As the LORD had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed all the treasures from the temple of the LORD and from the royal palace, and took away all the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the LORD. – 2 Kings 24:13
I have noticed that I have a tendency to blame the bad things that happen in my life on the devil. I mean, if it is bad for me, then how could it somehow be part of God’s design. I know that every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17), so if that is true then doesn’t it follow that every negative circumstance must come from – well – not God.
The problem is that that idea isn’t biblical either. It isn’t the mere circumstances of our lives that concerns God – it is the outcomes of our lives. Part of my problem is that I often get the two confused. What I often want are good circumstances in the present. In my mind, I convince myself that pleasant circumstances in my present will somehow contribute to positive outcomes in my future. The problem is that that isn’t always true. As much as we may not like the idea, growth in the future doesn’t always come from pleasure in the present. So if God is truly about outcomes – wouldn’t it make sense that some of the negative circumstances in our lives are also from God.
The problem with our belief that God will somehow relieve us of our consequences is that it also assumes that God has no desire for us to grow. He becomes a passionless God and we become a passionless people – both of us static and unchanging.
God wanted more from Israel. And they needed to grow – so God declared that a negative circumstance would happen – Babylon would take the treasure of Israel away from her. Among the treasures would be the Ark of the Covenant – the place that held the most precious things of God. No gold or artifact was as important as the growth of the people of God – a positive outcome in their futures.
And nothing is more important to God than us. If you find yourself in a negative circumstance today, ask yourself if just maybe there is something that God desires for you to learn today - and that growth will be the result. You are more important to him than anything that you might possess.