“How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!”
2 Samuel 1:26-27
Arguably the first time God purposely displayed His power to mankind (i.e. aside from speaking the very universe into existence!); was in the book of Exodus. From the miraculous preservation of Moses‘ life in the most impossible (possible only to God) way i.e. a Hebrew being raised in the courts of Pharaoh, to the ‘Ten Plagues‘ and then the actual ‘exodus’, God’s unmatchable power was in display. Do you think some persons got it? Absolutely not, time and again a few brazen, daring and possibly fledgling reprobates would still submit to arm wrestle the Creator of the Universe and the creatures that inhabit it.
Pharaoh, dear Pharaoh was feeling frisky and powerful to booth. He summoned his magicians to reproduce and replicate every proof and production that the man of God Moses had that God Almighty had sent him. Who knows, maybe that was the season for the ‘Egyptian Show your Stuff Expo’ reality show. Whatever was the reason, Pharaoh either unwittingly or stubbornly refused to budge at what was destined to be a biblical knock-out. Know anyone like that in real life? I could name you a sad few. But to show godly kindness and play the ‘offenders advocate’, most of them are either missing a necessary thinking faculty, greatly influenced by the devil himself or just do not know any better for lack of being taught any better. More so, some might be blessed with the ministry of Pharaoh; you know the ministry that insists on its own ‘way and will’ as it opposes the will of God. And then it takes an inevitable Red Sea experience that unfortunately swallows them up and thereby ends the rebellious stand-off and episode.
Also in fairness to Pharaoh the deluded king, and while we are still on the chapter of advocacy. God the One in absolute control of everything, created Pharaoh for the purpose of defiance and to create a platform for a greater display of His matchless power. We easily come to the conclusion that God himself raised Pharaoh up for the impending show down. “The LORD said to Moses, when you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.” Exodus 4:20-22 And to Pharaoh’s perceived tyranny, God says: “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Exodus 9:15-17 I could stop writing this blog right now, and we would have gotten a satisfying glimpse of the power of the Most High God. Pharaoh thought he was ‘big and bad’ and very much untouchable; unbeknownst to him he was but a pawn in the hands of the Most High. At the pre-destined time, his stiff and hardened neck would snap like a dried fig. There are no boundaries to God’s influence, and no ‘nook and cranny’ or Peoples and person where His plan can be rendered ineffective. “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.” Deuteronomy 10:13-15
“The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1-3 The scripture clearly tells us that the world in its entirety and everything in it belongs to God. That is rightful and authentic ownership that results in authority backed by indisputable power. That was actually the first introduction to the Israelites and the on-looking diaspora (and subsequently the whole world) to what God would do to save and protect His own. “Your right hand, LORD, was majestic in power. Your right hand, LORD, shattered the enemy.” Exodus 15:5-7 “Terror and dread will fall on them. By the power of your arm they will be as still as a stone— until your people pass by, LORD, until the people you bought pass by.” Exodus 15:15-17
Remember Herod ‘the tod slayer’, he thought he would live and reign forever. So powerful did he feel within himself, that the prophecy of the coming Messiah was to be an irritant and put a damper on his plans to take on the world. So he pulled at all his real, perceived and acquired resources of power and prepared to extinguish every imminent threat whatsoever. ” When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” Matthew 2:12-14 Who could even think of withstanding him? I know who; the God who created him and the likes of him, the God who was also billions of years ahead of mankind. The magi were warned by the Angel of the Lord, not to return to the tyrannic dictator. And when his deposed body began its inevitable journey to decay, the Angel told Joseph to return with Mary and the child who would be the King of Kings. “After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt” Matthew 2:18-20 Once again, the power of God Almighty squelched the formidable power of a wicked king.
Job was frustrated and was giving God lip at some point in his trials. God very much understood (since His Holy Majesty precipitated the trials in the first place :)) “Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Job 1:8 So there was Job serving God, even making extra sacrifices for when his children messed up or in case they were messing up. The guy had it all as covered, as any human being possibly could. And you know what is beautiful; God himself noticed. God noticed so much that He boasted about His faithful Servant Job, and then with ample boundaries and protection in place, He submitted Job for a test. The first time I got a revelation of this passage; I was tempted (by the devil of course!) and prompted by my flesh to tone things down in my Christian life, so that God would not have to boast and add to my already traumatized existence :). Well let me just say that I had a humbling awakening when the Holy Ghost informed me that my life was not mine to set like a thermometer. I was to walk humbly before my God and love Him with all my heart, soul and strength! “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:7-9 “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:4-6
Further more, God begins to remind and revive Job’s puny knowledge (like ours) of who He (God) is and what He can do. He does it in form of a challenge, in order to have the imprint of His power be a lasting memorial in Job’s heart and later in ours. “Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook,… or pierce his jaw with a hook? No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up. Who then is able to stand against ME? Who has preceded me that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is MINE.” Job 41:1-11 Basically God was saying; there is no trouble, problem, enemy or entity so fierce and dangerous that God cannot pluck out of your way. This He can do without permission from any force, power or person. The whole earth, heaven and every thing else in between, belongs to Him. He does His good pleasure as He sees fit! “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” Psalm 24:1-3 “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” 1 Corinthians 10:25-27 When everything belongs to you authentically and legally, then you have the ultimate authority and power.
