My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty there’s nothing my God cannot do.
My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty there’s nothing my God cannot do.

We teach our children about the sovereignty of God.  And oh, how willingly they believe it.  It is a joy to them, a comfort for them, an assurance over them.  They never get tired of praising God for how awesomely grand He is.  At what point, Church, did we become too sophisticated for a truly sovereign God?  We’ve sliced and diced the scriptures every which way in an attempt to contain the Creator of all into a system of man limited understanding (theology).  Our aim being to fully comprehend and thus be able to fully explain and anticipate God and His Will.  For there is comfort in knowing things fully, right?

Since when has an attempt to know all things brought us comfort?  Was that not part of the original sin?  The idea that God was hiding something, was holding back something, and that if we just ate of the tree of “knowledge of good and evil” we would then be like God; we would know all He knows.  Oh how a pursuit of complete knowledge can be bad…

Complete knowledge has never been the path to communion with God through Christ.  Faith has!  Romans 5:1 tells us, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  And what is faith?  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.  Faith is believing what cannot be fully known here and now.  Believing because of the source of the promise (our sovereign God), not because we fully understand all of its implications.

Romans 9 unapologetically declares the sovereignty of God.  Neither Paul, nor the Spirit inspired scripture, holds back on this basic and fundamental truth.  Paul knows it will ruffle theological feathers.  He knows some will lament what this truth potentially implies about actions God has taken.  But God is God.  His sovereignty exists.  That truth isn’t changing.  The need for faith in that truth isn’t changing.  The weight of theological contortions required to conclude one understands the fullness and greatness of God will always result in stumbling over the rock of sovereignty.  The opportunity we have though, is that when the evil one tries to get us to doubt God’s intent, His end goal, or His being, we can choose differently than Adam and Eve.  Instead of doubting God, we can choose to doubt our doubts.  That’s faith.  To its utter core, Church, that is faith!

So perhaps we should not seek an understanding of Romans 9 through our theology, but rather through our faith.  God being sovereign doesn’t end in fatalism; it ends in justifying faith.  We are called sheep and He the Great Shepherd.  When He calls and we hear His voice, we go towards the voice.  Because sheep understand the Shepherd and all of His ways?  Absolutely not!  Sheep are about the dumbest animal you will find in terms of knowledge and understanding.  No, sheep follow the Shepherd’s voice because they know He is Good.  They remember the many ways He has provided for them in the past.  The sheep have no idea why the Shepherd is calling them today.  But you see, they don’t need to.  They have faith.  Faith that the Shepherd is big and strong and mighty enough.  And that brings them joy, comfort, and assurance.  Romans 9 is a chapter of great joy, great comfort, and great assurance if we truly understand the promise of God’s sovereignty.  His sovereignty proves His word has not, is not, and will never fail!

While many have gone to theological battle over Romans 9, I will rest in my Shepherd’s voice like the simple sheep scripture assures me I am.  His green pastures are large and lush, Church.  If you decide to lay down contorted knowledge for fearless faith, there is plenty of more room.

God’s good like that.