In the terms of the ROI (Return On Investment) the effort seems disproportionate to the result. I’m reading in Daniel this morning and am struck by the amount of focus God directs toward Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. In chapter 2, God disturbs the king’s sleep so that he might eventually come to the conclusion that “God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries” (2:47). Then some time later, in chapter 3, God allows the king to throw three righteous men into a flaming furnace in order that he might witness the fire-retardant nature of faith in God and conclude “there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way” (3:29).
And then, again some years later, the king has another dream . . . and Daniel has another interpretation . . . and God sets in motion a plan to reduce the mind of the king to that of a beast of the field . . . to relocate the king from his palatial dining table, to grazing on grass like an ox . . . to removing him from his daily salon treatments so that his hair grows as long as eagle feathers and his nails become like birds’ claws . . . all to humble the king so that he would know “that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will” (4:32-33).
And I’m thinking that’s a lot of effort spent on getting the king’s head screwed on straight and his heart turned around fully . . . that it’s a lot of trouble for just one guy.
But as I pause and reflect on my initial impression, I’m also thinking that’s just how our God works.
What sacrifice was heaven prepared to make in sending the Son to empty Himself . . . to take on the nature of a servant . . . to put on the fleshly form of His creation . . . desiring that no one should perish, but that all would come to repentance? (Php. 2:6-8 ,2Pet. 2:9). What lengths has God been prepared to go to in order to pursue those who had set themselves as enemies of God, that they might know His love for eternity? How much grace has been abundantly poured out so that sinners might become saints . . . one at a time? As I remember my own rescue . . . as I recall His patience over the years with my own reformation . . . I can’t help but think it’s a lot of trouble for just one guy.
But that’s just how our God works. The lengths to which He is willing to go in order to redeem . . . the lengths to which He will go in order that His glory might be known.
O’, that like the king of Babylon, I might bless the Most High and give praise and honor to Him who lives forever (4:34). That I might praise and extol the King of heaven, declaring that all His works are right and His ways are just (4:37). That I might declare to all peoples that His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion endures from generation to generation (4:3).
That I might humble myself that He might be lifted up and that it might not be a lot of trouble for this one guy.