1 Chronicles 16:31

“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’” (1 Chr. 16:31).

That the God of Israel is King of the cosmos is certainly one of the most prevalent teachings in the entire Bible. It is present from the very beginning of the story, at least implicitly, for the creation and the preparation of the heavens and the earth for His creatures and His giving of the law not to eat the forbidden fruit in the garden were kingly activities (Gen. 1–2). If an earthly sovereign has the right to enact legislation for his people, how much more does the Lord of the universe?

When contemplating His kingly rule, God’s sovereignty is one of His foremost characteristics that we find accentuated in Scripture. Nothing happens apart from His sovereign decree, not even the smallest detail (Prov. 16:33). There is no plan or scheme that can thwart His ultimate purposes (Job 42:2; Ps. 135:6). Even though human beings are in rebellion against His reign, and it can sometimes be difficult to see how He is working in all things to achieve His goal, God remains in charge, seated on His heavenly throne.

That God is sovereign remains unbelievable to those without the eyes of faith. Made in His image, we were created to exercise beneficent rule over the earth and its creatures, tasked to exercise God’s dominion for His glory (Gen. 1:27–28). Had we not fallen, Adam and all his posterity would have continued reflecting the glory that God intended for His creation to this very day. But being in Adam, we all choose to exercise dominion selfishly, chasing after our own ends, grabbing for an autonomous life that values power, wealth, and prestige as ends in themselves (Rom. 5:12–21).

When the Lord sets His grace upon us, however, the righteous dominion we exercise in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit in our families, at work, and in other places embodies the fact that the creator God is sovereign and has made us to reflect His glory. This was particularly true of the righteous old covenant kings. While there was a great temptation for them to take the nation away from the law of God so that they could chase after their own selfish desires, good kings like David did not succumb to this temptation — for the most part — during their reigns. Instead of keeping the eyes of the people on the king’s sovereignty, they acknowledged and directed their people toward the reign of the Lord (1 Chron. 16:31).

Coram Deo

That God is sovereign over all is a comforting truth that we must never forget in these difficult days. As we see many apostatize because of economic catastrophes, wars, natural disasters, and more, let us remember that none of these things is happening apart from the sovereign will of God. We do not resign ourselves and do nothing in the face of such things, but we know that the Lord works even in these for our good and His glory.

For Further Study