The word of the LORD came to me again, saying,…
We have here a striking instance of the superintending agency of God. From his invisible throne he controls all the plans, divinations, arts, and labours of kings and generals. All persons and all events are directed into the channel of his purpose, and aid in the final consummation of his righteous end.
I. GOD USES EVES WICKED MEN TO DO HIS WORK. If he employed only righteous men, he would have to reject the service of the human species. There is a class of services which men render consciously and intentionally, and for which they obtain reward. They are blessed in their deeds. There is also a class of services which men render unconsciously and without intention. These have no excellence, and bring the doer no advantage. With his infinite skill God can turn all streams to work his mill. Sin shall be overruled to bring about a greater good. The wicked are God's hand.
II. HEATHEN DIVINATIONS ARE MADE TO CONVEY GOD'S WILL. The choice and will of men have a certain sphere in which to move freely. Yet, after all, they are but parts, minor parts, of larger machinery. Proud and presumptuous men may choose to go either east or west: they think they have their own way; yet, in the final result, it simply contributes to bring about God's way. The ends which some men seek, and which they often attain, are only means to an end in God's larger plan. The responses which foolish men imagine they obtain from heathen oracles or from human diviners are decrees and edicts from the unknown God. Nebuchadnezzar flattered himself that he had gained a splendid triumph, in Judaea, while he was only doing servile work as a vassal of the King of kings.
III. ALL MILITARY INVENTIONS AND EXERTIONS SERVE THE CAUSE OF GOD. How instructive is it to perceive that all the martial preparations then about to be made by Nebuchadnezzar were all prearranged by God - all sketched in outline by his prophet! How this fact humiliates man! How it exalts God in our esteem! How small a thing, afar all, is human ambition! Men who rail against God yet serve him. And if this fact is so transparently seen in the case of the King of Babylon, may we not conclude that this is a sample of every event in human life? As every atom in the mountains occupies the place allotted to it by God, so every event in human history fills a place according to God's purpose.
IV. WICKED MEN, ALTHOUGH EMPLOYED AS INSTRUMENTS FOR CHASTISING OTHERS, BECOME VICTIMS OF GOD'S DISPLEASURE. "Thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, thy day is come, when iniquity shall have an end." To unreflecting minds, the defeat of a king would seem a commonplace thing - a chance of war. Yet the hand of God is in the matter. "He setteth up one, and putteth down another." As a king has larger scope for evil or for good, so proportionately is his accountability. At the best, we see but a tiny fragment of God's method of rule; if we could comprehend the whole, we should admire the skill and power and beneficence of his vast administration.
V. SUBVERSION OF HUMAN SYSTEMS SHALL MAKE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it... until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him." There is no question but that this Coming One is "Jesus Christ the Righteous." "Because he loveth righteousness and hateth wickedness," therefore his throne shall be forever and ever. The only solid foundation for a throne is righteousness. The dynasty founded in might shall be demolished by a greater might. Mere power has an ephemeral tenure. The mightiest thing in heaven or earth is holiness. This is the thing that cannot be shaken: this shall remain. Today the strongest kingdom upon the earth is the most righteous. "There shall be new heavens, and a new earth!" And what shall be their distinctive principle - their special glory? In them "dwelleth righteousness." The man of right is the man of might. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying,