God's Sovereignty

SteveB

Well-known member
Another poster made the statement:

He's completely in charge but obviously not in "complete control," since billions of people have free will. He does not control our will.

In short, sovereignty means in complete charge, while allowing others the freedom to live as they please. God, as sovereign, using the choices we make, accomplishes everything he seeks to accomplish, as outlined in the bible.


One picture that comes to mind is that God is the only one who can track real chaos, without losing track of it, and use all the different tracks of chaos to achieve their purposes, bringing it all together to create a beautiful tapestry.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Yep. Romans 8:28.
indeed. as is Ephesians 1:11

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will

And Matthew 10

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

as well as

Colossians 1:16-17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

And on and on it goes.
 

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
indeed. as is Ephesians 1:11

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will

And Matthew 10

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

as well as

Colossians 1:16-17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

And on and on it goes.
None of which you get in Treeplanter's "godless universe."
 

SteveB

Well-known member
None of which you get in Treeplanter's "godless universe."
I'm ok with that.
It's my understanding that everything which God does not approve is getting tossed into the lake of fire, so T can have it. I do however think that T's going to have a problem with the devil.
 

The Pixie

Active member
Another poster made the statement:

In short, sovereignty means in complete charge, while allowing others the freedom to live as they please. God, as sovereign, using the choices we make, accomplishes everything he seeks to accomplish, as outlined in the bible.
When a kid gets cancer, God is in control.

Hallelujah! Praise God for his love!
 

SteveB

Well-known member
When a kid gets cancer, God is in control.

Hallelujah! Praise God for his love!
And when I die, and you no longer have to engage me to justify your hate and ignorance.....
God will still be in control.

What you're not aware of, is what God does do for the child.

Not sure if you actually care, but there is another perspective. One which is far more accurate.
 
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5wize

Well-known member
One picture that comes to mind is that God is the only one who can track real chaos, without losing track of it, and use all the different tracks of chaos to achieve their purposes, bringing it all together to create a beautiful tapestry.
Problem here.... If he conceives and bends the threads of all chaos to his will he subverts our will from the chaos we obviously want. He's just a cat playing with mice.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Problem here.... If he conceives and bends the threads of all chaos to his will he subverts our will from the chaos we obviously want. He's just a cat playing with mice.
You're not paying attention to what I stated.
I never said he bends all threads of chaos to his will, nor did I say he subverts our will.

Try this again.

One picture that comes to mind is that God is the only one who can track real chaos, without losing track of it, and use all the different tracks of chaos to achieve their purposes, bringing it all together to create a beautiful tapestry.

I never said he subverts or bends, thereby violating our own will.
He tracks them, without losing track.
And he uses all the different tracks of chaos to achieve their purposes...... be brings it all together to create a beautiful tapestry.

He never violates, or forces. Every choice you make of your own volition is tracked by God. Every choice I make of my own volition is tracked by God. Every choice everyone else makes, due to their interactions with others are tracked, and the impacts they have.....

And like a weaver of a tapestry, they all come together in the end.

Then, God has his own goals, and purposes. Using our input, and his goals/purposes, he weaves that tapestry and no matter how hard we try to understand, we will not, until the end, when he shows it to us. 1 Cor. 13:12.
 

Furion

Active member
He's just a cat playing with mice.
That just doesn't capture it. It's like God playing with mice, or men, or even all brains put together. Maybe it's accurate to say God outwitted us at Creation, we are just realizing it.

Atheists think so little of God, and so highly of themselves, seems to me.
 

5wize

Well-known member
You're not paying attention to what I stated.
I never said he bends all threads of chaos to his will, nor did I say he subverts our will.

Try this again.



I never said he subverts or bends, thereby violating our own will.
He tracks them, without losing track.
And he uses all the different tracks of chaos to achieve their purposes...... be brings it all together to create a beautiful tapestry.

