Summary: Many of us are perplexed of the evils around us. Doesn’t God care anymore? Take heart! God has the sovereign control of every event. Every incident is always in line to what He has in mind.
Theme: OUR SOVEREIGN GOD
A. Looking at the evils happening around us, we would be tempted to think that the Devil and his evil forces had won the world over God. The evils and the ills we have seen seem to be beyond remedy, and God seems to have no concern any longer. It seems that He doesn’t care anymore or perhaps, that He no longer has the power to remedy the mess and the mishaps the Devil had brought to the world.
B. This might also be the impression of the Israelites when the wicked Babylon besieged and captured them. Why had God allowed such downfall and disaster of His people? Didn’t he love them anymore? This is the cry of those who have suffered ordeals but have not understood the sovereignty of God. In the life story of Daniel, starting from the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, God’s sovereignty is clearly portrayed.
C. In this sermon series of Daniel’s life, we will first see the faithful and mighty hand of our Sovereign God behind every scene and every event of life.
1. GOD’S SOVEREIGN CONTROL.
a. V. 1 –The Babylonian captivity was already predicted. It did not come as a surprise. It had already been ordained by God that His people would be captured by Babylon. He sent His word to His people by His prophet that Israel would be taken to Babylon as captive. Israel made all their efforts and endeavored to avoid this captivity. They asked the help of Egypt; they fought to death to protect the city, but they failed. As predicted, Jerusalem was captured and the Word of God was fulfilled.
APPLICATION: God will always see to it that everything will come to pass according to his Word. God will always keep His Word. This reveals God’s Sovereign control over the events and history of the nations.
Things or events might seem perplexing to our eyes, but these should not cause us to panic and become disheartened, because we are confident that out of God’s Sovereignty everything happens in fulfillment of His divine word.
b. V. 2 –“God gave Jehoiakim, king of Judah, to the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.” This means that Nebuchadnezzar would not had been victorious over Jehoiakim had not God permitted him to overpower the latter. It was not because of Babylon’s military prowess that they were able to conquer Israel. God had just allowed them. There’s no power greater than God. His protection upon Israel is impregnable. Nebuchadnezzar’s military power was no match of God’s protection. Therefore, without God’s permission, Babylon would have failed to conquer Israel.
APPLICATION: This truth will give us more assurance and confidence in God.
1) His protection upon us is impregnable. No force of evil could ever harm us. As David says, “If God be for us who can be against us?” Peter said: “We are kept by the power of God.” He is our shield and our shelter. He put a hedge around His people.
2) And no evil would ever befall on us without His permission. This means that everything that happens to our lives is under the control of God’s Mighty Hand. He upholds us and limits our trials and temptations according to the measure of our capacity.
2. GOD’S SOVEREIGN PURPOSE.
The defeat of Jehoiakim and the captivity of Jerusalem had a divine purpose. For Nebuchadnezzar, it was for the sake of enlarging his territorial domain, but behind that was God’s sovereign purpose.
a. It was for the refinement of God’s people. Their captivity is God’s refining fire for them. Nebuchadnezzar may have thought about destroying Israel, but God was on the business of purifying His people from its wickedness to make them a more glorious nation worthy to bear the name of Jehovah.
APPLICATION 1: Likewise, in light of our trials and temptations, Satan thinks about of destroying us, but God’s interest is the development of our character. God allows us to undergo His refining fire to make us worthy to bear His glorious name. He is not only in the business of converting the unconverted; God is also in the business of transforming the transformed. He is refining us every day to become like His son. He wants to see the image of Jesus in us. This is the ultimate purpose of God for every trial, every temptation, every challenge, every pressure, every problem, and every situation that we face everyday of our lives.
APPLICATION 2: In the refining process of God, He may make some reductions on our lives. Like Israel, God had allowed the destruction of their nation to humble them because in only humility can they experience the fullness of God’s blessings to them as a nation and can become a nation God wanted them to be. In the same manner, God will take those things that have hindered our spiritual progress, things that have kept us from becoming the person God wants us to be. And yes it could be painful. But we can trust that God has always the best intention and interest for us.