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Thursday: The Sovereignty of God — 17 Comments

  1. True! the bible doesn't support chance, but Solomon also declared in Ecc.9:11 that "time and chance happen to them all". Does this mean that God can foresee the chance happening but lets time take its course? What about lotteries and the like? It's easy to pick the winner after the race! How about Lucifer? can he pick the winner before the race?

    I'm on a pension and and suffering penuary I would love to know the name of this year's Melbourne Cup winner.

    • God sees it long before we do and even the chance happening is under His control. He can allow it to happen or over rule in accordance with what He knows is best. We can trust in Him knowing that He sees the future and will only allow what is best fur us. It may very well mean trial, struggle, poverty, suffering, or even death but He knows what will bring us to the right place and the right choice. Praise His name!

    • Dear John. I'll try to give You an answer, I think, will help You.

      The word "Chance" in this verse doesn't mean "luck", like something that happens haphazardly (at random, or by accident). It means "Opportunity, occasion". If You read all the chapter, You'll see that it begins with the comparison of "good and bad people". God controls both and gives them the same gift: "time (24h/day) and opportunity" to live and to be blessed and bless others. "The same thing happens to all". Ecclesiastes 9:1, 2. God controls every single detail. He can choose to act or not, knowing what will be better for us. That's where come the main element of a christian: "FAITH". Just trust Him! and you'll see.
      God bless You my brother.

      • If "chance" means opportunity in Ecc. 9:11 then the "but" also has to be changed to another conjunction. The passage implies that you'll expect the swift to win the race and the strong to win the battle and food to come to the wise etc., (these are all logical connections) BUT the opposite happens SOMETIMES, hence chance (randomness)which goes back to the whole meaningless of life that Solomon mourns.

        • It is my understanding that Solomon's mourning had to do with those whose focus is on this life only. It seems to be that kind of a life that he thinks is vanity. If it were not so then he could not have praised those who keep the commandments and he certainly would not have said, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all" (Eccl. 12:13 NKJV).

          To me He seems to be asking, why strive for the things of this world when we all end up the same way, plant food, and besides we never know what is going to happen tomorrow. Because of that our striving for what this world offers is nothing more than vanity. Only the righteous have something more to look forward to beyond this life.

          As for chance, I think we could discuss that endlessly. The fact that scripture says that God upholds all things (Heb 1:3) seems to raise a lot of questions concerning the topic.

  2. God knows the end from the beginning and He allows things to happen in our lives. It's just like saying if you do this, this is the result be it good or bad.God is a God of second chance because it is will that we all are save. Many times we want to get rich fast but if we just remain faith and be content with what we have, we will see how much God can bless the little. We cannot take a small portion of scripture and build a foundation. We do not know Solomon's thought after all, he had a very interesting life or what one can say, messed up life and yes, God in His infinite mercy gave him chances to turn around and to get himself right. May God bless you

  3. It is not true to say that the Bible doesn't support chance any more than to say that it doesn't support science or evolution. These things are clearly facts! When a die is rolled there is a on in six chance it will fall on a particular number! Same for the theories of science. I believe, however, that ultimately God is in control, but does not use that control when unnecessary! Christ only performed miracles when it was time to do so. We may never understand how and why God does what He does, that is not our concern; but we may rest assured that whatever He does, is for our best interest! That's faith! One day Daniel will find out how God shut the mouths of hungry lions of whom he was an overnight guest, but before he was lowered into the pit he had no guarantees, just blind faith that God was in control. There was very little chance that he would survive that night, but we know now that the God we serve can shut the mouths of lions. Surely he can take care of a pensioner like me!

    • Chris,
      Did you mean to say evolution is a fact? If so do you mean theistic evolution? Would it be consistent with the idea that we all came about by chance, and the evolving species survived by chance? Or is the statement saying something else?

  4. The idea that the Bible doesn't support chance is too strong. The opposite of this is determinism--that everything is already determined by God and there is nothing left to chance or choice. Solomon himself writes in Ecc. 9:11,
    "I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all."

    Jesus asked in Luke 13:4, "Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?" The implied answer is "No". They just happened (chance) to be in a bad place when the tower fell.

    Although God is sovereign and nothing could happen outside His will, this doesn't mean that if something happens He wills it. He sets up limits and when the "cup is full" He acts.

    • Ray, I believe that there is such a thing as chance but I don't think Jesus was teaching that in His illustration of the tower that fell. I think we should see this in the context of the disciple's belief in why a person suffers. For instance, Jesus dealt with the same crooked theology in another place:

      Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him" (Jn. 9:1-3 NKJV).

