God is King in the Kingdom of God. This means that God has absolute power and his decisions and actions cannot be questioned. To put it another way, God is sovereign. (My dictionary says Sovereign means “possessing supreme or ultimate power”.) There are several passages in the Old and New Testaments which make it clear that God is sovereign:
- Job Chapters 38-41 where God points to his role as creator and challenges whether the understanding or creativity of a mortal human can match his own.
- Isaiah 40:12-28 is a bit similar to Job 38-41. The sovereignty, majesty and power of God are represented as being completely without equal.
- One of Jesus’ parables about the Kingdom of God (Matthew 20:1-16). This parable teaches that God’s sovereignty is absolute; even when it seems, to us, to be unfair. Jesus tells a story in which the owner of a vineyard, clearly representing God, behaves in a manner that seems to human logic to be completely unfair. He pays his workers exactly the same amount whether they have worked all day in the hot sun or whether they have only worked for about an hour in the evening. He even pays those who have worked the shortest amount of time first, leaving those who have worked all day until last. Yet he defends his actions by saying that he paid the workers exactly what he said he would pay them. He also asks whether there is any question about his right to do as he likes with his own money.
The important point is that God is absolutely sovereign and human beings will never be able to make sense of all his decisions or identify rules that govern his behavior. Yet, throughout the history of the church, that is exactly what many of us have tried to do. Mostly, it is a waste of time. Very often we have come up with rules that we believe God follows and which, surprise, exclude people who aren’t like us from his kingdom.
The bottom line is that we need to remember that God is God – and we are not.