The Sovereignty of God: The Victory Song of the Ages
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, Reigns.”
There is something inherent within us that when we want to capture the joy a celebration, we do so with a song. We think of the songs at a wedded or holiday or special event. What would Christmas be without Christmas Carols, or a Fourth of July celebration without the Star-Spangled Banner and God Bless America? What would graduation be without Pomp and Circumstance? It has been said that music is the language of the soul. But what song will be song at the end of the age when Christ comes in all his glory to establish his kingdom?
In Revelation 19:1-6 we stand at the threshold of the return of Christ. The judgment of God has been fully poured out and now the multitudes in heaven, who have long waited for this event, join together in and sing a four-stanza anthem of praise for Christ. The first stanza (vs 1-2) celebrates the righteousness of God as he brings both final salvation for his people and judgment upon sin. The second stanza (vs 3) celebrates the final, complete, and eternal judgment that is brought against the city of Babylon which stands in opposition to God. The third stanza (4), sung by the twenty-four elders and four living beings, is a simple song of praise. But the musical anthem reaches its crescendo in the fourth stanza (6) with all the multitudes singing forth with such a cacophony of sound that is compared to the earthshaking peals of thunder. This final song, one serving to provide the climax of praise to God, is the celebration of the sovereign reign of God.
While we often pay little attention to the severity of God, for the throngs of heaven his sovereignty is the ultimate hope and source of praise. When we speak of the sovereign reign of God, we are referring to the reality that God is in control at all times, over all things, and over all events within all the universe. This verse, coming at the end of time, serves to be a reminder to us that nothing is arbitrary or governed by chance, but all history is governed by a sovereign God who moves all things to his predetermined conclusion. To affirm his sovereignty is to acknowledge what is here recognized in this anthem; God is the absolute and highest ruler in the universe who is unhindered in the exercise of his reign. But he is not just an indifferent ruler who governs with arbitrary laws and misguided plans. Rather he is a God who determines and accomplishes his will without restraint and with purpose and design.
This is what becomes our comfort and source of encouragement. No matter what happens in our life and in our world, God still remains enthroned in heaven and he is sovereignly in control of our life. Often, in the face of the struggles we feel powerless. It appears that chance and circumstances dictate the direction of our life. But this song of his sovereignty brings a different perspective, for it serves to remind us that all the events in the world and in our own life are being governed and directed by God to move us to a climatic conclusion when he will establish his physical reign on the earth. This is our comfort in a broken world. Our life is not a series of arbitrary events where chance and circumstance dictate the outcomes. Rather, our life is under the sovereign control of God, who guides and directs our life through the exercise of his love and purpose. He has a plan and goal for history and for our individual lives so we can rejoice and rest in him. Then we tool will join with the multitudes at the end of the age celebrating his right. Today, when it seems as if your life is out of control, remember who is in control and ask him to guide you in his plan and purpose.