God’s activity in creating and ruling the world is seen throughout the Psalms. “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. (Psalm 24:1-2) “The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad.” (Psalm 97:1) “The Lord reigns, He is robed in majesty.” (Psalm 93:1) The bottom line is…throughout this pandemic, you may think God has been absent, indifferent, or turning a blind eye to all the death and suffering…but He hasn’t. God’s sovereign authority is still operating on our behalf and for our good. For “the Lord works out everything for His own ends.” (Proverbs 16:4) But how and why is He doing this? As the Lord told Moses in Exodus 9:16, “for the purpose that I may show you My power and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So one thing we can be certain of today… is that God is still in control and ruling with grace and mercy.
In the wake of this pandemic of the COVID 19 Virus, the idea of these verses take on heightened meaning for us today. This concept of the resurrected Jesus having supreme rule over everything was voiced by Him in Matthew 28:18, when He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” That means it’s a done deal…everything, (which includes the Corona Virus), is under Jesus’ power and authority. So just as He is the head of the Body of Christ – the Church- Jesus is the head…the Supreme Ruler over COVID 19, and these verses go on to tell us that God placed it under His feet…a place of utter submission and surrender.
We all have blind spots. Areas of our life we can’t see, or chose not to see. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes it’s due to ignorance that we can’t see what’s right in front of our faces. This Psalm of David is quite blunt…you can’t help but see the majesty of God around you. For everywhere you look is displayed His glorious work of creation. And creation doesn’t need words to proclaim God’s glory to the world…we need simply to gaze up into the starry sky, glance at the blooming flowers, and listen to the bird’s singing to understand.
The battle for the human soul is real. It’s been going on ever since Satan got booted out of the Garden of Eden…and he hasn’t been happy about it since! But we need to remember that his power over us is limited, for it tells us in Revelation 13:7 that he, (the beast), was given power to make war against the saints. The control Satan has on earth was granted to him by God…and it is only by God’s permission that he can function here on earth. So if you think about it… as Believers, with the indwelling Holy Spirit living inside us, we too have the same authority over Satan…for it says, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. ” (I John 4:4)
Psalm 40:8 tells us, “I desire ( or choose) to do Your will O my God.” We even see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane praying, “Yet not as I will (want), but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39) When we seek God’s will… we desire that which pleases God and thus will create joy within us…for we will find ourselves in the center of His will…and it’s the very best place to be.
In this story, a Gentile Roman Centurion had approached Jesus asking Him to heal his servant. This commanding officer not only knew who Jesus was, but had witnessed and then understood the authority by which Jesus taught and healed the sick. For it was by this powerful authority he saw in Jesus that he related. It says that Jesus was astonished and commended him for his great faith and understanding of authority…and his servant was healed that day.
In this prayer, King David was acknowledging that it was only from God – the source of everything – that he possessed abilities and achievements. David was also acknowledging the sovereignty and authorship of God as he viewed the world around him. Later, his son Solomon would write in Ecclesiastes 5:19-20, ” When God gives any man wealth and possessions,and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work – this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.” Recognizing and thanking God for His benevolence in our lives gives rise to one of the greatest gifts we can ever receive…it’s peace and contentment.
No matter how spiritually strong we are, anyone of us can stray from the will of God. Here Simon Peter, nicknamed the Rock, of which Jesus had said, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church,” caved under man’s pressure. Peter had been fellowshipping with Christian Gentiles until a group of Jews showed up and started pressuring him to stop. He was afraid that his reputation and standing might be questioned…fearful of what they might think of him…so he separated himself from the Gentiles…taking everyone with him, including Barnabas. Isaiah 51:12-13 asks this question, “Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker?” It’s a dangerous slippery slope when we start fearing man rather than God…afraid of what people may think of us rather than doing God’s will. Peer pressure can be tremendous, for we all want to fit in and be liked…but when it causes us to deviate from God’s plan…it effects everyone around us.
The king of the Moabites, Balak, had attempted to hire Balaam, (a soothsayer who used divination and sorcery for personal gain), to pronounce a curse on the tribes of Israel. But every time Balaam tried, out came a blessing instead. Try as he might, Balaam was forced to conform to God’s will and he realized that nothing he did would change that…no matter how much King Balak offered him. We may think evil is running amuck on the earth…unimpeded by anything. But God is still in control, ruling and reigning over every situation, every detail, every person.
Everyday we have to make the decision to either accept the world’s view or to trust God with His vision. We can either be driven by fear, gloom and doom in a world of pessimism and distrust, or we can stand on God’s Word with hope and confidence, knowing He’s still in control. It all boils down to asking yourself one question, “Whose report do you believe today?” Is your faith and trust in the world or the Creator of it?