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God is in Control

Imagine that your town has been invaded. Homes are being burned, people are being killed. Chaos and destruction fill the air. You hear the screams of your fellow neighbor. You smell the smoke of the homes and buildings burning around you. Your family has been torn from your home, chained, and marched off to an unknown land. You're filled will confusion, sadness, fear, and uncertainty. Your life has been completely turned upside down in an instant. A multitude of questions are flooding your mind and your heart: Where is God in all of this? How can this be happening?

This was the reality for God's people. Exiled in a foreign land. However, the story does not end there. What we learn this week is that God is active and at work. He is not casually sitting on the sidelines watching things unfold. He is moving in creation and in His people. There is a perfect and magnificent plan in place. God is in control.

For the people of Israel, life was spinning out of control. A chosen people removed from a land that was promised to them generations ago. When life seems to be blowing up around us, it is so easy to believe the lie that there will never be peace and order again. However, God has a plan. A perfect, all-encompassing plan, and He brings us into it. Our Father holds all things in His hands. Nothing is dropped, nothing is ignored, nothing is forgotten. A key theme in this week's reading is how all things fall under God's control. Let us look at two examples.

When kings and kingdoms rise and fall, God is in control. In Daniel, we read of two visions so intense that Daniel's "color changed" and he "lay sick for some days." Both visions were about mighty kingdoms that rise and fall, giving way to a greater and more powerful kingdom. With all the chaos brought by one kingdom ending and another beginning, we read that God's kingdom "shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." (Daniel 7:27)

When there seems to be no future, God is in control. In Ezra, we read about God working in the heart of Cyrus. He was sent to direct God's people back to their home. What I love about this story is how God goes above and beyond. Not only did He work the circumstances out for His people to return home, He also provided them with gold, silver, and all the supplies they needed to start a new life!

Here is what we need to remember: We are a short-term people following a long-term God. The Father works out all things in His timing, not ours. It should give us comfort to know that our God's way is always greater. His plans are perfect and more complete than ours. God thinks of all things because He is the author of all things. He always remains.

God is in control.

~ Josh Sinnema

September 2nd Readings
1 CHRONICLES 5:18-26
1 CHRONICLES 7:1-8:28

September 3rd Readings
1 CHRONICLES 8:29-9:1
DANIEL 4:1-37
EZEKIEL 40:1-37

September 4th Readings
EZEKIEL 40:38-43:27

September 5th Readings
EZEKIEL 44:1-46:24

September 6th Readings
EZEKIEL 47:1-48:35
EZEKIEL 29:17-30:19
2 KINGS 25:27-30
JEREMIAH 52:31-34

September 7th Readings
DANIEL 7:1-8:27
DANIEL 5:1-31

September 8th Readings
DANIEL 6:1-28
DANIEL 9:1-27
2 CHRONICLES 36:22-23
EZRA 1:1-11
1 CHRONICLES 3:17-19