Surprise! God is All Wise, All Powerful, Always
By John A Carroll
Week 49 in the Word—December 3-9, 2021
Down through history, God’s people have suffered persecution. It was the case of the captive Jews in Babylon. The book of Daniel shows how God delivered His faithful people and how He judged the powerful rulers who oppressed them. God is sovereign, holy, just, and wise. Paul exclaimed “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33 KJV).
God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to prosper, grow powerful, and to subjugate kingdoms including the Kingdom of Judah and her capitol, Jerusalem. God also gave Nebuchadnezzar strange and confusing dreams which he could not understand until Daniel interpreted them. One of those dreams was about what God would do to Nebuchadnezzar in response to his persistent pride and self-glorification. It was a warning and Daniel exhorted him with these words:
“Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity” (Dan. 4:27 ESV).
Nebuchadnezzar ignored the warning and God carried out the sentence against him, taking away his sanity and making him like a wild beast. In mercy God restored the king’s mind and his kingdom and Nebuchadnezzar recognized God and worshipped His glory in this beautiful testimony of praise:
“At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,
for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4: 34-35 ESV).
Surprise! God is all Wise, all Powerful, always.
The God we meet in the book of Daniel is the LORD God who still rules over all the earth. He disciplines His own people using pagan emperors and armies, but when it pleases Him, He also humbles the powerful rulers of the earth. God’s rule is absolute. The riches of His wisdom are past finding out.
How should we respond? Trust in God. Seek His kingdom and His glory. He is working out His will in all the affairs of human history. As the Apostle John wrote, we will not be recognized in the world because our Lord was not recognized in the world. But if you are a believer, you are God’s child and one day you will see Him and you will be like Him. Won’t that be glorious? Meanwhile, let us hope in Him and seek to be pure as He is pure (1 John 3:1-3).
If you are following the Concealed and Revealed schedule, this week we will read Daniel, start Hosea, and finish First, Second and Third John and Jude bringing us to Revelation next week in our New Testament readings. See the schedule below.
Week of December 3-9, 2021
December 3/Day 337 It’s All Gonna Burn (Daniel 1-2; 1 John 2)
December 4/Day 338 Everyday Persecution (Daniel 3-4; 1 John 3)
December 5/Day 339 Safe in the Lions’ Den (Daniel 5-6; 1 John 4)
December 6/Day 340 Overcoming Faith (Daniel 7-8; 1 John 5)
December 7/Day 341There’s a War On (Daniel 9-10; 2 John)
December 8/Day 342 Defying Authority (Daniel 11-12; 3 John)
December 9/Day 343 Contend for the Faith (Hosea 1-4; Jude)
This schedule and devotionals are taken from my book Concealed and Revealed: a year in the old and new testaments. Available here.