It’s a weighty word with an even weightier meaning.
We sometimes hear it used in sermons. We occasionally run across it in a Bible study or devotional reading. And many of us pull it out and dust it off when PCS or deployment season comes around.
It is at those times that we look up with renewed attention to the sovereign hand that creator God has over all His cosmos. We verbalize and remind ourselves that He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and more than capable. He’s got the whole world in His hands, right?
And that definitely includes our military comings and goings, as well as a world at war.
Lately, our own personal military journey has turned my attention to sovereignty. To learn more about this overruling attribute I turn to the ultimate source for wisdom – God’s Holy Word.
When it comes to searching the wisdom of Scripture, recent months have sent me through a reform of sorts. I used to come to the Bible hungering and thirsting for what I could find about myself and apply to myself. I approached the Bible as if it were a book about me.
But it is not.
The Bible is a book about God, first. It contains truth and application for me, oh yes. But the first thing the Bible speaks of is not myself, but God. There is no true knowledge of self apart from the knowledge of God.1
So this time when I read through the kingdom parable of the wheat and the weeds, I went looking for God. Where is He in this story? What speaks to me of His character and nature? Instead of focusing in on the wheat vs. weeds and their significance, I looked at the characters in this parable. (Matthew 13:24-30)
The owner of the field strikes me as the god-figure. God sowing good seed in His kingdom field would not be out of character for Him at all. In fact, the book of James tells us that every good and perfect gift – including wisdom! – comes to us from our Father, God.
Additionally an enemy is spoken of in this story, one who molests by planting weeds among the wheat in the darkness of night. So typical of our adversary Satan; the resemblance is striking. And in his typical form, he does his deed and leaves.
Our enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy – and might I add, abandon? It is only the Lord who promises to “never leave us, nor forsake us.”
The parable also mentions the owner’s servants which I believe are symbolic of the children of God, believers and followers of the gospel. You and me, sisters in Christ. I love what the text has to say about what they said.
“Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?”
If I may paraphrase: “God, aren’t you a good and loving God? How can there be evil and suffering in this world? Who is responsible? How can a good God allow bad things to happen? Can’t you do something, God?!”
While this question is a legitimate one, it teeters into the realm of assault – assault on the very character of God. The sovereign God of the universe called himself El Shaddai in order that we might be made aware of the omnipotence and omniscience He possesses.
At the heart of this question, I believe, is partly the human desire to understand. But also it can be seen as partly a desire for justification of all the injustice we see in our world.
God’s reply is swift and accurate, spoken by the owner of the field.
“An enemy did this,” he replied.
Stay tuned for part two of “Sovereignty” next week. You won’t want to miss the conclusion of this parable!
Jenn Raburn is a kingdom warrior for the King of Kings. She lives her life as an Army wife and a homeschool mom of 2 – and she’s wild about ministering to the military. She serves her on-post chapel and PWOC community through leadership, worship, and teaching. During football season, you’ll hear her shouting “Roll Tide” and “Go Bama!” She blogs over at http://journalofourjourney.blogspot.com