He never violates, or forces. Every choice you make of your own volition is tracked by God. Every choice I make of my own volition is tracked by God. Every choice everyone else makes, due to their interactions with others are tracked, and the impacts they have.....

And like a weaver of a tapestry, they all come together in the end.

Then, God has his own goals, and purposes. Using our input, and his goals/purposes, he weaves that tapestry and no matter how hard we try to understand, we will not, until the end, when he shows it to us. 1 Cor. 13:12.
Yep. Got it. Thanks. Second reading is clearer. This sentence sticks out, "uses all the different tracks of chaos to achieve their purposes"

What does "use" mean in this context (manipulate, control, harness by force of will)? and who/what does "their" refer to (the chaotic threads themselves, the originator of the chaotic thread)?
 

5wize

Well-known member
That just doesn't capture it. It's like God playing with mice, or men, or even all brains put together. Maybe it's accurate to say God outwitted us at Creation, we are just realizing it.

Atheists think so little of God, and so highly of themselves, seems to me.
Then am I working towards His will, against His will, or inconsequential to His will? If inconsequential, why do I have to go to hell for eternity? Mere misbehavior?

I love the end of Inglorious Bastards when he shoots the other exchange prisoner and says, "maybe I'll get yelled at, I've been yelled at before"

What makes whistling past God's inevitable will piss him off so much given that all spiral trails through the swamp end up back on His high ground anyway? He's got this right?
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Yep. Got it. Thanks. Second reading is clearer.
Good. Thank you for letting me know.


This sentence sticks out, "uses all the different tracks of chaos to achieve their purposes"
Good. that's the point.
What does "use" mean in this context (manipulate, control, harness by force of will)? and who/what does "their" refer to (the chaotic threads themselves, the originator of the chaotic thread)?
As Sovereign, God makes use of everything to achieve his purposes. Much like an inventor uses the technology, materials, etc.... at his disposal to create what he wants.

Let me ask you this....
Are you familiar with the butterfly effect? The concept that a falling leaf in California can cause a hurricane in the Atlantic?
It's an extreme idea, but the idea is to get across how that the most seemingly innocuous things can have an impact that is quite profound.

Those strings..... sure, the originator does have their part. So, Abraham screws his wife's servant, Hagar. He has a son, Ishmael. His wife, Sarah, sees the verbal abuse Ishmael (Ish) is dishing out in his half-brother, so she wants them gone. Abe is none too pleased with this, because it would appear he really loves Ish.
But, God steps in, and reiterates that his promise is to Isaac, Sarah's son with Abe. He further tells him--- don't worry about Ish. I've got it covered. Down through the years, Ish returns, and helps Isaac bury dad. They appear to have some kind of family connection, which is beyond mere blood ties.
Now..... 4000 years later, the descendants of Ish have spread out, and are all over the middle east. The descendants of Isaac have also scattered, but have now returned to the land that God promised to give to Abe, Isaac, and Israel/Jacob.
Now.... guess what..... there are tens of thousands, if not tens of millions of chaotically intertwined threads, which have played out from one night with his wife's servant girl, at his wife's request, to help God out..... Not like God actually needed help, but Sarah thought he did. From what I've read of the cultural history, it was a common practice for men to take their servant girls to get a child if the wife was barren. So, the wife decided--- well, I've past my prime, so let's do it as cultural practices would dictate.


Another similar theme of the threads of chaos.....

Adam and Eve...... Adam was told--- in the day you eat of this fruit, dying you will die.
Adam added a few words to the warning--- don't even touch it......
God never said don't touch. He said-- don't eat.
So... Eve ate, and it would appear that Adam understanding what would happen to her, ate also.

His eating a single piece of fruit has ruined the entire human race, from his own life, to his children, to every single human being since.
One single act...... it's brought death, disease, illness, dramatic weather systems, a flood, catastrophic activities, etc.... on the entire human race.

