The LORD has prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom rules over all.…
The Lord rules over all. All things belong to His kingdom, and are under His dominion. Nothing is more plain and express in Scripture than both His reign and the extent of it. For the first, Psalm 93:1, 2; Psalm 97:1, 2, where we have His royalty, and His throne, and the basis of it; and Psalm 99:1. For the extent of it, see 1 Chronicles 29:11, 12.
I. THE ACT. To rule includes —
1. Authority (Romans 13:1; Revelation 1:5).
2. Power (Psalm 66:7; Revelation 19:6; Revelation 11:17).
3. The actual ordering and disposing of what is under Him, for the ends of government — the actual exercise of power and authority for this purpose. God is not like an artificer, who, when he has made a clock, and set it in order, and hanged weights upon it, leaves it to go of itself; but more like a musician, who, knowing his instrument will make no music of itself, does not only tune it, but actually touch the strings, for the making of that harmony which pleases him.
II. THE OBJECT OF SUBJECT OF HIS GOVERNMENT.
1. He rules both heaven and earth (Isaiah 66:1). The glory of His kingdom appears most in heaven, but the power of it reaches the earth, yea, and hell too. That is the proper place of rebels indeed; but He has them in chains, and shows that He is their ruler by executing justice upon them. They would not obey the laws of His government, and therefore the penalty is inflicted on them; and this is an act of government, as well as enacting laws and propounding or giving rewards.
2. He rules not only heaven and earth, but all the parts thereof; the whole world, and every part of it (Psalm 113:5; Colossians 1:16; 2 Chronicles 20:6; Daniel 5:20, 21; Daniel 4:32, 34, 35).
3. He rules not only great things, but small (Genesis 31:11, 12). Things so mean and inconsiderable as we mind them not, judge them not worthy of our thoughts, care, or regard, they are all under the government of God, and He actually orders and disposes of them.
4. He rules not only all beings, but all motions (Acts 17:28).
5. He rules not only actions, but events, so that acts and undertakings have not such an issue as they promise or threaten, but such as the Lord pleases to order (1 Kings 20:11; Ecclesiastes 9:11).
6. He rules and orders not only the substance, but the circumstances of things and actions (1 Samuel 25:32, 34; Matthew 2:5; Ezekiel 21:20, 21).
7. He rules and disposes both end and means (Hosea 2:21, 22; Isaiah 10:12; 1 Kings 17:1; 2 Kings 2:24).
3. He rules and disposes not only things orderly, but such as seem most confused (Genesis 45:4-8 .50). The Lord once, out of chaos, brought a well-ordered world. He rules still; and can, when He pleases, out of mere confusion and darkness, bring forth a new heaven and a new earth, wherein righteousness may dwell.
9. He rules and orders things, both necessary and contingent or casual. Things necessary, such as proceed from necessary causes, which act in one certain uniform way, and cannot of themselves vary nor proceed otherwise; such are the course of the heavens, the eclipses of the luminaries, the seasons of the year, the ebbings and flowings of the sea. The Lord gave law to all these, and keeps them to the observance of it, yet overrules them, and gives them other orders when He pleases. The Red Sea and Jordan are evidences that He who rules all can overrule anything. So things contingent and casual, which fall out uncertainly or accidentally, which those who know not God ascribe to chance and fortune, the Lord orders them, they fall out as He pleases.
10. He rules and orders not only that which is good, but that which is evil and sinful (Psalm118:12; Acts 14:19).
(1) He limits and bounds it, so that it proceeds not so far as Satan and the depraved will of man would have if.
(2) He overrules it to good ends, and disposes it to excellent purposes (Acts 4:27, 28; Acts 2:23).
11. He rules things natural and voluntary.
(1) Natural, such as have their next causes in nature, the hand of God rules them, as in thunder and lightning (Job 37:2, 3); wind and rain (Jeremiah 10:13; Psalm 148:7).
(2) But more particularly He rules things voluntary; such are intelligent and rational beings. Man in special is the subject of His government. He takes order about His conception, formation, and birth (Job 10:9-11; Psalm 139:14-16). He fixeth the period of his life, and determines how many his days shall be upon earth (Job 14:5). He orders what his state and condition shall be while he lives (Psalm 75:6, 7; 1 Samuel 2:7, 8; Psalm 113:7, 8). He rules the mind and heart (Proverbs 21:2; Psalm 119:36; and 105:25). No heart so obstinate but He can bend it; none so fast closed but He can open it (Acts 16:4).
III. THE MODE OF GOD'S GOVERNMENT.
1. It is a supreme sovereignty. He that rules over all has none above Him, none co-ordinate with Him, none but such as are below Him, indefinitely below Him, none but what are subjected to Him, and under Him at an infinite distance.
2. He rules absolutely; His government is unlimited, for who can bound Him who rules over all?
3. He rules irresistibly. None can give check to His orders, nor hinder Him from accomplishing His pleasure (Isaiah 46:10, 11; Daniel 4:35; Job 9:12, 13).
4. He rules perfectly. There is not the least weakness or imperfection in His government, as there is in that of other rulers; nothing of error or mistake; nothing that the most excellent prudence would order otherwise; nothing defective for want of judgment as to things present, or want of experience as to things past, or want of foresight as to things to come; for He has all things, past, present, and to come, clearly before His eyes, in every act of government, and in His ordering of every particular (Psalm 147:5).
5. He rules all at once. The multiplicity of them is no more distraction to Him then if He had but one thing in hand.
6. He rules easily. He takes care of all without any solicitousness; He orders all, without any toil; He acts all, without any labour; he does it continually, without any weariness.
7. He rules continually. If He were but to withdraw His governing hand a moment, all the wheels of the great fabric of the world would stand still or fall to pieces.
Parallel VersesKJV: The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.