Observation on God’s sovereignty in today’s Bible reading:
1) Jeremiah 1 “Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
God’s sovereign choice does not mean Jeremiah is a robot (without will and incapable demerit or merit) Jeremiah has a will but it is a contingent will not a sovereign or free will that God alone has.
Jeremiah replies to God: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”
God replies: “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”
The creature retains his God-given will and the Creator exercises His sovereign free will to ordain what Jeremiah will be.
2) Rev 17 is about the great prostitute to whom the peoples and multitudes and nations and languages go to drink themselves drunk with. She represents rule and power on the earth. But there a arises a beast with 7 heads and 10 horns and an eighth that rules them all. These represent kings of the earth.
Here is what caught me. It says “The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of Kings…”
So these ten kings will seek to make direct war on Jesus the Lamb of God.
Why will they do this? Because they are evil – because they desire power? Yes
But also because…
“The will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled.”
Because God has put it in their hearts to have singleness of mind to war against the Lamb.
This type of language is all over the Bible – Man does evil – Man is held culpable for that evil – God is ordaining that evil come to pass and be made to serve His righteous purposes.
Using the term “allow” rather than “command” or “ordain” 1) does not match the biblical account and 2) does not solve the problem of evil in the world. We don’t have to solve all of the complexity here – let the tension ride as it does in scripture – God is sovereign -truly sovereign over all things and nothing happens apart from his will of decree including evil. Man does evil willfully and violates God’s will of command – and is held accountable for his evil actions. We must have these categories so that we do not minimize who God is or say that man is not responsible for his actions.”