Now..... come down to the 90's. I married my wife, a beautiful woman by any man's idea of beauty, and I decide I want to wait a couple of years to have children. Her choices before we met resulted in her getting cancer. She gets treated, but the damage is done, and we don't really understand why, but ok. We try, but to no avail. So, we sign up for adoption/fostering classes. While we pass the course, she gets deathly ill, and I withdraw us, as well as myself from numerous plans I have for my career, and for us, as a couple. Education, buying property, building a home, engaging in community service on a number of different activities, etc.....

10 months later, I'm diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma cancer. My entire career is slammed into a brick wall at 90mph, but after a few months, another door opens... a college program in math and physics. Yet the cancer keeps returning. All hopes at having children are dashed on the rocks. Including adoption.

As part of the recovery, I'm given a computer, introduced to computers, and within a few months, I'm meandering around the internet. I eventually start talking to strangers on the internet, in chatrooms, etc...., and after 13-14 years, end up on this forum. Over the course of the past 8+ years now, I'm engaged in conversations with numerous strangers, and all because I got a sunburn on my left calf over the summer of 1987, while working outdoors, in the sun, having the time of my life.


None of which would've happened had Adam not eaten the fruit.

And all of this, all brought together, will come out to glorify God, and get his promise of eternal life to people I never would've met, had I not gotten cancer, and my mom gave me a computer, and I got bored out of my mind following the recovery from the cancer treatments......

The chaos of my life, is part of a string, through my ancestral lineage from Adam, down through to me, and my wife's lineage from Adam to her.

God will weave a tapestry, showing his people how it all weaves together. I cannot begin to describe to you how painful the losses, and the grief has been. But I also know because God himself showed up in the midst of our pain, and walked with us, to shoulder it with us, he'll "cause it to work together for my good" because I love him, and am the called according to HIS purposes. Romans 8:28.
 
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5wize

Well-known member
Good. Thank you for letting me know.



Good. that's the point.

As Sovereign, God makes use of everything to achieve his purposes. Much like an inventor uses the technology, materials, etc.... at his disposal to create what he wants.

Let me ask you this....
Are you familiar with the butterfly effect? The concept that a falling leaf in California can cause a hurricane in the Atlantic?
It's an extreme idea, but the idea is to get across how that the most seemingly innocuous things can have an impact that is quite profound.

Those strings..... sure, the originator does have their part. So, Abraham screws his wife's servant, Hagar. He has a son, Ishmael. His wife, Sarah, sees the verbal abuse Ishmael (Ish) is dishing out in his half-brother, so she wants them gone. Abe is none too pleased with this, because it would appear he really loves Ish.
But, God steps in, and reiterates that his promise is to Isaac, Sarah's son with Abe. He further tells him--- don't worry about Ish. I've got it covered. Down through the years, Ish returns, and helps Isaac bury dad. They appear to have some kind of family connection, which is beyond mere blood ties.
Now..... 4000 years later, the descendants of Ish have spread out, and are all over the middle east. The descendants of Isaac have also scattered, but have now returned to the land that God promised to give to Abe, Isaac, and Israel/Jacob.
Now.... guess what..... there are tens of thousands, if not tens of millions of chaotically intertwined threads, which have played out from one night with his wife's servant girl, at his wife's request, to help God out..... Not like God actually needed help, but Sarah thought he did. From what I've read of the cultural history, it was a common practice for men to take their servant girls to get a child if the wife was barren. So, the wife decided--- well, I've past my prime, so let's do it as cultural practices would dictate.


Another similar theme of the threads of chaos.....

Adam and Eve...... Adam was told--- in the day you eat of this fruit, dying you will die.
Adam added a few words to the warning--- don't even touch it......
God never said don't touch. He said-- don't eat.
So... Eve ate, and it would appear that Adam understanding what would happen to her, ate also.

His eating a single piece of fruit has ruined the entire human race, from his own life, to his children, to every single human being since.
One single act...... it's brought death, disease, illness, dramatic weather systems, a flood, catastrophic activities, etc.... on the entire human race.

