A tiny scripture in Jeremiah loaded with prophecy that is directly confirmed in Daniel.
Now I will hand all you countries over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him. All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes, then many nations and great kings will subjugate him. Jeremiah 27:6-7
What is said there?
- God will elevate people to high positions that he has not even included in his covenant promise (Lev 26 or originally Gen 12:1-3)
- God will use secular means to reach spiritual implications. The sins of the Isrealites had to be punished but through the provision of a good ruler outside the covanent, the remnant that left Jerusalem was preserved.
- There is a time and a place for everything. There was a preordained time for the nation of Babylon to rule. When they were defeated by other nations, though a secular event, God had foretold it and planned it.
- God’s plans allow for more of God’s plans to be established.
Let’s look at it. It looks bad. Isreal is to be taken into captivity and God himself is saying I have removed your leadership nation of Isreal and you must submit to a secular leadership. I can hear the response, and if you read more of Jeremiah you will also hear the response. What about the promise! We are the chosen people! We are the people that must possess this land. In that time the word of God went forth not from a place of power but from a place of poverty, from the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah. A word that was rejected, a word that forced Jeremiah to be persecuted and ridiculed and ultimately a word that was true. I reminder that the generation of that time did not want to hear was that the covanent came with both blessings and curses.
So, to both punish Israel and to provide for Isreal, he ordained for Nebuchadnezzar to come to great power and to bring have the remnant of God’s chosen people come to Babylon. To see the seamless transition I leave you with Daniel 1:1-8. More will come.
In the third year of the reign of Jehoaikim the king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.
Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Isrealites for the royal family and the nobility – young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and the literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
Among these were some from Judah; Daniel, Hannaniah, Misheal and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names; to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach, to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abendego.
The story continues and should be explored more but we shall conclude now with a few points. Even as God lifts up the rulers of this world he will post watchmen in places where he needs them. God sovereignly placed Nebuchadnezzar in power for the time that he did but immediately after he placed people like Daniel in places where God’s glory and might could be shown to a whole new culture. In fact the final part of the blessing to Abraham in Gen 12:3 is fulfilled, in part, by this scattering and dissemination into the Babylonian culture, “and all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you.” In this instance the Babylonians are blessed by God sending or scattering the Jewish nation throughout Babylonia. Daniel and the others, set a standard for the nation and in fear of God and not man the turned the whole course of the strongest world nation of that age.
That would not have happened if God had not sent the Jews out from Jerusalem. God is sovereign.
The four men that God chose for that time did not know the tasks they would be asked to do or the stances they would have to make. Yet, they did know they were called to love and fear God in everything. That made all the difference.
Feel free to read the rest of Daniel for that. I may blog about it soon.