:14. God’s sovereign power and authority is a fundamental principle of life. Consider some of the lessons from this great passage:
First, power belongeth to God; He is sovereign; He is almighty; He--not creatures, not angels, not man--is in control of the creation. In the New Testament, there are two words for “power”: exousía (Mt. 9:8), which usually refers to authority, a position of authority, and dúnamas (Mt. 6:13), which refers to might, strength, ability. Every form of power belongs to God and is distributed to angels and man according to God’s will. God ruleth over all. “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Ro. 13:1). This is a major theme of Daniel’s prophecies. “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings” (Da. 2:20-21).
Second, we cannot consider God’s power apart from His entire character. God is not just power. He is not just an almighty Force. His infinite power is under the control of His entire being. God’s power in verse 11 is not detached from God’s mercy in verse 12. Isaac Watts rendered these two verses as follows: “Once has His awesome voice declared, once and again my ears have heard, all power is His eternal du; He must be feared and trusted too. For sovereign power reigns not alone, Grace is a partner of the throne: Thy grace and justice, mighty Lord, shall well provide our last reward.” The Preacher’s Homiletical Commentary has a good perspective on this: “Mere strength is not sufficient to inspire confidence. It may awaken apprehension and alarm. But God is as kind as He is strong. ‘Also unto Thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy.’ Perowne: ‘Power without love is brutality, and love without power is weakness. Power is the strong foundation of love, and love is the beauty and the crown of power.’”
Third, that power belongs to God means that He can be trusted to fulfill His promises. It means “that he is almighty, and can do every thing; and that with him nothing is impossible; and that therefore he, and he alone, is fit to be trusted” (Joseph Benson).
Fourth, God’s sovereign power is stated in the context of riches (“if riches increase, set not your heart upon them,” Ps. 62:9). A view of the God who owns everything and who is over everything is the cure for covetousness and the vain pursuit of wealth and possessions.
Fifth, God’s sovereign power is something every individual must learn, and accept, or perish. The Bible says that every man and women will bow their knees to God, either in repentance in this present life or in judgment in the next. Acceptance of God’s sovereign power is a major aspect of repentance. This is something that every parent must teach their children from the earliest age, and something that every church must hammer home to all of God’s people. Jesus said to haughty Pilate, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above” (Joh. 19:11), but Pilate learned this fundamental lesson too late. In contrast, haughty Nebuchadnezzar learn this lesson in his own lifetime. After his seven-year humiliation, the chastened king of Babylon wrote to his kingdom, saying, “I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Da. 4:34-35).
Sixth, God’s sovereign power is what God’s people must focus on in this life. It teaches perfect trust. It destroys fretting. We must have our eyes upon God. We must set our affections on things above, not things on earth (Col. 3:1-4). We must meditate intently upon God, upon His infinite character, upon His promises. This is the sweet substance with which we must fill our minds. To meditate on God by His Word is the first purpose of the amazing human mind that God created. No other creature can meditate on God. Meditating intently on God is the victory over every trial. It is the victory over the temptation to fret at the wickedness of this world. Observe that God’s sovereign power is stated in the context of oppression (“Trust not in oppression,” Ps. 62:9). God is warning sinners that He sees everything and will judge everything. He is warning them that whatever power they have, it belongs to God, and it will be taken from them at God’s pleasure. God is encouraging the redeemed to look beyond this oppressive world, beyond the wicked who presently exercise power, to look to the God of all power who will soon set things right. David taught the redeemed saints, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” It is disobedience to this command of God that has resulted in such weak Christianity in America today, such great fretting among Bible-believing Christians, such a foolish focus on politics. A respected brother in Christ said to me recently, “I think most Americans are discouraged about things. ... We see all of our systems being corrupted and misused by tyrants and crooks. Good is evil and evil is good. And it comes from all directions all the time and doesn’t seem to get any serious pushback or penalty.” I replied, “It is a shame. The churches are so terribly weak. Among other things, it is a product of poor leadership and lukewarmness, carelessness about membership, low standards for workers. It is blatant disobedience to Psalm 37:1-4; Colossians 3:1-4; Psalm 1:1-3; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 4:8, etc.” It is no small sin for a born again believer to have his eyes focused on this wicked world and to disobey such Scriptures and thus have a wrong mindset. The Spirit-led psalmist cries out, “Look at God!” Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Study His infinite characteristics. Don’t meditate on Fauci, Biden, Newsom, Soros, Putin, Xi Jinping, the CDC, the FBI, CNN, Black Lives Matter, and Woke universities. Let the unconverted political conservatives and libertarians fret about these things. I’m not saying we should be ignorant of what is happening in this world, but we have much better things to think about and far more important things to do: immersing ourselves in God’s living Word, preaching the gospel to the perishing, praying, praying, praying, strengthening the churches, leading our families, raising children for Christ, protecting them from the world. This world still sits in gross darkness, and Bible-believing churches can do what no other institution can do, and that is shine light in the darkness. The church alone is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Ti. 3:15). But most churches are not strong enough for the task. They desperately need strengthening, but the pastors and men are preoccupied with Woke. They spend more time with Levin, Hannity, Savage, Shapiro, Breitbart, et al than the eternal Word of God. I know some American Christians whose hearts and lives are indeed focused on the things of God, and they are not discouraged.
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