Amos 4:7; Romans 9:14-16
I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city.
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
AUGUSTINE (354-430): We know that the grace of God is not given to all men; and that to them to whom it is given, it is given neither according to the merits of works, nor according to the merits of will, but by gratuitous favour; and to those to whom it is not given, we know that it is not given by the righteous judgment of God.
A. W. PINK (1886-1952): Because grace is exercised toward those who are destitute of worthiness or merit, grace is sovereign; that is to say, God bestows grace upon whom He pleases.
STEPHEN CHARNOCK (1628-1680): To be God and sovereign are inseparable.
ALEXANDER CARSON (1776-1844): Jehovah “worketh all things according to the counsel of His own will,” Ephesians 1:11.
JOHN FLAVEL (1630-1691): The rain falls by divine direction and appointment: He causes it to rain upon one city, and not upon another. You shall often see a cloud dissolve and spread itself upon one place, when there is not drop within few miles of it. Thus it is that the gospel sent to shed its rich influences upon one place, and not upon another; it pours down showers of blessings upon one town or parish, whilst others are dry like the ground which lay near to Gideon’s wet fleece, Judges 6:36-38.
JOHN OWEN (1616-1683): As to the manner and the circumstance of His dispensing and communicating these blessings, they are wholly committed unto His sovereign will and wisdom.
JOHN FLAVEL: “To you is the word of this salvation sent,” Acts 13:26. Sent; it comes not by chance, but by commission and appointment, and it is sent to you by special direction. Ministers can no more go whither they please, than the failing clouds can move against the wind. Paul and Timothy were two fruitful clouds that sent down many sweet refreshing showers upon every place whither they came. The Lord sent them through Phrygia and Galatia, but forbade them to preach the word in Asia, Acts 16:6; “And when they assayed to go into Bithynia, the Spirit suffered them not,” verse 7. But a man of Macedonia appears to Paul in a vision and prayed him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us,” verse 9. Thus you see how the mystical, as well as the natural clouds are moved according to divine counsel; and though ministers are not now disposed to their respective places, in such an extraordinary way, yet there is still a special hand of the Spirit guiding their motions.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): You will notice that out of the same man will at one time flow streams of living water, while at another time he will be as dry as possible. On one Sabbath you go away refreshed by the preaching, and the next you get no good. There is Divine Sovereignty in all this, and we must learn to recognize and admire it.
A. W. PINK: Sovereignty characterizes the whole being of God. He is sovereign in all His attributes.
C. H. SPURGEON: There is no attribute of God more comforting to His children than that of God’s sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the doctrine of their Master ruling over all creation—the kingship of God over all the works of His own hand—the throne of God and His right to sit upon that throne.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Let Him rule who said, “Let us make man.”
C. H. SPURGEON: On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a football, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow His bounties. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends His throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth; and when we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter, then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love…No doctrine in the whole Word of God has more excited the hatred of mankind than the truth of the absolute sovereignty of God.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): None is so offensive to human nature.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Therefore it is not wonderful that the licentiousness of our flesh should rise against it.
STEPHEN CHARNOCK: The great controversy between God and man hath been, whether He or they shall be God; whether His reason or theirs, His will or theirs, shall be the guiding principle.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): God does not stop to consult us.
STEPHEN CHARNOCK: Besides, if anything could frustrate God’s will, it would be superior to Him: God would not be omnipotent, and so would lose the perfection of the Deity, and consequently the Deity itself; for that which did wholly defeat God’s will, would be more powerful than He…To be God and yet inferior to another, is a contradiction.
MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546): Let God be God!
WILLIAM CAREY (1761-1834): God has sovereign right to dispose of us as He pleases. We ought to acquiesce in all that God does with us and to us.
A. W. TOZER (1897-1963): I do not know why God does some things, but I am convinced that nothing is accidental in His universe.
JOHN CALVIN: This method of acting is secret, and far above our understanding.
ALEXANDER CARSON (1776-1844): Philosophy cannot plumb this ocean by its line; philosophy, therefore, denies what it cannot comprehend. But does she show wisdom in this? No—she manifests her folly. The amount of her unbelief is this: “There is nothing in the ways of the Almighty but what I am able to comprehend.” Can there be a purer specimen of atheism and madness?
JOHN CALVIN: What madness it is to embrace nothing but what commends itself to human reason!
C. H. SPURGEON: Opposition to divine sovereignty is essentially atheism―and were it not for sovereign grace, none of us would ever have followed the path to heaven. I am daily more and more convinced that the difference between one man and another is, not the difference between his use of his will, but the difference of grace that has been bestowed upon him.