Submitting As We Serve

He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Daniel 4:35). Those are the words of a powerful king—the richest, most powerful man in the world at the time—and he is describing God’s sovereignty soon after his encounter with humility.

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God-Given Authority

King Nebuchadnezzar enjoyed the kind of power and privilege no single human had ever experienced. He built an empire that eventually swallowed two other great civilizations, Assyria and Egypt. At the time, no one man controlled more of the world than he. According to the man’s written testimony, Nebuchadnezzar became intoxicated by his own wealth and power.

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Some Thoughts on Sovereignty

Some people find the concept of God’s ultimate and complete sovereignty a little unsettling. Let’s face it, we like our autonomy; we find comfort in calling our own shots. Even so, the wise men of Israel, writing under the direction of the Holy Spirit, affirmed God’s ultimate authority to administer the world as He sees fit and regardless of human will:

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Divine Perspective

Since our generation so admires human ingenuity and worldly wisdom, we tend to give people praise that only God deserves. A battle is won—and we hang medals on veterans. A degree is earned—and we applaud the graduates. A sum of money is donated—and we engrave contributors’ names on a plaque. An organization stays in the black through hard times—and we grant the CEO a bonus.

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Divine Right

At first glance this list of Old Testament proverbs may appear like a hodgepodge of random thoughts. A closer look, however, reveals a common theme we tend to overlook or ignore, and that is the theme of God’s absolute sovereignty over His creation. By sovereignty, I mean God’s right as the King of the universe to rule as He sees fit—without question, limitation, accountability, or resistance.

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Start Where You Are

With the foundation laid by wisdom, the house built by understanding, and the home filled with knowledge, we have all the ingredients necessary for the cultivation of a happy, prosperous, emotionally safe, spiritually rich household. This is God’s ideal for every home, beginning at marriage. Your home, however, may not have started well.

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Rich Relationships

Let’s review the building analogy. Wisdom has laid a solid foundation for the home, and the household leaders are committed to making God’s Word their standard operating procedure. Upon this bedrock, the domestic structure rises. Thanks to the adults’ skillful understanding, the practical needs of the home are met, and the household takes form.

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Teamwork

[Sunday] we looked at the foundation of a stable household: the first layer is wisdom, from the Hebrew hakam. This kind of wisdom is the commitment to translate our knowledge of God and His ways into practical living. We dedicate ourselves to making decisions that carry out His plans for our lives, our household, and the world. Upon this bedrock, the sages erected the structure through understanding.

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Bedrock

The grind of domestic disharmony can be the most distressing of all. After all, home should be a place of rest and safety, a refuge from the stresses and dangers of the world. For many, however, home is a battlefield where the most intense struggles of the day take place. As we consider possible remedies for this daily grind, we turn to the wise men of Israel, who described three essential ingredients that turn a house into a home.

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Suffering but Not Silent

Of all the grinds that erode our peace, none is more nagging, more draining, more painful than disharmony at home. Sarcastic infighting. Stinging put-downs. Withering stares. Deafening silence. Volatile explosions of anger. Occasionally, emotional brutality and physical abuse. A television blaring in the living room. A stack of dirty dishes sitting in the sink. Doors slammed shut.

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