And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.
The book of Daniel was written when Israelites including the author were in Babylonian captivity. Israel had sinned against God and therefore God couldn’t protect them from their enemies. Therefore God allowed their enemies like Assyria and Babylon to take over the whole nation. In their misery, God sends a message to Israelites that they should know that it is His will that they are in Babylon.
Babylonians would brag that they are mightier at war and that they brought Israelites to slavery. Israelites would wonder if God indeed had lost the ability to protect them. In response to this crisis of clarity, God responds with the words in our text today. God clarifies that Babylon did not emerge stronger than Israel, nor did Israel grow weak. God clarifies that they and their king were in Babylon because God said so. With this understanding, Israel could reply to their enemies that it was God’s will for them to be in Babylon. How I got here? Not you not me but God!
To punish Israel, God was not limited to any nation on earth. God could punish Israel without using any nation. God could send a plague. God could send any other nation. God could allow internal strife. God chose Babylon. God allowed Babylonians to take Israel captive. Therefore, God was the reason behind their being in Babylon. How I got here? Not you not me but God!
Israelites could not touch holy items from the temple. Any ordinary person would die on the spot if they touched the temple items. Yet God allowed Babylonians to enter the Holy temple and take secret items from the temple. That was not victory on the side of Babylonians, but God’s mercy. How I got here? Not you not me but God!
How did you get into this terrible mess? How did you get into such a prestigious place in life? How I got here? Not you not me but God! You must have worked hard to get here. You must be having enemies who made you be in this place. How I got here? Not you not me but God!
You must be well connected to have come this far. You must have saved a lot to afford all these. You must be strict and disciplined, otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. It must be politics that went wrong. It must be jealous people who are behind all these. So and so is responsible for this pain. How I got here? Not you not me but God!
If this place is a place of pain, frustration, stress, and misfortune, it is okay if God brought me here, for He will take me out of it by Himself. I do not need to scheme, plan and stress over it. I play my part calmly and patiently wait for God. If this place is the best place I have ever been to, I do not live in fear of losing it, I leave it in God’s hands. I do my best and let God do the rest. There is a peace of mind that attends to those who know that where they are in a place God sends them to. How I got here? Not you not me but God!
If God brought me here, I can’t worship you or treat you as if without you I wouldn’t be here. If God brought me here, I would not confuse you for God, even if you were instrumental in my being here. I am grateful for your role but I totally praise God who could use anyone else other than you. I will give you sufficient relevant respect but I would not dishonor God by paying you unwarranted excessive homage. How I got here? Not you not me but God!
If God brought me here, I can’t hate you or revenge and harm your children. God allowed you to act as Satan’s agent in my life. God had a good purpose for me. I will not focus my energy on hating and stressing over you. You are limited and human to be my challenge. I deal with the divine and not human like you. I will be careful around you, but I will not hate you or fear you. I am in this place not because of my behavior or whatever else you claim, God allowed me to be here. How I got here? Not you not me but God!
What a liberating thought! In bad or good situations, God allowed us into them for His own purposes. The human agencies shouldn’t get excessive credit for it. May this be our attitude in Jesus’ name, Amen!
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