What in the world is God doing?
We see a world in lockdown, we hear of multitudes who are sick, loved ones dying. Why would a loving God allow this to happen? Why has he not put a stop to it and saved us?
These are all good questions and we do not have all the answers. But I want us to look at something we do know and need to be clear on.
Read Daniel 4:1-3:
King Nebuchadnezzar, To the nations and peoples of every language, who live in all the earth: May you prosper greatly! It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. 3 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.
In it we have a testimony of King Nebuchadnezzar, the leader of the world power of his day. He learned a hard yet valuable lesson. Let’s look and learn how he responds to calamity.
His dream acknowledges the splendour of his kingdom and the scope of his power, but warns him that he is not as strong or secure as he thinks. When his dream is interpreted by God’s servant Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar is called to a radical life change – or else. The repentance being called for might enable the king’s prosperity to continue. What was Nebuchadnezzar meant to take from that?
I think he was being called to realise that all his blessings come from God and are a gift, not a right. He was meant to learn that they were not just for him and that he would be judged for how he has used what has been given. Did he hear and learn?
No. In verse 28 we see him twelve months later. He is living as if he is absolutely in control, as if he is God and there is no one above him. He glories in the splendour of his own magnificence as he surveys all the works of his hands. While the words are still on his lips what was prophesied comes to pass.
The powerful king and kingdom are brought to their knees… for seven seasons the king loses his power, his dignity, his kingdom and his mind. What a great humiliation. What a great reminder of his frailty, his humanity and his need of God. The king comes face to face with his impotence.
Has our world maybe forgotten God? Have they relied too much on the power of science and technology? Have they put their trust in the blessings God has given rather than the God who gives them? The nations of the world are being humbled, world powers and economies are being reminded that man is not the measure of all things. Just a little virus and we are floored. Imagine if God had to show up?
Nebuchadnezzar ends by praising, exalting and glorifying the God of heaven, saying everything he does is right, and all his ways are just. He tells us that those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
What in the world is God doing? Well I ask you what in the world are you doing? Will you learn from a humbled king’s acknowledgement?
“His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All people of the earth are regarded as nothing, He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the people of the earth. No – one can hold back his hand or say to him what have you done?” (Daniel 4:34,35)
What is staggering to remember is that God didn’t just humble a pagan king. He humbled himself and became a man. He humbled himself and died in our place. So that salvation might be available for all who put their trust in him.