Focal passage: Isaiah 23:8-18
“Why does it matter what I do, or even if I pray? God is going to do whatever He wants anyway!” Maybe you have heard such a statement or made it yourself. Such a statement illustrates a view known as “determinism,” meaning that God has foreordained every thought, action and outcome by His sovereign decree. An opposing view, that of process theology or “open theism,” holds that everything in the future is “open,” that even God doesn’t know the future.
Obviously, both of these views are problematic because they contradict the clear teachings of scripture. The Bible certainly teaches the sovereign rule and reign of God over all things, and yet, at the same time, affirms that man both can and will make decisions for which He is responsible and for which God will hold him accountable.
Rival nations have come against and oppressed the people of God, and they will not stop the judgment of God against them. And yet, God, by His sovereign power can both bring down nations and raise them up again – just as we see Him promise to do with Tyre.
Isaiah didn’t say there was a “really good chance” that Tyre would fall and would make a comeback. He announced that God would bring her down and raise her up again.
Because He is sovereign and we are accountable to Him, it should compel us, by His grace, not to live as we want, but as He wants, for the glory our reigning King!