The Lord gave [King Nebuchadnezzar] victory over King Jehoiakim of Judah and permitted him to take some of the sacred objects from the Temple of God. So Nebuchadnezzar took them back to the land of Babylonia and placed them in the treasure-house of his god.
Daniel 1:2, NLT*
And so began Israel’s bleak captivity. I’m sure Nebuchadnezzar credited his own god (or himself) for this triumph. After all, it was his army that achieved it.
But did you notice the key words in the verse? “The Lord gave him victory… and permitted him to take some of the sacred objects…”
Not that God had abandoned His chosen people. This was part of His plan to draw them back to Himself after they’d repeatedly rejected Him. The prophets had warned them again and again, but they refused to listen.
I’m sad about how often our own blindness and self-will makes us insist on our way instead of following God’s way. We think we can have both, but we can’t.
What an amazing, loving God and Shepherd we have. Instead of immediately giving us over to the things we’re so quick to chase, He continues to call us back to Himself. The more we resist, the more painful the process may become. I’d rather be quick to hear when I get off-track.
God of love and righteousness, grant us hearts that are quick to hear and to respond to Your leading – hearts that love being in close relationship with You and that don’t want to let anything come between us. Help us to love You more than we love those things that would lead us away. Thank You that when we turn back to You, You forgive, restore, and embrace us.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.