A Lesson from Mildew

  • Dec. 30, 2016
  • #9045

God’s sovereignty extends to every event; from household mildew to world-wide mayhem.

A Lesson from Mildew

Just how far does God's sovereignty really extend?

Hi, this is Joni Eareckson Tada and you know I've heard a lot of people talking about this lately, in fact, I was discussing the subject of God's sovereignty, that is: his rule, his dominion, his control over things. I was talking about it with a Christian friend of mine, and he told me he believed that God only concerns himself with big events; that the Lord of the universe is too lofty to rule over the workings of everyday small stuff. In other words, God is sovereign, but kind of in an open-ended way, leaving lots of wiggle room for small details to play themselves out. I was quite fascinated with this Christian friend of mine's view.

In fact, maybe you think that way; that God's sovereignty, that is: his "having-been-decided-beforehand decree" only comes into play when monumental things are at stake; the salvation of humanity, the fate of nations, the rise and fall of dictators, or other rare and special occasions. But everyday occurrences like sow-bugs in the shower? Well... those things happen on automatic pilot. We reason that just because God foreordains big things, doesn't mean his hand is behind absolutely everything.

Well, to get to the bottom of this question, we've got to look at what the Bible says. Our feelings and our human logic may have us believing one thing, but that logic and those emotions have got to yield to Scripture. Now there are lots of places we could look, but let's consider, let's just pick one of those little everyday small occurrences in the Bible, let's take a look at the book of Leviticus where God gives instructions to Israel regarding the most mundane and ordinary situations. In Leviticus chapter 14 God says to this priest."

There you've got it: God dispensing instructions for dealing with mildew – your ordinary household: "When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mildew in a house in that land, the owner of the house must go and tell the nuisance, but hardly something that affects the fate of entire nations. When people saw a spreading mildew placed by the Lord, Old Testament homeowners were to call for a priest who would follow certain procedures to eradicate the microbes. Again, this was for a mildew "spread by God." But how were folks supposed to distinguish God-sent mildew from the kind that just creeps across walls without divine assistance? The Bible doesn't say. And I just have to smile when I say, "I wonder why?"

Nothing happens outside of God's decree. Nothing good, nothing bad, nothing pleasant, nothing tragic. Not in my life, not in yours. We may not fathom God's reasons, we may not agree with his thinking, we may love him for it or we may hate him for it. But in simple language, God "works out everything for his own ends, even the wicked..." (as it says in Proverbs 16) and elsewhere in Psalm 115 it says, "Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him". God is not in heaven, pushing buttons on his remote control. The fact is, his decree keeps absolutely everything in balance. If he did not control bad things - from mildew to global mayhem - our world would be worse, a whole lot worse than the simple small headaches and hardships we face today.

So this is what I would like you to do. Think of five nuisances in your life. Promise me today that you'll use these things as a means to thank God for his sovereign control, his grace to sustain you, and the patience to get it behind you and keep on living.

*Previously aired as #7209 on 12/17/09

© Joni and Friends

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