There was another character that needed to be reminded that God is all-powerful. Nebuchadnezzar was the King of Babylon and in his eight year of reigning as king, he invaded Jerusalem and took the king of Judah Jehoiachin captive for three minutes (only because the King of Judah eventually rebelled). Not only did he take the King captive; he took and defiled the vessels in the house of God. This was also the invasion that brought Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to the land of Babylon. “In the eighth year of the reign of the king of Babylon, he took Jehoiachin prisoner. As the LORD had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the LORD and from the royal palace, and cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the LORD. He carried all Jerusalem into exile: all the officers and fighting men, and all the skilled workers and artisans—a total of ten thousand. Only the poorest people of the land were left.” 2 Kings 24:12-14 So looks like the King of Babylon had a blast with the holy items and articles in the Temple of a Holy God. And then he carried with him choice and useful labor, leaving behind the poor and supposedly useless ones.
At the appointed time, God paid Nebuchadnezzar a visit. Probably at this time the King was full and very satisfied and had prospered greatly, possible with two or more kingdoms under his belt; life was good. Then he went to sleep… ” These are the visions I saw while lying in bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the wild animals found shelter, and the birds lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed. In the visions I saw while lying in bed, I looked, and there before me was a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven. He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. In the midst of Nebuchadnezzar’s contented existence, the terror of the Most High broke through. God showed him in a dream (which had to be translated by the servant of God) what would soon become of his well fed self and empire. It was a horrendous picture and a complete opposite of what the King was used to having.
Time and again, God blesses us as He sees fit, yet some of us opt and grab the blessings by ourselves and in the long run claim something that is not ours. We become full, fat and eventually tip over into full-blown rebellion and sin (the ‘humpty-dumpty’ syndrome) . “Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; filled with food, they became heavy and sleek. They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior.” Deuteronomy 32:14-16 How ridiculous and foolish we must look when we thumb our noses at the one who gave us life in the first place. Someone said I never touched my nose. Well you did, when you lowered the knowledge of the Most High to your whim, your way and your will. All this, even before the devil steps in with his own ‘bag of tricks’ for you. Well back to the ‘King who would be beast’, his days had always been numbered but he had just lost count. After the vision had been known and translated by Daniel, God’s faithful servant, a decree was thundered from heaven and the cameras began to roll. Here is what his ‘to be done list’ looked like:
“‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him. The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’ Daniel 4:15-16
As soon as the decree came forth from the heavenly messenger, it became a reality right away. He was ushered into the wilderness literally to share recipes with the wild ox. “Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.” Daniel 4:33 I did like to show you something intriguing; in the passage before Nebuchadnezzar went ‘rogue-wild’, the scripture said he was perambulating on the roof top and he looked down at his kingdom and smote his chest with accolades and self-aggrandizement. Watch this: “All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.” Do you remember someone else who had a roof-top experience? And also looked around … Hmm, what is it about the roof top that causes men to forget God or forget that they are still mortals susceptible to evil and destruction. In this day and age you could call it the ‘PH-jitters’ you know the acronym for the button to the PentHouse or roof-top.
The attribute of pride took Nebuchadnezzar on a rollercoaster ride. His mortality showed, he was absolutely humbled and had the sense and heart to repent genuinely. God restored him even more than before and here is what he had to say: “At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” Daniel 4:33-36
“At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the Peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the Peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: “What have you done?” Daniel 4:19
One of the greatest Kings that ever was, declared that there was none besides God Almighty. He was indeed the All-Mighty and All-Powerful. We do well to take heed if we still have not. Like they say in the jungle; ‘A word is enough for the wise’.
“It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.
How great are his signs,
how mighty his wonders!
His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;
his dominion endures from generation to generation.” Daniel 4:2-3