2 Samuel 7:18-29, Daniel 4:17-33
Key Verse – “And as if this were not enough in your sight, O Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant. Is this your usual way of dealing with man, O Sovereign Lord?”
As we have studied God’s omnipotence, we learned that God has the power to do all things. However, this power is not wielded randomly. God has a plan and a purpose for His people. God’s plan will be achieved because of His omnipotence. He will not leave His plan and purpose to chance but rather will exert His power where it is necessary.
We mentioned freewill with respect to God’s power and how much power God exerts over us. It is even more applicable with regard to His sovereignty. John Calvin saw God as being absolutely sovereign where man had no freewill. God has to exert His power all the time because man would continually fail and reject God because of our sinful nature. Deists (many of our founding fathers were such!) have gone the opposite extreme, believing that God set the world in motion and is now sitting back and watching things play out.
As with many things, the answer is most likely in between. Without a doubt, God’s promise to David was fulfilled and is still being fulfilled. Israel was not always faithful to God however. As a nation they were essentially destroyed for 2500 years. Was it God’s sovereign desire to see His people rebel and reject Him as they did for so long – and even now? However, God’s plans are not thwarted just because sinful man is unable to follow God. His plans are still headed toward fulfillment even if Israel was lost for more than two millennia.
Likewise with Nebuchadnezzar, he could have humbled himself and avoided the judgment that fell upon him. Jonah is a case of just such a situation. It was God’s sovereign plan for Nebuchadnezzar to be humbled before Him and it could have happened immediately when Daniel announced the judgment, or it could wait until after Nebuchadnezzar had gone through seven years of madness. In this case, it occurred after judgment, in the case of Jonah, the people repented immediately.
We would do well to not forget that God is on the throne and His plans will not be thwarted. Although God did not cause Hitler to commit the crimes he committed, God used such crimes to accomplish the return of the nation of Israel. If Hitler had not rebelled against God but had chosen a different path, God would have used another person or another way to bring Israel back. His plans will not be stopped and His promises will not be broken. We can rest assured in this knowledge.