Have you ever said something to the effect, “If I were God, they would all be destroyed”, (simply because someone lied or more seriously, committed a crime), or “they should be thankful I am not God”? Yes, if many of us were God or had the power of God what destruction and chaos would we cause! But thank God we do not have that kind of power. Yet there are many in powerful positions who act god-like and do create a world where there is a constant haemorrhaging of peace, joy and hope. This is because many who have power abuse it and oftentimes are so enamoured with this power that when faced with a decision that affected the vulnerable and those of questionable character, they often
hrow out the baby with the bathwater.
I was reading Daniel chapter 2 and this became obvious to me: if God was like one of us where would we be? Numbers 23 verse 19 gives a clue when it states, God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? God is unlike man because God does not lie, has no faults, whatever He says shall be done and makes all things good. Now, I return to Daniel chapter 2. In this chapter, we are told that Nebuchadnezzar’s had a dream and he not only wanted it interpreted but first, revealed by the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans. The only problem was they could not do so. It is clear that they tried to buy some time, begging the king to be reasonable and tell them the dream so they could interpret it, as was the normal order of things. But, Nebuchadnezzar did not trust them not to make something up on the fly, once they got the dream and he had a point here, because how would he know their interpretation was truthful or made up! So, he gave them an ultimatum, which probably sounded something like this “either tell me my dream and interpret it or I will kill every single one of you in Babylon”, even those who were not present or had not been given a shot at attempting his request. They all would die because he was angry at those present. I felt this was a bit harsh. What do you think?
So with the threat of certain death for all who fell under one of these categories, Daniel steps up and says, “wait, not so fast, give me some time to speak to my God and I know He will reveal all to me, so, I can give the king the answers he needs and he can save the lives of all those who now face certain death.” In the end, God comes through and Daniel is able to give the dream to Nebuchadnezzar and the interpretation as given to him by God. This leads to all being saved and Daniel acquires so much power and authority within Babylonia. However, if Daniel had failed like the others we would be reading a different story, but for God.
Now, I compare the decree made in the kingdom of Babylon, by its ruler Nebuchadnezzar, and that of God’s Kingdom in the parable spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 13. Now according to Matthew 13:24-48, in the Kingdom of God, good seeds planted by the owner of the land, are compromised by weeds planted by his enemy. The servants eventually realise what has been done, weeds growing with wheat! With this new knowledge, they ask, “should we yank out those weeds?” In his wisdom, the owner (God) says no. Why does he say this, after all this is a good solution, right? The wheat may be mistaken for weeds at this stage and vice versa which would be disastrous for the harvest. So his solution, let them both grow till the harvest. Now if we compare Nebuchadnezzar with God’s foresight, we realise how far apart they are in wisdom. Nebuchadnezzar suspected or even knew his Chaldeans, wizards, astrologers etc were charlatans but he could not discern if all supposed wise men in his kingdom were real or fake. His solution was to “cut off all their heads!” However, in the parable in Matthew 13, God was not willing to lose even one good seed planted because of a few undesirables that had found their way into his field. “Let them grow together until it is time for the separation”. So grow together they would, until the day of harvest. On the day of harvest, the weeds would be gathered and burned and the wheat gathered and stored in the barn. A much better solution to a tricky situation!
Unlike Nebuchadnezzar, God does not need to discern because he knows all, God in all His wisdom shows that His thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). He does not act out of frustration but is measured in His judgement. Therefore we should all be thankful God is not like us.