A Celebration of God’s Sovereignty: God, Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar and Me - 7 May 2019

Louise Gevers

“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:1-3

Celebrating God’s autonomy frees our hearts and gives us protection. Fundamentally, we understand that life revolves around Him and we can trust that. We are who we are because He, “knit (us) together in (our) mother’s womb,” “fearfully and wonderfully” (Psalm 139:13-14) making us in His image, giving us the capacity to grow more like Him through Jesus Christ. How amazing is that!

Evidence of God is all around us. We don’t exist in a void; His intricate design is at work in Nature and us. We see how He allows the sun to shine on the good and bad alike, providing life for everything, and enriching our understanding of His love. It doesn’t matter whether it’s you, me, Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, or anyone else – God loves us as we are and it’s our response to Him, through His Son, that determines our life. He calls us where we are. He looks at our hearts.

Nebuchadnezzar was renowned for building the splendid hanging gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, amongst other amazing things. He was powerful, ruthless and pagan. The LORD allowed him to defeat Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and capture the king, Jehoiakim, along with the brightest of the young men of Israel’s royal families, and some of the Temple treasures which he stashed away to worship his own gods. And then, ironically, God worked in his life to make Himself known to him through one of his captives.

This captive was Daniel, one of the young Israelite nobles that Nebuchadnezzar had taken away to Babylon, to serve him. He was a young man who chose to obey God’s laws, preferring vegetables and water, instead of the rich food and wine allocated to him from the king’s table, which had been offered to idols. God chose this unpretentious man, exemplifying, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)

God fulfilled Nebuchadnezzar’s needs through Daniel’s faithfulness, by enabling him to tell Nebuchadnezzar the dream he’d dreamt and also to interpret it – something his own wise men couldn’t do. This feat led Nebuchadnezzar to acclaim God as the “God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries.” (Daniel 2:47)

Daniel did not choose to be taken prisoner, but he understood that God held ultimate control. God gave him freedom in captivity and a more highly privileged position than the king himself.

Prayer: Lord, You made us and we are yours. You are no respecter of persons, but work in amazing ways in life. Help me to recognise your purpose at work and celebrate your wisdom. Amen.

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