Are you serving God’s purpose in your life?

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A Look Deeper By Jim Squires
Sunday, January 10, 2021
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The history of Israel is well documented in Scriptures. The name Israel means “to rule, contend, have power, prevail over.” The patriarch Jacob was given the name Israel after he wrestled with the angel (Genesis 32:28 and 35:10).

Why Jacob? Doesn’t that name mean “to follow, to be behind” but also “to supplant, circumvent, assail, overreach.” One who trips by the heel!

Jacob’s life is an example of what God can do through a man who seeks Him. In his early life. Jacob was an opportunist, a thief, and a fugitive. Yet God made him into a prince!

Through Jacob (Israel) God was fulfilling His promise to Abraham. God formed a nation from the offspring of Abraham; that nation was Israel; the land promise was fulfilled when they came into the land of Canaan under Joshua.

Studying the character of the leaders of the Old Testament we find documentation of men of questionable character serving God’s righteous purposes.

Is God really in control? If you ask that question of Nebuchadnezzar, he experienced a bout of insanity before coming to his senses and acknowledging God’s role.

Daniel 4:28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.” 33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. 34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” 36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right, and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. NIV

Other examples of men who learned life’s greatest lessons would include Moses, Joshua, Israel’s judges including Samuel. Then the kings of Israel, Saul, David, and Solomon.

We have many examples of men with imperfect lives who served God’s purpose as leaders of nations.

Paul wrote in Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

David was inspired to write in Psalms 51:15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. NIV

Are you serving God’s purpose in your life? How are you doing that?

Jim Squires preaches at the church of Christ in Glendive. He can be reached at csquires@midrivers.com

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