God’s Sovereignty in Human History
God providentially and sovereignly rules over every event of history, whether the participants recognize it or not. Here we meet two examples of this truth.
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” Ezra 1:1,2
For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.” John 19:36-37
Ezra records God’s sovereign moving by His Spirit in Cyrus the king of Persia to make a decree to send Jewish exiles back to Judah to rebuild the temple. Ezra knows this is the Lord’s doing, but Cyrus in his written decree shows that he, too, recognizes that he is doing God’s work. Cyrus makes his own decree to the Jewish exiles to gather resources and to go and do the work. God further moved in the exiles to want to do this project. God works at every level here.
The details surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and burial all reveal that Scripture is being fulfilled while the participants seem to be unconscious of that fact. The soldiers cast lots for His garment. They forego breaking His legs to hasten His death, but, thrust a spear in His side. John relates all of these actions to earlier prophecy which is fulfilled precisely. Yet there is no indication that the soldiers have either knowledge of the Scripture or awareness of the importance of their seemingly inconsequential actions.
Think about it
Are you aware that the events of this day, whether in Washington, DC, or Moscow, Russia, or Moscow, Idaho are all under God’s providence? He does hold the whole world in His hands while we go about often oblivious to this truth. Are we robots? No, we act freely, but God engineers the outcomes and purposes so that His will is perfectly executed. We may choose to obey Him or not. In the end He will be glorified and His purposes will come to pass.
Do not fret that the world is out of control and going to hell in a hand basket. God is still on the throne. Be confident in Him and grateful to Him, and, like Cyrus, do what He gives you to do.