"Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory and the majesty: for all in the heaven and all in the earth is Thine; Thine is the Kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as Head above all. . . .And Thou reignest over all." (1 Chronicles 29:11, 12)
"You thought that I was one like yourself" (Ps. 50:21)
The ultimate goal of the Triune God is His honor and praise
Isaiah 43:6-7, "Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth (says the Lord), everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory."
Jeremiah 13:11, "I made the whole house of Israel ... cling to me, says the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise and a glory."
Psalm 106:7-8, "Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider thy wonderful works...but rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name's sake that he might make known his mighty power."
Ezekiel 20:14, "I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out."
1 Samuel 12:20-22, "Fear not, you have done all this evil yet do not turn aside from following the Lord ... For the Lord will not cast away his people for his great name's sake."
Isaiah (48:9,11), "For my name's sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you ... For my own sake, for my own sake I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another."
Ezekiel 36:22-23,32, "Thus says the Lord God, 'It is not for your sake, 0 house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name ... And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name ... and the nations will know that I am the Lord. It is not for your sake that I will act,' says the Lord God. Let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, 0 house of Israel.'"
John 17:1, "Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee."
2 Thessalonians 1:9-10, "Those who do not obey the gospel will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints and to be marveled at in all who have believed... "
There is infinite distance which separates the mightiest creatures from the almighty Creator. He is the Potter, they are but the clay in His hands to be molded into vessels of honor, or to be dashed into pieces (Ps. 2-9) as He pleases. Were all the citizens of heaven and all the inhabitants of the earth to combine in revolt against Him, it would occasion Him no uneasiness, and would have less effect upon His eternal and unassailable Throne than has the spray of Mediterranean’s waves upon the towering rocks of Gibraltar. So puerile and powerless is the creature to affect the Most High, Scripture itself tells us that when the Gentile heads unite with apostate Israel to defy Jehovah and His Christ, "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh" (Ps. 2:4).
The absolute and universal supremacy of God is plainly and positively affirmed in many scriptures.
- "O Lord God of our fathers, art not Thou, God in heaven? and rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee?" (2 Chron. 20:6). Before Him presidents and popes, kings and emperors, are less than grasshoppers.
- "But He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth" (Job 23:13). Ah, my reader, the God of Scripture is no make-believe monarch, no mere imaginary sovereign, but King of kings, and Lord of lords.
- "I know that Thou canst do everything, and that no thought of Thine can be hindered" (Job 42:3), or, as another translator, "no purpose of Thine can be frustrated." All that He has designed He does. All that He has decreed, He performs.
- "But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased" (Psa. 115.3); and why has He? Because
- "There is no wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel against the Lord" (Prov 21:30).
God’s supremacy over the works of His hands is vividly depicted in Scripture. Inanimate matter, irrational creatures, all perform their Maker’s bidding. At His pleasure the Red Sea divided and its waters stood up as walls (Ex. 14); and the earth opened her mouth, and guilty rebels went down alive into the pit (Num. 14). When He so ordered, the sun stood still (Josh. 10); and on another occasion went backward ten degrees on the dial of Ahaz (Isa. 38:8). To exemplify His supremacy, He made ravens carry food to Elijah (1 Kings 17), iron to swim on top of the waters (2 Kings 6:5), lions to be tame when Daniel was cast into their den, fire to burn not when the three Hebrews were flung into its flames. Thus "Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places" (Psa. 135:6).
God’s supremacy is also demonstrated in His perfect rule over the wills of men. Let the reader ponder carefully Ex. 34:24. Three times in the year all the males of Israel were required to leave their homes and go up to Jerusalem. They lived in the midst of hostile people, who hated them for having appropriated their lands. What, then, was to hinder the Canaanites from seizing their opportunity, and, during the absence of the men, slaying the women and children and taking possession of their farms? If the hand of the Almighty was not upon the wills even of wicked men, how could He make this promise beforehand, that none should so much as "desire" their lands? Ah, "The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will" (Prov. 21:1).
But, it may be objected, do we not read again and again in Scripture how that men defied God, resisted His will, broke His commandments, disregarded His warnings, and turned a deaf ear to all His exhortations? Certainly we do. And does this nullify all that we have said above? If it does, then the Bible plainly contradicts itself. But that cannot be. What the objector refers to is simply the wickedness of man against the external word of God, whereas what we have mentioned above is what God has purposed in Himself. The rule of conduct He has given us to walk by, is perfectly fulfilled by none of us; His own eternal "counsels" are accomplished to their minutest details.
The absolute and universal supremacy of God is affirmed with equal plainness and positiveness in the New Testament. There we are told that God "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:11)—the Greek for "worketh" means to work effectually. For this reason we read, "For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen" (Rom. 11:36). Men may boast that they are free agents, with a will of their own, and are at liberty to do as they please, but Scripture says to those who boast "we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell...Ye ought to say, If the Lord will" (Jas. 4:13,15)!
Here then is a sure resting-place for the heart. Our lives are neither the product of blind fate nor the result of capricious chance, but every detail of them was ordained from all eternity, and is now ordered by the living and reigning God. Not a hair of our heads can be touched without His permission. "A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps" (Prov. 16:9). What assurance, what strength, what comfort should this give the real Christian! "My times are in Thy hand" (Ps. 31:15). Then let me "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Ps. 37:7).