Suffering and God’s Sovereignty

Suffering and God’s Sovereignty

Have you ever struggled to “make sense” of God?  I have.  When we see things happening in the world that we can’t quite understand, and we hear from Scripture that God is “sovereign” and “good,” it can be difficult to reconcile in our minds.    

How do we make sense of God?  Who is the true God revealed in Scripture?

Habakkuk is a character from Scripture who asked these kinds of questions. He writes his book in response to intense suffering that he saw coming upon his people in Judah. Wicked nations were set up for triumph while God’s people were seemingly being hung out to dry. As Habakkuk approached God with question upon question, he was trying to make sense of God. The God he thought he knew was all-powerful, completely good, completely just, unfathomably merciful, and totally sovereign. But it seemed like this God had lost control, or simply stopped caring.  What Habakkuk found was that God is not “The God of the Box,” one we can simply shrink down to fit in our pocket. God revealed Himself to Habakkuk as “The God of the Mountain.”

Habakkuk 3:3
God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Selah

The mountain regions of Seir, Sinai, and Paran are adjacent to one another, and are thereby associated together, in respect to God’s giving of the law (De 33:2). The “God of the Mountain” is the God whose revelation came to Israel from these regions.
He’s the God who said:

Exodus 33:19
“I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

Exodus 34:6-7
“The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,  7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation. [of those who hate me]”

The God of the Mountain is the covenant God.
He is the sovereign God.
He is the God who reveals Himself through His Word.
His character does not change.
He is not the God we “try out,” He’s the God who rescues us by His grace.
He’s not the God who gives easy answers; He’s the God who is THE ANSWER.
He’s not tame, safe, or “easy to digest”…. but He’s good.

He's not the God who gives easy answers; He's the God who is THE ANSWER. Click To Tweet