Have you ever stopped to consider that you may be acting as God’s servant and agent even when you were not aware of it, or possibly even a willing participant in it? That might sound a bit off, but after reading today’s chapters I can’t shake the feeling that God works in spite of our willing participation.
The reason I’m thinking about this is because of what God says about Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. “I have place all these lands under the authority of My servant Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.” Let’s be clear about something here, good old King Neb was no holy man. He was a military tyrant bent on conquering the known world.
Whether or not we want to face them, these references to Nebuchadnezzar as God’s servant raises some pretty challenging questions. God intentionally uses a foreign nation with no ties to Yahweh as God to destroy his people. Is this fair? The difficult answer is yes. Remember my friends, God is sovereign. He commanded, pleaded and warned his chosen people to return to him, to stop with their idol worship and commit themselves wholly and only to God. They refused that guidance and command. As my theology professor used to say: “You can’t say ‘No, Lord'”.
Here’s a difficult truth: these chapters should disturb us. The reality of sin, rebellion and disobedience, and God’s ultimate reaction to all of that should disturb us! But God acts according to his good purpose and always according to his plan. That is why you may be God’s instrument in a situation, even if you are completely unaware of how God is using you.
In my mind, that means we must be always careful to be seeking out God’s will and paying attention to how the Holy Spirit wants to use us.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 30-31