In the days of the prophet Jeremiah, God’s chosen people had turned away to worship other gods. But God longed for His children to return and worship Him as the One True God. The Israelites had been warned for many years and now God used a foreign king as His tool for discipline and instruction.
“Now I will hand all your countries over to My servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him.”
God reminded the people that He alone was almighty and in control of world events. But He also revealed their sinful pride as He required them to yield to His discipline in order to survive; “Bow your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and you will live” (Jeremiah 27:12). Many chose to die rather than to trust God and submit to His instruction.
Nebuchadnezzar did not even acknowledge God at this point in his life; and yet, God called him “My servant.” It was God’s plan to use this non-believing foreigner to teach His children some very important (and painful) lessons. God’s Hand of discipline is firm, but His Hand is always directed with a loving purpose. Pride was keeping His children away, and it needed to be removed by any tool available.
Being adopted into God’s family through the gift of Salvation is a one time event. Through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sin, we receive His grace and become “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). However, learning to truly live for God and become “conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29), is an on-going process which will last all the rest of our days.
There is so much our Heavenly Father desires for us to understand – so many lessons He wants us to learn – and yet, all the lessons seem nearly identical. He desires a continual and intimate fellowship; He wants us to learn to trust Him and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).
As we open our life to God’s teaching, we must allow Him to instruct us using the tools of His choice. His lessons are often taught using the most unlikely messengers and through the worst of circumstances, but His lessons always contain a lasting sweetness.
No matter what we face today, let’s look for the lesson God is teaching. Circumstances in our work, home, or even place of worship may often become hot with friction, but these sources of abrasion may very well be the tools God is using to mold us and draw us closer to His side…because He loves us and desires for us to learn to trust and love Him more. Let’s praise Him for His continued loving instruction. Let’s embrace the shaping process and be thankful for ALL the tools of The Teacher.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Nov 19 Ezekiel 39:1-40:27; James 2:18-3:18; Psalm 118:1-18; Proverbs 28:2