Jump Start # 3212
2 Kings 17:25 “At the beginning of their living there, they did not fear the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them which killed some of them.”
I have found that when we often zoom in real close to a verse, we sometimes forget the 32,000 foot view of things. There are great lessons that we can see when we take a step back and look at the big picture. Our verse today helps us with that today. Contextually, the Assyrians captured Israel’s Samaria. They brought people in to live there. They did not know the Lord nor respect His ways. The Lord sent lions to kill some of them. The new inhabitants appealed to the Assyrian king to send a prophet who would teach them the ways of the “god of the land,” as they called it.
But in this 32,000 foot view, we see just another lesson that shows our God is indeed the God of Heaven and Earth and He has all nature at His disposal. He doesn’t need to bring some divine or angelic being from Heaven to accomplish His will. God has all nature to use. All around Him are the items He needs to establish His will. Here in our verse, it’s lions. In the wilderness, it was serpents. In Egypt, it was locusts. In Jonah, it was a storm. At the cross, it was darkness. For Elijah, it was birds that fed him. For Herod, it was worms in his belly. For Naaman’s servant, Gehazi, it was leprosy. For Gideon, it was dew. For Hezekiah, it was a shadow that moved background. In Elisha’s day, it was bears.
God used these natural items to accomplish what He needed. Often, these things were used in miraculous ways.
I was putting something together for one of our grandkids the other day. I needed a screwdriver. I went to the garage where I have dozens of screwdrivers. Different sizes. Different kinds. I looked them over and picked just the one I needed. When my wife cooks, she’ll use different measuring spoons just for what she needs. And, I see God doing that with nature. He has animals, weather, the solar system all at His disposal. Just as I pick out which screwdriver I need, so God looks over what He has and sends storms, famines, lions, bears, serpents to do the work that He needs done. God also uses nations. He moves kings and kingdoms, like we would move pieces on a chess board. Move this piece in position, so on my next move, I can use it to take that my opponents piece. God moved Babylon. God moved Assyria. God moved Greeks. God moved Romans.
Now, some lessons for us:
First, connecting the Biblical dots, like this, opens our eyes to how powerful our God is. It reminds us that this is His world. There is nothing that He cannot do. While we are subject to the weather, God uses the weather. While we cannot control certain animals, God uses them. While we can’t stop nations, God moves them. It’s important to remember these things. It is beyond our understanding how powerful our God is.
Second, God uses these things, not as a game, but to fulfill His divine will. We often do not see that. God wants us to seek Him and follow Him. And, as we live in a natural world, the fingers of God are upon that nature. It is God who sends the rain and the sunshine. It is God who realizes when a bird falls. As I write this, snow has fallen here in Indiana. Snow in November doesn’t happen often. It’s beautiful outside. So clean and white. What a reminder that our sins can be forgiven and made white as snow. Reminders from Heaven. When it rains, what a reminder of the showers of blessings that fall every day. When it’s sunny, what a great lesson about the Word of God that allows us to see Jesus. Reminders. It’s more than nature, it’s connections to the eternal.
Third, what incredible knowledge, strength and power our God has. Imagine going out to your garage and there is everything in nature at your finger tips. You can send snow. You can move animals. You can move the stars. Everything there, just like our tools on a shelf. Should it be lions or bears? Should it be a storm or a famine? Should it be shadows going backwards or leprosy? I do believe we’ve be overwhelmed with the choices. We cannot fathom the impossible. Move the sun backwards, no problem. Part seas, no problem. Open the earth up, just watch. Cause an earthquake so prison doors open, easy. There is nothing that God cannot do.
He can even change your life. He can forgive your sins. He can give you hope.
Fourth, when God promises something, we now understand, He will keep His word. Nothing can stand in the way. Got a king who is mean, God can make him eat grass like a cow. Got a ruler who is standing in the way, God can cause the parted waters to collapse upon him and his army. God can keep fire from hurting His people. God can shut the mouths of lions or use lions as He wants them. All of this ought to assure us that, as Paul stated, “it will turn out exactly as I have been told.” Nothing will stop God. If He promised, it will be.
Indeed, He’s got the whole world in His hands. He’s got it. He can do anything. All of creation is but a tool in His workbench to be used as He sees fit.
God sent lions…but more than that, God sent His Son. Nothing in creation could do what Jesus did. No bear, bird, lion or sheep could accomplish what Jesus did. God sent His only beloved, the greatest friend in Heaven to accomplish what nothing else could do. God sent the best.
How blessed we are. How safe we are. “Our Father, who art in Heaven…”