In charge

God’s in charge – even when we can’t see him at work.

Or is he?  What about terrible wars and famines? What about rampant crime?

A friend read Psalm 97 at a gathering this week – a psalm which triumphantly declares:

“The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.”

How can I reconcile this joyous declaration with the war in Syria, the refugees pouring into Europe, terrorism, and sabre-rattling by the great powers of the earth?

I need to look at things through the eyes of God.

Human beings brought trouble on themselves when Adam and Eve disobeyed God at the very beginning of time.  They gave themselves into Satan’s hands.

In John 14:30, Jesus describes Satan as the “prince of this world”.  He is actively trying to destroy the works of God.

But the contest is not equal.  Jesus won the victory when he died on the cross for the sins of men and rose to life, defeating Satan’s ultimate hold on human beings.  Now, God offers us entry into his kingdom if we give ourselves to him.

However, the earth remains a battleground as Satan fights a rearguard action, trying to stave off the inevitable reckoning when Jesus returns.

But Satan is not in control – God is.

A great illustration – one I have used before – is Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, boasting about his power as he surveys his capital city one day: “By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendour.” (Daniel 4)

But the Lord replies that Nebuchadnezzar will no longer rule his kingdom and will be driven from human society, living in the fields as he is stricken with insanity.  This fulfills a prophecy of his Hebrew servant Daniel which he had ignored.

As Daniel prophesied, Nebuchadnezzar regains the throne after he acknowledges God’s sovereignty.  He declares openly to his people that “I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honour the King of heaven”.

He notes that God “does as he pleases among the angels of heaven and among the people of the earth”.

It is a lesson that many great men and women of history have failed to learn.  Unfortunately, some leaders today still repeat Nebuchadnezzar’s mistake, thinking they are all-powerful.

No, God is in charge.

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