“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are His.
He changes times and seasons;
He sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
He knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with Him.”
Daniel had just been given the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s first dream – God’s ‘master plan’ of history. So he praised God’s absolute sovereignty: it is God who determines the destinies of empires, and who rules the rulers of this world (Proverbs 21:1).
There are so many Biblical examples of God’s sovereignty being worked out in practice, but I will just mention two. First, Joseph: his brothers had chosen freely to sell him into slavery, but God had used their free choices to bring about the outcome that He desired (Genesis 45:8). His sovereignty did not override their free will, but rode on it. Second, Jesus: His crucifixion is the supreme example of how evil deeds can be made to serve God’s good purpose (Acts 4:27,28).
To us humans, many (maybe most) of God’s decisions seem arbitrary. It is tempting to criticise His judgements, when actually we do not know all the ramifications. Whereas He knows all things – past, present and future. In acknowledging His power, we must also submit to His wisdom. (Romans 11:33-36)