Celebrate your Dependence 

Posted on · Posted in Culture, Holidays, Worldview

Regardless of laws, judicial decrees, executive orders and public opinion, independence from God is not possible. Isaiah reminds us of God’s total control and man’s total dependence on him in Isaiah 40:21-23:

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.

The prophet’s words are as true today as they were 2,800 years ago. It is enticing to dream of independently forging our own destiny, to write our own history. However, this idea is just as misguided as it is enticing. Reality is this: no person or country is free from the rule of the Great Sovereign of the Universe. Each person owes his next breath, and each country its existence to the God of heaven and earth.

Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king who thought he was in control of his world. God chose to humble him with a small demonstration of his power. Afterwards, the great king said this:

Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: “What have you done?”

Nebuchadnezzar and Isaiah are saying the same thing: God does as he pleases with the countries and people of earth.  Independence from the rule of God is not an option.

Americans achieved independence from England, but we shall never be free from the dominion of Christ. The hope for America lies not in the passage of laws and in elections, but in the gospel. The political leaders of 21st Century America want to be independent of the God of the Bible, the Bible doesn’t do well in the court of public opinion. To their own peril, our leaders have forgotten Nebuchadnezzar’s warning: the God of Heaven is able to humble those who walk in pride. They bow instead to a moment of silence. 

This July 4th, praise God that you are dependent upon him. Pray that our leaders would heed the warning of Scripture. Gratefully proclaim you dependence on God and on his Son, Jesus Christ.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.