      Notice the understanding the disciples had concerning the reasons for poor health or poverty. The poor and diseased were stigmatized by the Jewish leaders as being under the curse of God and because they had wealth and prosperity they thought they were approved by God and blessed where everyone else was less so or even directly cursed.

      • I agree Tyler, that this was not the MAIN point of Jesus' teaching but it parallels what Solomon said in Ecc. 9:11. Good things do not always come to good people in this life as the strong do not always win the fight. The man born blind did not deserve what he got, and wasn't singled out by God to be blind.

  5. We ought to submit our lives daily to God. He's our God and knows what is best for us. As much as possible, we must always pray to consult Him before we plan or execute anything and then with the joy of the Lord being our strength, we will have no problems submitting to His will, even when it does not go as per our request.

    The Lord rules over all, He's in control - provides for all we need and establishes our steps; 

    He does all He pleases and none can overthrow His plans; He has final say;

    But He's also kind and long suffering and does "repent" or give second chances when we seek Him and He also moves in the situations of "those who love Him and are called according to His purpose". All in all, it's according to His loving kindness and His will.  
    1 Chronicles 29:11-12
    Psalm 115:3
    Proverbs 16:9
    Job 42:2
    Lamentations 3:37
    Romans 8:28
    Philippians 2:13

  6. I believe that God is always in control of everything and everyone around us. I believe that God allows certain things to happen in accordance with His will. God sees the big picture, we can only see what's in front of us. By applying faith to our situations, God is given permission to operate in our lives according to a His will. The choices we make has an impact good or bad on how situations will unfold in our lives. It is so important to put God first in all of our plans great or small because He can see the big picture. God wants what is best for His children. God truly loves us.

  7. God can direct your life only if you allow him to. Those who choose to take other paths often will find themselves victims of happenstance or succumb to the "blowing of the wind." However, under God's direction nothing is left up to the invisible- there is divine purpose in all things. For those who are not letting God direct them, I believe that chance does happen to them, but not those who leave their live's to His direction.

  8. Yes, I agree with all the comments made, when the plans are made without God, we are left behind his presence and the owner of the house/body is not within us. When we submit to God daily nothing like chance we will claim when blessings or trials come, we trust that it is all God's doing for good and bad. Bad to show us that He loves us, He does this in order to bring us back to His fold.

  9. ...and we don't know His plan, trust His heart."
    These are the some of the words from one of my favourite songs. My brothers and sisters in Christ, if only we knew how much God loves us. If only we understood how deeply committed God is to our well being. If only we appreciated the pain that God endured when He gave His only Son to the human race that we might live. The pain and anguish God suffered when Jesus cried those mournful words "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" A pain never before experienced by the heart of God, and yet felt every time when just one member of His beloved creation turns away from Him. A pain and anguish He feels when He knows that His offer of mercy and grace has been spurned for the last time, and He reluctantly withdraws His Holy Spirit from that one's life. Yet conversely, the total joy and excitement in heaven by the Father, His Son, and all the angels at the acceptance of Jesus by just one repentant sinner. If we understood just a fraction of the depth and extent of God's love, we would not doubt His guiding hand, we would not fear tomorrow, we would trust His love and surrender to Him utterly.
    We can do that my friends. Though we cannot see what tomorrow may bring, especially in these last days, though we do not know the end from the beginning, we can be assured that God does. He sees all the pitfalls and swamps and mountains ahead of us, and will guide us accordingly. He has already made provision for every contingency. Nothing takes Him by surprise, there is not one thing that can happen to us for which He is not prepared. He loves us. God loves us!!! With a passion !!!! He is head over heels in love with you!!! Trust in that love. Hope in that love. Believe in that love. Rest in that love.
    Though you may not understand everything that God does, though you may not understand anything else regarding the nature of God, if you can know His love, then you know Him. "And this is life eternal, if ye know God, and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent". God is love. Immerse yourself in His love. Immerse yourself in Him. He is to be trusted with your life. Surrender all to Him, and know the joy and peace He brings.
    And if anyone has difficulty in their present circumstance grasping the depth of the love of God, look to the cross. Look to the life and death of Jesus. God's love personified, exemplified and magnified by His Son. Like Father like Son. Jesus did not die to convince the Father to love you. Jesus died because the Father loves you.
    "If you cant see His hand, and you don't know His plan, trust His heart.... "


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