Monday, August 23, 2010
Today’s Topic: Nothing To Fear
Today’s Text: For he says: “‘By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding… Does the ax raise itself above him who swings it, or the saw boast against him who uses it? As if a rod were to wield him who lifts it up, or a club brandish him who is not wood! (Isaiah 10:13, 15)
This past weekend I was blessed to be able to spend two days at my daughter’s house helping my son-in-law with a construction project. There was electrical wiring to install, insulation to put in place, and sheetrock to hang on the ceiling of a bedroom in the basement. We worked hard, and everything came together nicely.
When my time there was done, I realized something. Not once did any of the tools I used turn on me. My hammer never once redirected its focus to my thumb. My cordless drill never once impaled me. The wiring didn’t entangle me. The insulation didn’t wrap itself around me. I was in complete control of every tool and every piece of building material, and it did exactly what I directed it to do.
This may sound incredibly simplistic to you; maybe even foolish. Of course none of those inanimate objects did anything to you. They don’t have a mind of their own. They can’t make conscious choices. They are totally at the disposal of and subject to the will of the owner and operator.
But take a moment and think about the application of that simple truth to our understanding of the Sovereignty of God. In the context of Isaiah 10, God is speaking to the King of Assyria who has become prideful about his ability to dominate the world political scene. This arrogant king believes that it has been by his own strength and wisdom he has been able to conquer the nations of the world. But God is going to teach him who’s really in control.
Every political power currently in place is there because God has ordained it, (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17) and is being used for the accomplishment of God’s glory. Every politician in office anywhere in the world is a part of God’s perfect plan for the building of His Son’s Kingdom. In fact, every governmental power is seen as an inanimate object in the hands of a Sovereign God who controls all activity and outcomes. Any pride taken by any official for their accomplishments is seen by God as insubordination.
I see two applications of this truth to my personal life today:
- I do not need to fear the political powers of the present. The threats of terrorists, the corruption of capitalism with communism, and the demise of democracy not cause me alarm. They are but another step in the destruction of humanism as God calls people to trust Him alone and prepare for the King who is coming!
Pastor James McDonald wrote this just today on his devotional blog – Worried about world powers? World War 3? Terrorists? Market crashes? Biological warfare? Understand this from Isaiah : “[God] who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.”
What ever happened to Napoleon? Didn’t he die in exile on an island somewhere? Or Alexander, the not-so Great? Hitler? Or the maniac leaders of our generation – Osama bin Laden or what was his name, Sadam Hussein? Their influence is hardly a blip on God’s monitor. They may cause us to bite our nails and worry, but God isn’t pacing, or wringing His hands. Just as soon as He’s ready He will reduce those leaders to nothing and He will do it with His feet up.
Isaiah says in effect, “Don’t you get it? God doesn’t read the New York Times. If He did, it wouldn’t make any difference. Nothing stops God’s unalterable purposes in this world!”
I can’t wait for that day in heaven when we get to hear history’s real story – when we read God’s script and realize all He was doing behind the scenes. Just imagine the drama of God’s continuous, all-wise intervention in the sinful machinations of human armies and governments. To think that not one of His purposes is ever delayed or frustrated – not even for a moment. We will be amazed, stunned, and captured by God’s awesome control of human affairs.
When will we embrace the reality of God’s awesome control over history? History is and always has been God’s ballgame. He decides who gets on base, who pitches, who scores. He calls one man out and advances another runner. Don’t try to figure it out.
- Finally, I need to be very careful that I don’t take any pride in what I consider to be my accomplishments. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13), but apart from God I can do nothing (John 15:5). I must, as you must, give God all the glory for everything that happens, and recognize by faith the He is in control…ALWAYS and FOREVER!