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Who Put Them There?

In this day when people promote themselves and take care of "number one," it's good to read verse 7: "But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another." This rebukes our pride. Who is the One who allows people to be where they are? God. John the Baptist said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven" (John 3:27). Peter wrote: "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" (I Pet. 5:6). Who is the One who exalts people to places of leadership? God. Who is the One who removes people from certain positions? God. Who is wise enough to know when to do all of this? God. No one in any position should think that he is there because God needs him.

Let's realize that we are where we are because God put us there. But verse 7 not only rebukes our pride--it also encourages our patience. Think of Joseph, waiting for God to put down his enemies and set him up where he was supposed to be. Consider Moses or Nehemiah. Oh, how we need patience! Sometimes God allowed His people to be under the tyranny of bad leaders or foreign dictators. Just as He did in the Old Testament, God allows us to go through difficult situations to break our wills and make us more like Him.

Third, this relieves the pressure in our lives. Are you in a place of leadership? God put you there. And because He put you there, He will keep you there for as long as He wants. He will use you the way He chooses. Be careful of pride. When we become proud and haughty and think we have all the answers, God says, "It's time to put you down." But if we put ourselves down, He will exalt us. If we humble ourselves under His hand, that hand will turn over and lift us up. "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (I Pet. 5:5).

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Have you been struggling because you are under bad leaders at your workplace or in your church? Did poor decisions by others put them there? Bring your burden to God and talk to Him about it. Ask for His strength to continue and remember that He is the Judge.

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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