God Takes His Time

Geoffrey Cox

READ : Daniel 4:18-27

“. . . until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign.” (v. 25, niv)

People with great athletic ability always seem to have plenty of time to act. The game seems to slow down for them. God also often moves slowly in his dealings with us—“Unresting, unhasting and silent as light . . .” Here with Nebuchadnezzar we see first God’s warning by dream, then Daniel’s interpretation and explanation, and finally, in God’s good time, judgment!

There is a clear image in the dream—a glorious tree is to be cut down, but its stump will remain. There is a clear interpretation—“you, O king, are that tree . . . great and strong” (v. 22, niv). And there is a clear command—“Repent and humble yourself!” (See verse 27.)

God takes time to shape and mold people. He took many years with Joseph, bringing him from slavery to the Prime Ministry. He took all Abraham’s life, from leaving Ur as a young man to making him the father of the people of God at the age of one hundred.

God works patiently to teach us to trust him and love him. He will use many methods—storms at sea with John Newton, for example, or loss of mind with Nebuchadnezzar. But in all this God’s purpose is constant: to lead us to “renounce [our] sins by doing what is right” (v. 27, niv).

PRAYER

Lord, give me patient submission as you do your work in my life.