Now..... come down to the 90's. I married my wife, a beautiful woman by any man's idea of beauty, and I decide I want to wait a couple of years to have children. Her choices before we met resulted in her getting cancer. She gets treated, but the damage is done, and we don't really understand why, but ok. We try, but to no avail. So, we sign up for adoption/fostering classes. While we pass the course, she gets deathly ill, and I withdraw us, as well as myself from numerous plans I have for my career, and for us, as a couple. Education, buying property, building a home, engaging in community service on a number of different activities, etc.....

10 months later, I'm diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma cancer. My entire career is slammed into a brick wall at 90mph, but after a few months, another door opens... a college program in math and physics. Yet the cancer keeps returning. All hopes at having children are dashed on the rocks. Including adoption.

As part of the recovery, I'm given a computer, introduced to computers, and within a few months, I'm meandering around the internet. I eventually start talking to strangers on the internet, in chatrooms, etc...., and after 13-14 years, end up on this forum. Over the course of the past 8+ years now, I'm engaged in conversations with numerous strangers, and all because I got a sunburn on my left calf over the summer of 1987, while working outdoors, in the sun, having the time of my life.


None of which would've happened had Adam not eaten the fruit.

And all of this, all brought together, will come out to glorify God, and get his promise of eternal life to people I never would've met, had I not gotten cancer, and my mom gave me a computer, and I got bored out of my mind following the recovery from the cancer treatments......

The chaos of my life, is part of a string, through my ancestral lineage from Adam, down through to me, and my wife's lineage from Adam to her.

God will weave a tapestry, showing his people how it all weaves together. I cannot begin to describe to you how painful the losses, and the grief has been. But I also know because God himself showed up in the midst of our pain, and walked with us, to shoulder it with us, he'll "cause it to work together for my good" because I love him, and am the called according to HIS purposes. Romans 8:28.
Sorry for the tragedy. I hope for as much peace for you in this life as you can salvage. You've been through too, too much but you've made a good go of it all obviously. Enjoy the lemonade you made.

That doesn't sound like God "using" as you describe it:

"Much like an inventor uses the technology, materials, etc.... at his disposal to create what he wants."

That sounds more deist - almost pantheist. Threads unwind naturally. I wasn't led to the places in those narratives where God did anything at all and revealed His ultimate will within the wills of the players.

The butterfly effect is not a thought experiment to explain the absolute will of a sovereign. It describes nature.
 
Last edited:

treeplanter

Active member
Good. Thank you for letting me know.



Good. that's the point.

As Sovereign, God makes use of everything to achieve his purposes. Much like an inventor uses the technology, materials, etc.... at his disposal to create what he wants.

Let me ask you this....
Are you familiar with the butterfly effect? The concept that a falling leaf in California can cause a hurricane in the Atlantic?
It's an extreme idea, but the idea is to get across how that the most seemingly innocuous things can have an impact that is quite profound.

Those strings..... sure, the originator does have their part. So, Abraham screws his wife's servant, Hagar. He has a son, Ishmael. His wife, Sarah, sees the verbal abuse Ishmael (Ish) is dishing out in his half-brother, so she wants them gone. Abe is none too pleased with this, because it would appear he really loves Ish.
But, God steps in, and reiterates that his promise is to Isaac, Sarah's son with Abe. He further tells him--- don't worry about Ish. I've got it covered. Down through the years, Ish returns, and helps Isaac bury dad. They appear to have some kind of family connection, which is beyond mere blood ties.
Now..... 4000 years later, the descendants of Ish have spread out, and are all over the middle east. The descendants of Isaac have also scattered, but have now returned to the land that God promised to give to Abe, Isaac, and Israel/Jacob.
Now.... guess what..... there are tens of thousands, if not tens of millions of chaotically intertwined threads, which have played out from one night with his wife's servant girl, at his wife's request, to help God out..... Not like God actually needed help, but Sarah thought he did. From what I've read of the cultural history, it was a common practice for men to take their servant girls to get a child if the wife was barren. So, the wife decided--- well, I've past my prime, so let's do it as cultural practices would dictate.


