“I’m the one who made the earth, man and woman, and all the animals in the world. I did it on my own without asking anyone’s help and I hand it out to whomever I will. Here and now I give all these lands over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.” Jeremiah 27:5 (MSG)
The story of Babylon’s Nebuchadnezzar is a curious one. He was not a good man. He was arrogant, proud, idolatrous, brash and selfish. He was a murderous tyrant. He made his own people worship him as a god.
And, at the same time, God was at work in Nebuchadnezzar’s life. God loved Nebuchadnezzar, and used Nebuchadnezzar to accomplish His will. Read the first four chapters of Daniel if you want more of the story. Just when I want to hate Nebuchadnezzar and dismiss him as an evil character of history, God confronts me with the truth that He had His own purposes for Nebuchadnezzar. He went to great lengths to reveal Himself to the man.
Sometimes, I look back and shake my head at the person I remember myself being many years ago. When I was younger, I’m pretty sure I was convinced that I had God all figured out. I’m sure I still act like I do at times. Forgive me. The further I get in the journey, the more I realize how foolish I am to put God in a box. God’s sovereignty is beyond the reach of my finite thoughts. His purposes are greater, deeper, and richer than I can possibly fathom.
How cool that God cared about a godless, corrupt King. How awesome that God’s purposes extend beyond even those who are graciously given the title of “God’s people.” How radical to stop thinking of my “enemy” as an enemy and start thinking of my enemy as a person God loves and for whom God has a special purpose. Isn’t that exactly what Jesus was getting after?
God, forgive me for trying to hold you inside the comfortable confines of my own limited perspective.Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and origamijoel