TBU: The Bible Unpacked: Intermediate Edition

II. God’s Control over the World

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Chapter 7  Part II

God’s Control over the World

God has power over everything. This includes control over evil powers, nature, the nations of the world and each person’s life. Comprehending this is vital to having a sound understanding of God and of his relationship to the world – including his relationship with ourselves.

God Has Control over Evil

God exerts control over evil

[Jacob, referring to his greedy uncle:] Yet he has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not let him harm me.   Genesis 31:7  GNT

[Paul, to believers:] No temptation has overtaken you that is unusual for human beings. But God is faithful, and he will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. Instead, along with the temptation he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to endure it.   1 Corinthians 10:13  ISV

God has control over any temptation, whether it originates from Satan or our own sinful nature. This is indicative of his control over evil.

God even uses evil to fulfill his purposes

For God has put into their minds to carry out his purpose by making a decision to give their royal power to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled.   Revelation 17:17  NET

This speaks of kings or powers of the end times cooperating with the beast or anti-Christ, to unwittingly accomplish God’s purpose.

God Has Control over Nature

God directs nature

He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through the clouds. 12The clouds go round in circles, wheeling about according to his plans, to carry out all that he commands them over the face of the whole inhabited world.   Job 37:11-12  NET

He sends his command through the earth; swiftly his order reaches its destination. 16He sends the snow that is white like wool; he spreads the frost that is white like ashes. 17He throws his hailstones like crumbs. Who can withstand the cold wind he sends? 18He then orders it all to melt; he breathes on it, and the water flows.   Psalms 147:15-18  NET

God can perform miracles of nature

The Lord’s angelic messenger appeared to the woman and said to her, “You are infertile and childless, but you will conceive and have a son. … 24Manoah’s wife gave birth to a son and named him Samson.   Judges 13:3, 24a  NET

[Elijah:] For this is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘The jar of flour [that was about to run out] will not be empty and the jug of oil will not run out until the day the Lord makes it rain on the surface of the ground.’” 15She [a widow] went and did as Elijah told her; there was always enough food for Elijah and for her and her family. 16The jar of flour was never empty and the jug of oil never ran out, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.   1 Kings 17:14-16  NET

God Has Control over the Nations

God is in control of the nations

[A psalmist, to God:] For you execute justice among the nations, and govern the people living on earth. (Selah)   Psalms 67:4b  NET

[God:] This is the plan I have devised for the whole earth; my hand is ready to strike all the nations.” [Isaiah:] 27 Indeed, the Lord who commands armies has a plan, and who can possibly frustrate it? His hand is ready to strike, and who can possibly stop it?   Isaiah 14:26-27  NET

What God determines for the whole world does take place, for his power to impose his will extends over all nations. For God “controls every nation” (CEV) – none can prevent him from implementing his purposes concerning them.

God has been in control of the nations throughout history

From one human being he created all races on earth and made them live throughout the whole earth. He himself fixed beforehand the exact times and the limits of the places where they would live.   Acts 17:26  GNT

God establishes all ruling authorities

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God.   Romans 13:1  NET

God Has Control over Each Person

God has control over people’s hearts and minds

When Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart.   1 Samuel 10:9a  NCV™

The Lord caused the Egyptians to think well of them, and the Egyptians gave the people everything they asked for. So the Israelites took rich gifts from them.   Exodus 12:36  NCV™

God has control over people’s actions . . .

[Daniel, to King Belshazzar:] But you have not glorified the God who has in his control your very breath and all your ways!   Daniel 5:23b  NET

. . . Despite people’s plans, their steps are directed by God

A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.   Proverbs 16:9  NET

God controls all that happens to people

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes – both calamity and blessing?   Lamentations 3:38  NET

[A wise teacher:] In times of prosperity be joyful, but in times of adversity consider this: God has made one as well as the other, so that no one can discover what the future holds.   Ecclesiastes 7:14  NET

Pray for persecuted Christians