The words “sovereign” and “providence” are often used interchangeably. However, Paul Miller at The Gospel Coalition reminds us that they are different. He writes, “The doctrine of God’s sovereignty tells us God is the rightful ruler of the universe. He has legitimate claim to lordship. His government is just. In fact, justice is defined as his rule. God’s sovereignty doesn’t tell us whether God does in fact rule—just that he ought to, and that we should acknowledge his rule and obey it…It’s also true he’s in control of everything that happens and he causes all that happens. But that is the doctrine of God’s providence, not his sovereignty. The doctrine of divine sovereignty tells us he should rule. The doctrine of divine providence tells us that he does, in fact, rule…God’s providence, then, is a function of his omnipotence: he is able to rule all things because he is all-powerful.”
As we study the Bible, we must take care to know what it says about God and the implications on our lives in relation to that knowledge.