When I was praying to God about the situation with my friend He had me turn to the book of Jonah. I would guess the book of Jonah is one of the most famous books in the Bible. Many people of the world may think of it as nothing more than a fairy tale about a giant fish but of course Christians know it as a great foreshadowing of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What a beautiful story it is.
But God didn’t have me turn to the part of the story that most people are familiar with. He had me turn to the end. It is amazing to me that we can read the same pages in the Bible again and again and always learn new things as if new things are always being added. As we ask new questions, God will reveal new truths. If we seek we will always find.
At the end of the story God provided a leafy plant to grow up over Jonah to provide shade for his head to ease his discomfort from the sun. But at dawn God had a worm chew on the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose God provided a scorching East wind that blazed on Jonah’s head; God had provided and then taken away to teach Jonah a lesson. God sometimes blesses and He sometimes takes away those blessings but in everything God is working to bring about His will.
I shut my Bible after reading a handful of verses in awe. I had been attacked for believing the simple truth that God is working in everything to bring about His will, and God showed me a great illustration in His word to reinforce this truth. It’s important to remember that God does not change. The same God that provided and took away from Jonah provides and takes away from us. Just because the Bible is already written does not mean that God is any less powerful or finished in His work. God is always working.
And it happened immediately just like the voice had said. After that time King Nebuchadnezzar was humbled and he praised and honored God. His kingdom was restored to him and surpassing greatness was added to him. “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” God gave, God took away, and then God gave back with even greater abundance to accomplish His will.
Everything that man has and gets is from God yet time and time again man tries to take God’s place as if man has power. We can only do what God has gifted us to do. Can a fish take credit for its ability to breathe under water? Should the sun receive glory because its rays sustain life on earth?
The presidential election season in the US is upon us. I am not sure there is anything that can cause more separation and strife among the people than the presidential campaign. Even Christians can become agitated, hostile, and argumentative. I have heard many say, “If this person gets elected we are doomed!” But are we? Can man really change God’s will? Does man have power outside of which God has given it?
When God sent the plagues against the Pharaoh for holding his people as slaves in Egypt, the Pharaoh only did what God had Him to do. Exodus 9-12 “But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them” Am I saying that God created Pharaoh and put him in power to make an example out of him and to bring Himself glory? Yes I am. Exodus 16 “But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.”
Whether God appoints the next president or whether it’s left up to man’s freewill is on no consequence or importance. God’s perfect plan will still take place. God will use whoever is in power to achieve His perfect will. Deuteronomy 2:30 “But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the LORD your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done.” We see another example in 1 Kings 12:15 “So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the LORD,”
Should we vote then? Of course we should. Listen to God’s voice. Vote according to His voice. But don’t worry about who will win or what will happen. God already knows who will win. The story is already written. Acts 4:27-28 “Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”
No matter who gets elected God is still God. Nothing can change that. Nothing can stop Him from doing what He does. He is perfect. He is in control. He is sovereign.
Proverbs 21:1 “The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.”