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December 6, 2023

A Drop & Some Dust

Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, He takes up the coastlands like fine dust (Isaiah 40:15).

My wife, Kathleen, is in seminary.  While I’m reading fiction or watching Netflix, she’s reading weighty textbooks of spiritual significance at night.  I get to glean from her studies when she shares something she finds interesting.  This is one such thought from a book called “None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God” by Matthew Barrett.

Barrett writes, “Nebuchadnezzar is but a drop of water in God’s bucket, a speck of dust on the scales of eternity.  Nebuchadnezzar thinks he has created his kingdom, but it has been God’s doing all along, which is why boasting is so offensive in the ears of the reigning King.”

If you need a refresher, the Book of Jeremiah calls Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, a “lion” and a “destroyer of nations.”  He conquered Jerusalem in 586 BC.  We learn the most about Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Daniel, where he face-offed with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He was the longest-reigning king of the Chaldean dynasty.  By his death, he was among the most powerful rulers in the world.

Yet, he is but a drop of water in God’s bucket, a speck of dust on the scales of eternity.

Nebuchadnezzar is a big deal in world history.  He’s even been credited for creating “The Hanging Gardens of Babylon,” one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

But still, he’s just a drop of water and a speck of dust.

So, what does that say about us, mere peasants living without a throne or kingdom to rule?!?

James states we are “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).

And I’m more than OK with that.

It helps me to know my place in the greater order of things.  At the very least, it should help me take myself less seriously.  It keeps me humble and helps me respect and stand in awe of God and his supreme authority and power.

This doesn’t mean God does not value my life. Jesus makes that clear in John 10:29-31.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

And I take comfort and confidence in knowing that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

It’s unbelievable, but our holy, righteous, omnipotent God made us and uses us for His Kingdom purposes.  It doesn’t require earthly kingship to be of worth to him.

We are dearly loved drops and dust.  And like a mist that vanishes, we’re not here for long.  So let’s make the most of the time we are given!


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