5 Word Studies on God’s Sovereignty

“For the LORD Most High is awesome: He is a great King over the all the earth.” —Psalm 47:2

“Almighty” (Hebrew shadday) This divine name in Hebrew is ‘El Shadday. ‘El means God, and Shadday is probably related to the Akkadian word for “mountain,” or to a Hebrew verb meaning “mighty.” God is “mountainlike.” He is powerful, majestic, awe–inspiring, and enduring. Just like a mountain, He provides a shelter from the elements and from evil (Ps. 91:1). Therefore, ‘El Shadday can mean “Majestic Deity” or “the God Who Provides My Refuge.”

“prepared” (Hebrew manah) In the book of Jonah, it signifies “to appoint” or “to ordain,” and describes God’s intervention in natural events to bring about His will. By preparing the fish, the plant, and the worm, God made sure that Jonah’s mission was not left to chance. God exercised sovereignty not only over the plant and animal world, but also over Jonah’s life, using animals as small as a worm to teach Jonah about His Great mercy (Jonah 4:6–8).

“Lord of Sabaoth” (Greek kurios Sabaoth) The name means “the Lord of hosts,” “the Lord of armies,” or “the Master of creation.” It was suitable for James to use this familiar Old Testament title (Ps. 24:10) in a letter to Jewish Christians, for they would have understood that the choice of this particular name of God was especially appropriate in this context. The rich oppress the poor because they think no one will stand up for them. But the Lord of all the hosts of heaven and earth is their Defender, and He is coming back to make all things right (James 5:7).

“the Almighty” (Greek pantokrator) The Greek word means “one who has power over everything”—in other words, the One in total control. God commands all the hosts of powers in heaven and earth, and He is able to overcome all His foes. The title Almighty occurs often in Revelation as this book unveils God’s awesome control over all the universe and throughout all history.

“jealous” (Hebrew qanno’) One of God’s names is Jealous (Ex. 34:14). When the expression “the Lord your God is a jealous God” is used in the Old Testament, it is usually associated with an injunction against idol worship. God’s jealousy for His people is a claim for exclusive allegiance rooted in His holiness (Josh. 24:19) and His role as their Creator and Redeemer (Ps. 95:6-7; 96:2–5). We tend to associate jealousy with a self–serving emotion that usually results from feelings of inadequacy. God’s jealousy, in contrast, proceeds from His Holiness. Because He alone is the Holy One (Is. 6:3), He will tolerate no rival (Ex. 20:5).

How were you reminded of God’s sovereignty today?

These Word Study excerpts are drawn from selected studies on the topic of Sovereignty in the NKJV Study Bible.

Bible Study

  • One of the Top 100 Most-Asked Questions About the Bible

    Question Why does it sometimes feel like God is far... Read more
  • Daniel: God Still Reigns

    If you re a Jew in Babylon, you’ve got reason to... Read more
  • The Word of God

    A woman called out to Jesus, “Blessed is the mother... Read more


  • Jesus: Prince of Peace

    Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is... Read more
  • man holding face in hands

    Why Does God Allow Bad Things To Happen?

    No one knows the mind of God, except for God himself.... Read more
  • How Do We Keep the Peace of God in Our Lives?

    Paul tells us to “be anxious for nothing” (Phil.... Read more

Devotional Reading Plans

  • Daniel: God Still Reigns

    If you re a Jew in Babylon, you’ve got reason to... Read more
  • Living a Balanced Life

    This 7-day devotional offers reminders of what is most... Read more
  • A Transformed Life

    This 7-day devotional offers inspiring and challenging... Read more


  • Start the New Year Studying Proverbs as a Family

    Many people start the New Year making resolutions on... Read more
  • Does Anything Prevent God from Answering Our Prayers?

    ... Read more
  • 5 Easy Things You Can Do to Hear the Lord’s Voice More Clearly

    “Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you! O... Read more


  • Romans 8:28 SpeakLight Danny Gokey

    Romans 8:28 / #SpeakLight / Danny Gokey

    And we know that all things work together for good to... Read more
  • James 5:16 - Steven Malcolm

    James 5:16 / #SpeakLight / Steven Malcolm

    Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for... Read more
  • 2 corinthians 5:17 phil joel

    2 Corinthians 5:17 with Phil Joel

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new... Read more

Spiritual Growth

  • How to Overcome Your Fears

    Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted... Read more
  • Meet the Real Jesus in the Gospel of John

    Jesus as God and Man John wanted his readers to... Read more
  • Daniel: God Still Reigns

    If you re a Jew in Babylon, you’ve got reason to... Read more