As people living in the 21st century, we are blessed to have forefathers and ancestors who have recognized many of God’s precepts and have incorporated them into our heritage so that a foundation has been laid for us. As a result of this foundation, it is a natural thing for most of us to understand basic Biblical principles of morality, so natural that we rarely question its source. The downside to this, however, is that sometimes our thinking gets twisted. Our thinking becomes twisted to the point to where we try to make God into what our perception of Him should be instead of finding out Who He is and realizing this to be the true source of what is good, moral, and holy. Goodness, morality, and holiness are defined by God, not the other way around. This is why it is essential for us to read through the pages of God’s Word to find out Who He is instead of trying to make Him into our conception of Who He should be.
God is sovereign. This means that He has the power to do anything He chooses, and since He is God, He would not be unjust in any of His decisions. Good and evil are defined by His Person. Things that are pleasing and in agreement with His character are good and holy; things that are displeasing and offensive to Him are evil. How we have come to understand morality is in light of His Person and the things He has shown and commanded of us. It is because God has told us that murder is wrong, that we as a people realize this as a heinous crime that is unacceptable by society.
Many people get confused on this point of sovereignty and come up with a few false conclusions. One of the biggest false conclusions of sovereignty is that one who is sovereign always gets the things that one wishes. Sadly life isn’t always that black and white. For example: I love my daughter and want her to love me. However, I would never want her to be forced to love me because love that is forced is not truly love. I would want her to love me of her own choosing. So even if I were a sovereign being, I don’t think that I would force her to love me because my desire to have her love me freely is greater than my desire for her to love me. From what I read in the Scriptures, God is much the same way. He desires that all men be saved, but not all men are; why not? It’s because there is something that He wants more than all men to be saved; He wishes men to choose to accept His grace and His gift of salvation rather than force it upon them.
To recap, sovereignty means that God is capable of doing whatever He wishes. However, because of His nature there are many things that He would never do. Also sovereignty does not mean that God gets everything that He wants because as in the example above, some of the things that He desires are complex in nature and so His desire for men to have free will may outweigh some of His other desires like the desire for all men to be saved.
Let us read and study God’s Word to find out what it says about Him and Who He is instead of trying to conform Him into our image of Who we think He should be.