Another similar theme of the threads of chaos.....

Adam and Eve...... Adam was told--- in the day you eat of this fruit, dying you will die.
Adam added a few words to the warning--- don't even touch it......
God never said don't touch. He said-- don't eat.
So... Eve ate, and it would appear that Adam understanding what would happen to her, ate also.

His eating a single piece of fruit has ruined the entire human race, from his own life, to his children, to every single human being since.
One single act...... it's brought death, disease, illness, dramatic weather systems, a flood, catastrophic activities, etc.... on the entire human race.

Now..... come down to the 90's. I married my wife, a beautiful woman by any man's idea of beauty, and I decide I want to wait a couple of years to have children. Her choices before we met resulted in her getting cancer. She gets treated, but the damage is done, and we don't really understand why, but ok. We try, but to no avail. So, we sign up for adoption/fostering classes. While we pass the course, she gets deathly ill, and I withdraw us, as well as myself from numerous plans I have for my career, and for us, as a couple. Education, buying property, building a home, engaging in community service on a number of different activities, etc.....

10 months later, I'm diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma cancer. My entire career is slammed into a brick wall at 90mph, but after a few months, another door opens... a college program in math and physics. Yet the cancer keeps returning. All hopes at having children are dashed on the rocks. Including adoption.

As part of the recovery, I'm given a computer, introduced to computers, and within a few months, I'm meandering around the internet. I eventually start talking to strangers on the internet, in chatrooms, etc...., and after 13-14 years, end up on this forum. Over the course of the past 8+ years now, I'm engaged in conversations with numerous strangers, and all because I got a sunburn on my left calf over the summer of 1987, while working outdoors, in the sun, having the time of my life.


None of which would've happened had Adam not eaten the fruit.

And all of this, all brought together, will come out to glorify God, and get his promise of eternal life to people I never would've met, had I not gotten cancer, and my mom gave me a computer, and I got bored out of my mind following the recovery from the cancer treatments......

The chaos of my life, is part of a string, through my ancestral lineage from Adam, down through to me, and my wife's lineage from Adam to her.

God will weave a tapestry, showing his people how it all weaves together. I cannot begin to describe to you how painful the losses, and the grief has been. But I also know because God himself showed up in the midst of our pain, and walked with us, to shoulder it with us, he'll "cause it to work together for my good" because I love him, and am the called according to HIS purposes. Romans 8:28.
In my godless universe:
Each man is born a clean slate and fully responsible for the actions that he goes on to take

In your God universe:
"{Adam} eating a single piece of fruit has ruined the entire human race, from his own life, to his children, to every single human being since.
One single act...... it's brought death, disease, illness, dramatic weather systems, a flood, catastrophic activities, etc.... on the entire human race"
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Sorry for the tragedy. I hope for as much peace for you in this life as you can salvage. You've been through too, too much but you've made a good go of it all obviously. Enjoy the lemonade you made.
It's life. Solomon described it as follows

Ecc 9:2 WEB All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good, to the clean, to the unclean, to him who sacrifices, and to him who doesn’t sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; he who takes an oath, as he who fears an oath.

That doesn't sound like God "using" as you describe it:

"Much like an inventor uses the technology, materials, etc.... at his disposal to create what he wants."

This is part of the problem with using human words to describe eternal perspective.
Ever learned a foreign language? Ever notice that there are some words that simply don't translate well into the other languages?
Jesus often used the phrase,
The Kingdom of God is like unto....
Or
The Kingdom of heaven is like unto...

He's using human words to describe a reality and realm far beyond our faculty to comprehend.
Paul, quoting Isaiah, says...

Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him.

Elsewhere in Paul's letters he talks about how fantastic the Kingdom will be, and how God will take an eternity showing us the magnitude of his love for us and the greatness of his grace and favour towards us.

