In today’s study, Paul is going to show us the sovereignty of God. It is good to know who God is on a deep level. This knowledge helps to solidify our trust in Him, it strengthens the foundation that we stand on, and it helps us to not quit when our faith becomes shaky and insecure. When we know God intimately and personally, we will respond like Peter in John 6:68, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.” We don’t leave our faith by the wayside and go back to old habits. We won’t give up. We know to stand firm and stay the course that God laid out for us. We come to a place in our faith walk where we are settled, we have moved in, and there is no where else we want to be.
Read Romans 9. In the first 5 verses, we see Paul is filled with sorrow over the Jewish people. They have allowed their vision to become blurred when they thought they deserved special privileges because God loved them more than the Gentiles. But we know this isn’t true. God loves everyone. Refresh your memory and reread Romans 5:8. Paul is upset that the Jewish nation rejected the gospel.
ASK YOURSELF: What do you learn about God from these first five verses?
I would encourage you to write them out so you can look at them often. Look at this amazing list: I am chosen by God. He adopts me as one of His own. He reveals His glory to me. He makes a lasting covenant and gives me His word to follow. I get to worship God and receive a plethora of wonderful promises.
He is God, the One who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise!
Paul gives us several Old Testament examples to show us how God has always been in control. He is sovereign. The first example is found in verses 6-13. Paul gives the example of Abraham. Abraham is the father of many nations; see Genesis 17:5. He had one son, who was born when Abraham was way past child-bearing years. Abraham never lost hope or faith in what God told him throughout his life. Abraham believed God would fulfill what He showed him.
Being a child of God means that God has chosen you. You become a “child of the promise” according to verse 8. God promised Abraham that he would have a son and through his son many would come to follow God.
ASK YOURSELF: How does God choose people, according to what, in verses 11-12?
Everything is according to His purposes.
Even before Abraham’s daughter-in-law gave birth to her twin boys, God told her about them ahead of time and what would happen in their life. God already had each boy’s purpose laid out and He has our lives laid out too.
ASK YOURSELF: From verses 13-14, we could question God and say how unfair it is to love one of the twin boys but reject the other. How did Paul answer this kind of thinking?
To help understand why God could make this claim before the twin were born, read Genesis 25:19-34. This shows how God knows the future. He knew what was going to happen to Abraham’s grandsons and He knows what is going to happen to each of us. We can trust Him because He is a loving God towards those who choose to follow Him.
Another example Paul gives in how God is in control is verses 15-18.
God decides whom He will show mercy to. We can neither choose it nor work for it.
Go ahead and read Exodus 4 and see how Moses had to stand up to Pharaoh. Notice what God does in verse 21, then go back to Romans 9 and reread verse 18.
ASK YOURSELF: Again, we could question God like we see in verse 19. What kind of answer does Paul give in verses 20-22? What do we learn about God in verses 23-24?
We are among those whom God selected, both from the Jews and and from the Gentiles.
ASK YOURSELF: How does the imagery of God as the Potter and we are the clay helpful?
A third example of God’s sovereignty is found in verses 25-29. These verses are references to Old Testament scriptures revealing the love that God has for us. Go to Hosea 2:23. God is telling us that He will raise us Himself. He will show us love and call us His own people.
ASK YOURSELF: What is the response from people in the Hosea verse? Can you respond that way? What does Romans 9:26 say; this same verse can be found in Hosea 1:10?
We are called children of the living God.
STOP and let God speak to you about this.
Look at what Isaiah says in verses 27-29 towards Israel. “Only a remnant will be saved.” Reread verses 30-33 in why Paul is saying this.
ASK YOURSELF: How are we made right with God, see verse 30 for one answer and verse 32 for the other?
People will trip over what Paul is saying here if they trust the law instead of God Himself. People will not be counted in the remnant if they trust their own thinking and ways. God placed a stumbling block in everyone’s paths. It takes faith and trusting God to see how the stumbling block is really the gate that opens up to a pasture of freedom, hope and everlasting life.
ASK YOURSELF: According to verse 33, who is the stumbling block? Look at Isaiah 28:16 and 1 Peter 2:6 for added insight.
Anyone who trusts in Christ will never be disgraced.
So, you see, God has you covered when you believe and trust in God through His Son. You can relax and know that your future is in good hands. God will lead you home. Psalm 48:14 says, “For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and He will guide us until we die.”
This study was very fitting for me at this time. There are many irons in my fire that I have to depend on God for, things that I have no control over. I have to let go of situations and trust God that He will work in people. I am to relax and know that God has me covered. I don’t have to fret over unmet expectations or how things will play out when I know that God has never left my side for the past 54 years and He won’t leave me now! I can respond like Peter, “Lord, to whom would I go? You have the words that give eternal life to me.”
My friends, God is worth discovering. Jesus is worth fighting for. The Holy Spirit is worth listening to. Relax and jump into His arms. He is waiting for you!