Jonathan Edwards once said, "Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God." Many years ago, when I first read those words cited in John Piper's Desiring God, they struck an instant chord in my soul. This was what made God so incredibly greatin my mind: He was in control of absolutely everything. And when I let my mind start tracing the sequence of causes and effects that lead up to any single event, I am astounded with wonder at the amazing God I serve who can work all things out to His desired ends.
Almost nowhere in the Bible is this more clearly seen than in the story of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Egypt, and the Exodus. Just fifteen chapters into the Bible, God promises Abraham that his descendants will dwell in the land of his sojourning (Canaan), but the promise doesn't end there. He also says that before that happens, Abraham's descendants will spend four hundred years in a land that is not their own. And the reason that God gives for this delay? Because "the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."
So Abraham has no idea how all of this is going to work out, and neither does anyone else. But one day, Abraham's grandson, Jacob, ends up favoring one of his sons over the others - an affection that leads ten of the brothers to sell Joseph into slavery because of their jealousy. While enslaved, this Joseph is falsely accused of adultery by his master's wife and ends up in prison. While in prison, he meets a couple of Pharaoh's staff members who dream some interesting dreams. God then gives Joseph the interpretation of their dreams which - two years later - leads to Joseph having an opportunity to interpret Pharaoh's dream of a coming famine.
So God sent a famine on the whole earth, but he sent seven years of plenty first. And He sent the warning in a dream to Pharaoh, whose cup-bearer remembered the dream-interpreter from the prison. Therefore, it ends up being this great-grandson of Abraham who is set up to save the world from the seven years of blight by storing up the surplus from the seven years of plenty. In the process, the family of Jacob is affected by the famine also and has to come to Egypt for food, where they eventually get reacquainted with their brother and end up moving the whole family.
This leads directly to the promised four hundred years of captivity, a situation that causes the Israelites to be forged into a mighty nation. And it is from this situation that God leads leads His people out with many signs and wonders, creating for them a story of rescue and salvation that becomes the central narrative of their entire existence as a people. It is an event also that leaves the nation of Israel with a great deal of wealth, as God promised Abraham - a wealth that they will need when God gives them the design for the tabernacle.
And so, when this mighty nation reaches the borders of the Promised Land, they are then set to bring the judgment of God upon the completed iniquity of the Amorites (Genesis 15:16), acting as God's sword against that sin even as they are fulfilling an age old promise of blessing to their forefather Abraham. And God has masterfully orchestrated the whole thing to declare His glory: the glory of His justice in punishing the sin of the Amorites, which did not go unchecked; the glory of His grace is saving an unworthy people; the glory of His faithfulness in fulfilling His promises; and the glory of His sovereign will in revealing the sweeping scope of this plan to readers of His Word.
Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God because a God who rules His creation like this is so different from the false gods that those in world and even some in the church try to craft for themselves. Their gods that react to situations in the world rather than cause them are weak and powerless wimps and utterly unworthy of worship. But the God who has revealed Himself in the Bible - the God who has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ - is the majestic Creator, Ruler, Sustainer, and Sovereign King over everything. Nothing can thwart His will (Job 42:2), and He does all that He pleases (Psalm 115:3). He guides everything to the end that He has planned, and He is worthy of worship.