Sovereignty & Responsibility

II Kings 5 tells the remarkable story of Naaman and Elisha — but the introduction is insightful as well. Verse 1, speaking of Naaman says that he was “highly respected, because by him, YHWH had given victory to Aram.” Here is another scriptural example of the sovereignty of God, and yet also the instrumentality and responsibility of men:

— Verse 1 clearly states that GOD was the one who gave Aram the success they had: “YHWH had given victory.” As James tells us, every good thing comes from God, and we should thank and credit Him for whatever good we experience. HE gave the victory.

— But the verse also makes it clear that He did it “BY him” — Naaman. God gave Aram the victory, but He USED General Naaman’s wisdom and leadership to give them that success.

This verse serves as a reminder of the dual truths of the sovereignty of God, and the responsibility of man. When God does things in our world, He doesn’t usually just reach down and “zap” them into being — He accomplishes them “BY” and “THROUGH” people who are His instruments.

Does something need to be done in our world? Don’t merely sit around and wait for God to do something. It may well be that He is calling YOU to be the one He will use as an instrument to accomplish His purposes in the world!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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