God does some really weird stuff sometimes. And He doesn’t have to explain Himself…though often times we get glimpses of why.
Starting “in the beginning” all the way to the end of Revelation, there’s weird stuff being done BY God. In fact, unless you trust the heart of God, the weird stuff might be confusing, troublesome or even make you question…maybe even if you do trust.
The weird stuff is not confined to the Old Testament but is scattered throughout the written Word of God.
Weird doesn’t really bother me. Maybe because I perceive my own life as a little weird…nice, neat, tidy, explainable and practical might be a little overrated. I see the value in those things but I don’t necessarily need them to think something is real, or genuine or serves a purpose. Sometimes, weird is just getting outside a box that was never meant to be lived in.
I can recall a multitude of stories in the Bible that are super weird.
One story in particular is that of King Nebuchadnezzar.
King Nebuchadnezzar is the king who witnessed God deliver Shadrach, Meshach and Adednego in the fiery furnace that he ordered them to be killed by. Not only did they survive but the king saw FOUR men walking around in the fire instead of the three who were thrown in. Of course this got the king’s attention and then he decreed no one should speak against “the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.” (See Daniel 3 & 4)
Things in King Nebuchadnezzar’s life took a turn of events one day when he was “at ease in his house and flourishing in his palace.” He had a fearful dream one night and brought Daniel in to interpret the dream. To simplify the dream, it was of a large, strong tree that was beautiful and provided food for all. Then an angel came and chopped down the tree, stripping it bare. The only thing left was the stump with its roots. Daniel told the king,
“It is you, O King…” and Daniel advised the king with,
“Break away from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity,”
Breaking it down:
King Nebuchadnezzar was prideful and full of vanity. As a result, he felt no compassion for those on the “outside.” He had all he needed and that was all that mattered. A beautiful independent tree. King Nebuchadnezzar eventually confesses his pride…but only after the weird stuff. (Weird stuff has a way of humbling us…opening our eyes that we are not in control…and taking God out of our man-made box that confines what He would or wouldn’t do.)
It appears God gave King Neb one year to come to his senses and humble himself…but instead, one day while walking around on his roof he proclaims, “Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?”
While the king was still speaking, the dream he had a year earlier, came to pass…the king had failed to acknowledge everything he had been entrusted with came from God and what God gave him wasn’t for his own glory but to glorify God in his service to others.
Nebuchadnezzar was driven from his kingdom, began eating grass like the cattle, and his hair became like eagle’s feathers and his nails like bird claws. Weird.
Here is what occurs to me as I consider the “weird acts of God.” All God does has purpose. Even the weird stuff. God doesn’t do weird because He needs attention, but sometimes He does weird to get our attention… and we need to pay attention.
For King Nebuchadnezzar the weird stuff was to humble him. To remind him that any accomplishments he achieved was the mercy of God and not his own might or power. Here is how he put it:
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of Heaven, for all His works are true and just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride (Daniel 4:37)
I don’t know what weird things God will do in the future but I do believe He does weird, unexplainable and mysterious things. I have my own weird stories that serve to get my attention and you may have some too. I treasure these stories because they speak of a reality greater than what I see with my physical eyes. My weird stories convince me God lives outside of time, space and human reasoning…and though I don’t need weird stories to believe, the truth is, God does the unexplainable with great purpose and love.
Sometimes we just need to be comfortable and accepting with what we perceive as weird. Sometimes we think people are weird…and sometimes that’s as prideful as King Neb was when he thought his kingdom was all that because of his abilities.
I hope we don’t write weird off because we don’t think God does weird stuff. Nice and respectable is beautiful and also serves the purposes of God’s heart when they inspire us to look to Him, but as far as I can tell, God does that with weird stuff too.
And for us cynics…of course there will always be people who do weird stuff to get attention…but maybe, just maybe we need to give them our attention. Maybe just maybe, their needing our attention is God getting our attention…
“Can you solve the mysteries of God? Can you discover everything about the Almighty? Job 11:7
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” Romans 11:33
“Has the LORD ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice?” Isaiah 40:14