So..... as hard as we work to help you understand, in the end, you'll have to come follow Jesus to get the glimpse of the Kingdom of God.


That sounds more deist - almost pantheist. Threads unwind naturally. I wasn't led to the places in those narratives where God did anything at all and revealed His ultimate will within the wills of the players.
I'm sure to you it does.
Remember, you're on the outside, looking at a realm that you don't understand or acknowledge. So you are limited by your awareness of the world. You won't recognize the truth until you come follow Jesus. At which point, God will open up a world beyond your ability to understand spart from him.

The butterfly effect is not a thought experiment to explain the absolute will of a sovereign. It describes nature.
It's a word picture to open up your mind to see a glimpse into a realm beyond your own.

The life of God is available to you.
Continuing to stand outside the door looking in these things won't make a lot of sense to you.
We're presenting ideas beyond your perspective.
 

5wize

Well-known member
It's life. Solomon described it as follows

Ecc 9:2 WEB All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good, to the clean, to the unclean, to him who sacrifices, and to him who doesn’t sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; he who takes an oath, as he who fears an oath.



This is part of the problem with using human words to describe eternal perspective.
Ever learned a foreign language? Ever notice that there are some words that simply don't translate well into the other languages?
Jesus often used the phrase,
The Kingdom of God is like unto....
Or
The Kingdom of heaven is like unto...

He's using human words to describe a reality and realm far beyond our faculty to comprehend.
Paul, quoting Isaiah, says...

Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him.

Elsewhere in Paul's letters he talks about how fantastic the Kingdom will be, and how God will take an eternity showing us the magnitude of his love for us and the greatness of his grace and favour towards us.

So..... as hard as we work to help you understand, in the end, you'll have to come follow Jesus to get the glimpse of the Kingdom of God.



I'm sure to you it does.
Remember, you're on the outside, looking at a realm that you don't understand or acknowledge. So you are limited by your awareness of the world. You won't recognize the truth until you come follow Jesus. At which point, God will open up a world beyond your ability to understand spart from him.


It's a word picture to open up your mind to see a glimpse into a realm beyond your own.

The life of God is available to you.
Continuing to stand outside the door looking in these things won't make a lot of sense to you.
We're presenting ideas beyond your perspective.
If we're presenting ideas beyond perspective then our theology isn't as a shepherd calling his flock then. It must be either a delusion or a fabrication if it does not resonate with the creator whose image we are made and the creation the message is made for.
 
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SteveB

Well-known member
In my godless universe:
Each man is born a clean slate and fully responsible for the actions that he goes on to take

In your God universe:
"{Adam} eating a single piece of fruit has ruined the entire human race, from his own life, to his children, to every single human being since.
One single act...... it's brought death, disease, illness, dramatic weather systems, a flood, catastrophic activities, etc.... on the entire human race"
I'm glad I'm not in your universe.
You'd have assassinated me decades ago.
You can't even handle a few years, and you're running off at the mouth about how cowardly I am.

No. I'm grateful that I'm in YHVH's domain. He's a far more gracious, generous, compassionate, just and righteous God than you could ever be.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
If we're presenting ideas beyond perspective then our theology isn't as a shepherd calling his flock then. It must be either a delusion or a fabrication if it does not resonate with the creator whose image we are made and the creation the message is made for.
Actually he is.

He's using language we understand to describe ideas that are beyond our understanding.

He even told the disciples that kings and prophets had longed to hear the things they were hearing, but could not.

So, things that even the disciples were having a problem with, those who came before them had an even greater problem with understanding.

Jesus said that the day would come when God's Spirit would indwell us, and teach us everything we need to know in order to make it to heaven. At which point, everything that happened, God would explain to us.

1 Corinthians 13:12

1Co 13:12 WEB For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.

According to Hebrews 4:13, we're stark naked before God. So, God will make known to us, everything we need to know, and then he will spend our eternity showing us the rest.
 
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