• Gods Great Purpose …by Jesse Schlabach

    A few weeks back some of my fellow Christ followers were reading and studying through Daniel when a particular passage stuck out to me regarding God’s graceful protection and redeeming power in the lives of His precious creation.

    In chapter 4 of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream regarding a remarkable tree that reached to the heavens, could be seen throughout the earth, and produced abundant sustenance for animals and people. This tree was then specifically declared to be chopped down but left to its stump and roots. God reveals to King Nebuchadnezzar through Daniel that this remarkable tree was he and that this will come upon him in order to make known that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” We see a few verses later that King Nebuchadnezzar praises himself for the great kingdom he has built for his honor and majesty. Incredibly, an hour after these words came out of his mouth, the dream is fulfilled. He is cast out of his kingdom to live like an animal for seven years. We see after the seven years Nebuchadnezzar’s heart and mind are transformed and redeemed. He begins to praise and give all glory and honor to the Most High. God miraculously protects King Nebuchadnezzar and restores everything back to him.

    The passage about the tree (King Nebuchadnezzar) being chopped down really caught my interest. Why was this passage so precise in the way they wanted the tree to be chopped down and handled? In the past, trees were chopped down and often banded with iron and bronze to keep the trees from decaying and also made it possible for them to grow once again. This metaphorical discovery really opened up a whole dimension of God’s protection and redemption not only in King Nebuchadnezzar’s life but

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    also all mankind.

    Many men and women have gone through a “Nebuchadnezzar” or “chopped down” experience while at the Haven of Rest Ministries. Life as they know it is chopped down to the stump and roots. Many feel that everything they have worked for up to this point was for nothing. However, just like the tree in the dream was bound with iron and bronze, so are the lives of these men and women that come into the doors of the mission. God has a great and distinct purpose for each man and woman and sometimes it takes a chopping to allow God to provide redemption in our hearts. God uses these chopped down moments to cut out unrighteousness and

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    all the while holding us tight by his mighty bands of protection. But God does not stop with just protection but provides redemption for our hearts to experience fresh growth of righteousness. Let us continue to place our lives and hearts in the bronze and iron band of God’s mighty hand and experience His fresh new growth.

    Jesse Schlabach
    Client Services Dayroom Assistant