“The Lord … has charged me” is a powerful declaration of praise and an affirmation of God’s authority (v. 2). There may be no greater truth in the universe than the reality that God is in authority over all things. This is not just a truism but is among the most comforting of all thoughts. For those of us who serve God, we are on the side of the One who is in authority over all things. He is God, after all. Nonetheless, the biblical teaching behind this reality is more layered than first thought. First, God has authority because He is uniquely transcendent and omnipotent: “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Ps. 115:3). Second, God possesses authority over all things simply by virtue of being the Creator and Sustainer of all things: “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Rev. 4:11; cf. Col. 1:15-17). Third, God sets up and takes down the respective leaders of empires and nations, making all governing authorities subject to His decrees and appointments (Dan. 2:20-21; 4:34-35). Fourth, God the Son, whom we know through the incarnation as Jesus, obtained a special kind of authority over all things as Lord and Messiah, having been raised and exalted after completing the mission given to Him by the Father (Acts 2:36; cf. Phil. 2:5-11; 1 Pet. 3:22). Indeed, before commanding His followers with the Great Commission, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18). God’s authority is a deeply comforting truth that gives us confidence to live with extreme optimism and even happiness. The God who is for His people and does whatever He pleases is necessarily in control. This is the case both because of who He is and because of what He has done as Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. No realm of life exists outside of God’s regal jurisdiction and His affectionate care. I am confident that a faithful Christian, while he or she might have moments and days of difficulty, should assume a general posture of optimism toward the world and the future.
Are you frightened about the future? How might confidence in God’s authority change your view of the future?