“These are days when international conflict has taken on staggering proportions. Men’s hearts fail them for fear. Barbaric tyranny has brought its cruel heel upon millions of our fellowmen. In words that Calvin wrote four centuries ago, “the turbulent state of the world deprives us of our judgment”. In such days there is inexpressible comfort in the sovereignty of God. The world has not been abandoned to cold and relentless hate, nor has it been given over to the totalitarianism of man or devil. God’s counsel still stands and He still does all His pleasure. It is still true, “Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand” (Isa. 14:24). Through all the disquieting events of our history there runs the sovereign and holy purpose of the Lord God omnipotent. Justice and judgment are the habitation of God’s throne even though clouds and darkness are round about Him. He fulfils His righteous purpose through the unrighteous wills of wicked men. He holds the reins of universal government and not a sparrow falls to the ground without His knowledge and ordination.
In this let the believer take solace, for it is the secret place of the Most High and the shadow of the Almighty. It is the absolute sovereignty of the eternal God. It is the absolute sovereignty of none other than the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And it is even with equal universality the mediational sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man, the incarnate Son, the Saviour-King, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
“Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Rev. 19:6).”
The above, as applicable in our day as it was when it was penned, was excerpted from a larger article by John Murray concerning The Sovereignty of God in Salvation, that can be found online and read here.
About John Murray
Born in Sutherland, Scotland in 1898, John Murray was educated at Dornoch Academy and, after service in France in World War I, at the University of Glasgow. A decision to prepare for the Christian ministry took him to Princeton Theological Seminary for three years in 1924. Thereafter, while studying in Edinburgh, he was invited by Caspar Wistar Hodge, Professor of systematic Theology at Princeton, to join him as assistant in 1929. He thus entered directly into the succession of the Hodges and Warfield. On account of the struggle then taking place between historic Christianity and Liberalism in the Presbyterian church in the USA, Princeton Seminary was passing through the greatest upheaval in its history and the outcome was that in 1930 Murray followed Gresham Machen, O.T. Allis and R.D. Wilson to the newly-formed Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. Here he was to teach systematic theology to successive generations of Students until his retirement in 1966.
A larger John Murray work concerning the sovereignty of God over all of his creation can be found here.