God told the Israelites that if they obeyed his law, they would know great blessings. They would live in the Promised Land forever. To the contrary, if they disobeyed him, they would be taken into captivity by a foreign power. God’s judgment would come upon them (Deuteronomy 30:15-18).
For centuries, the Israelites refused to obey God. His patience finally ran out. Their persistent disobedience brought pagan Babylon and God’s judgment upon them. First, the northern kingdom was conquered by Assyria. Then the southern kingdom was taken into captivity by Babylon – as God said would happen – for 70 years.
Nebuchadnezzar was king when Babylon conquered Israel’s southern kingdom. He was wicked beyond words. He ruled with an iron fist and despotic nature. His reign was marked by cruelty and intimidation. Nebuchadnezzar was not a good person.
Yet astonishingly, the Bible calls Nebuchadnezzar God’s “servant” (Jeremiah 43:10). This evil, cruel, wicked, godless king was called a servant of God himself. How can this be?
It’s simple: God sovereignly chose to use Nebuchadnezzar as his instrument of judgment against his people. Could God have chosen another person? Of course. God can do anything he wants. But he chose Nebuchadnezzar to bring divine judgment upon his children. That’s his right as King of the universe.
God was using this wicked king for his ultimate purposes. He controls all rulers (Daniel 2:21-22). He lifts up and abases whomever he chooses to. His overarching providence controls all.
History is God’s story. He began it, and he will end it. He is the Alpha and the Omega. Not one thing is outside his understanding and oversight. Nothing surprises him. Including COVID-19.
God is in control of our story as well. In fact, our story is within his story. He knows. He cares. When we don’t understand what is happening to us, it’s because we don’t possess his heavenly perspective. We aren’t high enough.
But should we dare to elevate our vision and look down at our lives from an eternal vantage point, from God’s throne of grace, our problems will shrink. Faith will grow. Trust will increase.
And anxiety will shrivel.