8 Lessons in Sovereignty from Daniel 4

23 Oct

Over the next several days, let me draw your attention to eight truths we can learn about God from Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4.

First of all, this story teaches us that God is Sovereign.

The point of this chapter is very simple.

Nebuchadnezzar wants everyone everywhere to know: God’s sovereign and I’m not.

There are few truths more important to understand about God than that.

There are few truths the human heart more wants to deny.

Which is a major problem because if the god you are worshiping is not sovereign, the god you are worshiping is not the God revealed in Scripture. You can’t exaggerate the importance of God’s sovereignty. Take away God’s sovereignty and you strip away one of the very things that sets Him apart as God. As James Boice has said “if, in our thinking, we should eliminate God’s sovereignty, by which we mean… the rule by God of all his works and creatures, God will no longer be God for us.”

There are few passages which better explain God’s sovereignty than this one.

He puts it like this in verses 34 and 35, “…His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation.” In other words, God is King. He has a kingdom, and He has dominion. The word dominion means authority, or right to rule, and so Nebuchadnezzar is saying God has the ultimate authority, the ultimate right to rule in the universe.

Now understand, God’s authority is far different from human sovereignty or human authority. It has no end. It endures from generation to generation. It is an everlasting dominion. The Lord sits as King forever.

So when we say that God is Sovereign, we along with Nebuchadnezzar, are first of all affirming that there is a God and He is King. He has a throne and He sits upon it. He has power and He has authority.

But there’s more to God’s sovereignty than just that. This King is no mere figurehead. He is a king who is presently ruling over absolutely everything and everyone in His universe. He is actively and intimately involved in absolutely everything that happens. When we say that God is Sovereign, we are affirming that there is a God, He is King, and He has a plan, and what occurs in this world is all part of the unfolding of that eternal plan.

Nebuchadnezzar puts it like this in verse 35, “He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth.”

God’s sovereignty means God has a will, a purpose.

The God who is perfectly wise, perfectly loving, perfectly just, has a will, a plan, He established a plan for this world at the very beginning, and right now, in accordance with this plan He is ruling over this universe down to the smallest detail, so as to carry out and fulfill His perfect and unchanging purpose.

No one can stop Him from accomplishing His purpose. We as mere human beings will not always understand His plan. But we can be confident that His plan is completely comprehensive, down to the smallest, most seemingly insignificant events of life.

To say it in the words of Nebuchadnezzar,

“And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth…”

When Nebuchadnezzar says that the inhabitants of earth are accounted as nothing the point is not that God does not care for the people of earth, but instead that all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing when it comes to having the ability to stop God from accomplishing His will.

In fact, he says that God does according to the will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth. He says that “no one can ward off His hand, or say to Him what hast Thou done.” God has no equal on heaven or on earth. There’s no one strong enough to stop Him from doing what He desires to do. He is sovereign.

But that’s not all…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: