It is God ‘ALONE’ who ‘PROMOTES’ and ‘DEMOTES’ people
August 15 Bible Reading: Jeremiah Chapters 25-27
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel--thus you shall say to your masters: 'I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to Me. And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him. So all nations shall serve him and his son and his son's son, until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great kings shall make him serve them.'" (Jer. 27:4-7)
God told Jeremiah to make a yoke like those used to hitch together teams of oxen and to wear it on his neck. Then Jeremiah sent a specific message to the messengers (v. 3) who had come representing the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon. They were meeting with King Zedekiah in Jerusalem to discuss a possible revolt against Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon. Revolt against Nebuchadnezzar would be futile since the Babylonian king had been ordained by God for ruling over all these nations at this time. God’s message was that the nations would “serve” Babylon at this time as this was the plan of God. If any nation refused to submit to Babylon’s yoke, it would be punished by “sword, famine and plague” from God. It is surprising that King Nebuchadnezzar would act as God’s servant administering God’s justice upon God’s people of Judah!
As the creator and sustainer God of the entire universe, God claims total rights over all nations (see Dan. 2:38; 4:25). He is the true sovereign Lord over creation and the affairs of humans. The whole of creation is summed up in three categories: earth, human beings and beasts. Jehovah God reigns over all the earth, granting territorial rights and power to nations and kings as it seemed proper to Him.
God had decided that for a period of years all nations in the ancient Near East would be under the authority of the king of Babylon. History tells us that Nebuchadnezzar became the king of Babylon in 605 B.C. and conducted several campaigns in Palestine from that year until Jerusalem’s eventual fall. Following the death of Nebuchadnezzar in 562 B.C., his heirs and successors retained control of Babylon for only 24 years. Babylon fell without a battle to Cyrus and the Persian armies in 539 B.C., and later to Alexander the Great of Greece. God had His hand over who would rule over the kingdoms, and how long they would be promoted in that position of authority.
Let us be clear that it is God alone who promotes and demotes people! That is why the word of God tells us clearly: "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" (1 Peter 5:6). Our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself from the authority and level of God to become a man and a servant, and even humbled Himself to the death on the cross (Phil. 2:5-8). "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:9-11).
Today, let us humble ourselves under God’s power and authority, and He will lift us up in due time. Promotion only comes from God alone! "For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another." (Psalms 75:6-7)