Sovereignty in Suffering (Psalm 105:24-25)

Psalm 105 24-25


24 And the Lord made his people very fruitful

and made them stronger than their foes.

25 He turned their hearts to hate his people,

to deal craftily with his servants.


            Here is a fascinating look at the way God works in his sovereignty. Psalm 105 recounts the mighty works of God through a part of Old Testament history. In it, we have a poetic look at the way God sent Joseph to Egypt and how God then rescued the people from Egypt.


            In the midst of the discussion of Israel’s time in Egypt we read the passage above. Notice what God did. In verse 24, we see that God gave his people success. But verse 25 shows how God worked among the Egyptians. The Bible says, “He turned their hearts to hate his people, to deal craftily with his servants.” God, in his mighty and unsearchable plan, stirred up the Egyptians to hate his people in order that he might eventually bring about the salvation of the nation.


            If you were an Israelite of that generation, you might not think that God was doing you a favor here. I wonder how many of the people cried out to God, asking him to change the hearts of the Egyptians, especially the officials over them, so that the Egyptians would see the people of Israel with favor. But God was always working out something bigger. God was working the Egyptians up to a place where the Israelites would cry out for rescue. God was making it so that the Israelites would eventually follow Moses out of the land of Egypt. God was shaping things for the ultimate move toward Sinai, the Promised Land, and the fulfillment of covenant promises.


            The truth here is that God works things in much bigger ways than we might imagine and in stranger ways than we are wise enough to expect. God is wiser than us. He knows his plans His plans are good. Even if we do not understand them at the time, God is always on track. He will not fail. He will work through our circumstances, perhaps not to accomplish what we want, but always to accomplish his ultimate will for his greater glory. This is what is most important anyway.


            So, as you face things you do not like, be it hardship, decisions you dislike, or ugly circumstances, remember the sovereignty of God. He is always moving us to accomplish his purposes. His purposes are far bigger and better than ours. We can trust him. We can follow him. He may let us walk through hardships, but not without something that will work toward the accomplishment of something greater, whether we see that greater thing in our lifetime or not.