1 Chronicles 29:11
Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
This verse declares the unequivocal absoluteness of God’s supremacy in both heaven and earth. The importance of referencing heaven separate from earth is to make us aware that God’s power encompasses both the spiritual and the physical.
For many Believers, it is easy to accept God as all powerful spiritually. We know there is a heaven and that God rules over it. We know that we are to have a spiritual relationship with God: to pray regularly, to worship Him. We even believe in miracles: that God reaches out from the spiritual realm to touch events in our earthbound lives.
But, what does it mean to us that God has all greatness, power, victory and majesty in the earth? How does God have greatness in secular humanistic (atheistic) communities? Where is God’s power in crime-infested inner cities? Where is God’s glory in Islamic communities? Where is God’s victory in child-abuse? Where is God’s majesty in nuclear accidents (e.g., Chernobyl) and oil spills (e.g., the Gulf of Mexico)? If God reigns supreme on earth, why can’t we see it? What kind of King could God be to allow such injustice and needless tragedy in His Kingdom?
These questions have bedeviled mankind for centuries and are very hard to answer, especially where they pertain to the personal experiences. Nevertheless, Scripture does give us a framework for understanding, the most important aspect of which is given in this verse. Specifically, the verse considers the unequivocal absoluteness of God’s supremacy in the earth to be ‘axiomatic’. In mathematics (logic theory) an axiom is defined as: “a basic proposition of a system that, although unproven, is used to prove the other propositions in the system”. In other words, an axiom is an unproved truth which, therefore, is accepted by faith and then used to prove everything else. This is exactly the approach of Scripture.
First, we are challenged to accept, by faith, the truth of God’s unequivocally absolute supremacy in the earth.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. ~Proverbs 3:5
Second, we are commissioned to use that principle to prove everything else (in our daily walk with God).
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~Proverbs 3:6
This way of thinking radically shifts our approach to life from questioning God’s activity and purpose in the tragedies of life. Instead, it shifts our approach to one of waiting to see/perceive God’s loving-hand, because we KNOW He is supreme.
For example, the disciples trudged away in despair after Jesus’ death because they doubted God’s pre-eminence in that tragedy: they could not comprehend God’s victory in Jesus’ death. But even in the greatest tragedy, the earth has ever experienced, the crucifixion of the Christ, God reigned supreme: satan was defeated, salvation came to mankind and God was glorified.
Similarly, it was unthinkable that any good could be salvaged from Hitler’s vile slaughter of the Jews in World War II. Certainly, some would declare, such a heinous event proves God is unconcerned about the affairs of man. However, historical analysis reveals that the formation of Israel in 1948 was a direct consequence of the events of World War II. And Biblical analysis suggests this event is the fulfillment of divine prophecy (Ezekiel 4:3-6).
So, though many people (Jews and non-Jews, soldiers and civilians) died horrible deaths in World War II, many more were saved, physically and spiritually, by the modern-day manifestation of Biblical prophecy.
To be clear, this neither discounts nor de-emphasizes the real pain and suffering experienced in the tragedies of life. But it tells us that, even in the midst of anguish, God remains victorious. And, therefore, if we are with Him, then we are triumphant too. The pain of beatings Paul endured were real…
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep… In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. ~2 Corinthians 11:24-25, 27
…but so too was the triumph of his ministry that saved innumerable lives from the eternal anguish of Hell.
Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. ~1 Corinthians 10:33
If we, by faith, accept the God described in the Bible, then we know that nothing can stop God’s overarching will for and in this world. Therefore, every circumstance of life must work together to execute God’s plans. Even the evil that men choose to do cannot escape His inexorable (unstoppable) will from being accomplished. It is only with this understanding that we can have hope rather than despair in the various tragedies, big and small, that beset our lives.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. ~2 Corinthians 4:7-11
Yes, God is good ALL the time. And He is unequivocally and absolutely supreme in heaven as well as right here on the earth.