Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 10, 2017

The Great Interrupter

(5 Minute Read)

Do you like to be interrupted? Few people do. Rarely do we express gratitude for an interruption. Hardly ever do we think, “I’m so glad he interrupted me.”

Why do we hate interruptions so much? Is it because we are too prideful? Do we think what we are saying or doing is more important than our interrupter’s contribution?

The Great Interrupter of history is God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. Yahweh specializes in divine interruptions which change the course of history. I am thankful for His interruptions. Here are ten of Yahweh’s big interruptions recorded in the Bible.

1. Noah’s Flood

Yahweh interrupted man’s wickedness with Noah’s Flood. Yahweh interrupted Noah’s life by assigning him the Ark Project. This Flood interruption changed the course of history by destroying the world of Noah’s day (2 Peter 3:6).

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. … Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood… (Genesis 6:5, 13-14)
Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. … The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. … All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. (Genesis 7:17-23)

2. Tower of Babel

At Babel Yahweh interrupted man’s disobedient refusal to fill the earth after the Flood, by confusing tongues and dispersing mankind across the earth. Yahweh’s Tower of Babel interruption changed the course of history as a result of the global population dispersal and the many new languages.

Tower of Babel

The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 11:5-9)

3. Abraham

Yahweh interrupted Abraham’s happy life in Ur and Haran and told him to move to Canaan. This interruption changed the course of history by leading to the founding of the Hebrew nation.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you. And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great. And so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. (Genesis 12:1-5)

4. Moses & the Burning Bush

Yahweh interrupted Moses with a Burning Bush while he was quietly tending sheep in the desert, in order to commission him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. This Burning Bush interruption changed the course of history for millions of Israelites.

Moses & the Burning Bush

Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. … God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:1-10)

5. Pharaoh

Yahweh interrupted Pharaoh with Ten Plagues and destroyed Egypt, to show who was God. This interruption changed the course of history by releasing Israel from Egypt.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. For this time I will send all My plagues on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth. For if by now I had put forth My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, you would then have been cut off from the earth. But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth.” (Exodus 9:13-16)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.” (Exodus 10:1-2)

6. King David

Yahweh interrupted the life of a shepherd boy and transformed him into Israel’s greatest king and the author of half the psalms. This interruption changed the course of history for David son of Jesse, for Israel, and for everyone who reads the Old Testament.

“Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. … Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’” (2 Samuel 7:8-9, 16)

7. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon

Yahweh interrupted Nebuchadnezzar’s glorious reign with a period of insanity until he recognized that the Most High is the supreme ruler over mankind. This interruption changed the course of history through humbling the ruler of the most powerful nation in the world.

Beastly Nebuchadnezzar

All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. The king reflected and said, ‘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 word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’ Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
“But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; … so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”
(Daniel 4:28-37)

8. Mary

Yahweh sent the angel Gabriel to interrupt Mary in her plans to marry Joseph and settle down to a peaceful family life as the wife of a carpenter. Gabriel informed her that she was to conceive and give birth to the Son of God before intimacy with Joseph. This interruption changed the course of history by resulting in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Savior of the world.

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:26-35)

Statue of Peter in Capernaum

Statue of Peter in Capernaum

9. Peter & John

Jesus of Nazareth interrupted Peter and John on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. They expected to be fishermen, but Jesus interrupted and transformed them into fishers of men. This Sea of Galilee interruption changed the course of history, resulting in men who led the founding of Christianity and wrote Gospels and epistles that are still revered two thousand years later.

Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. (Matthew 4:18-22)

10. Saul of Tarsus

Jesus Christ interrupted Saul’s murderous persecution of believers with a blinding divine appearance on the Damascus Road. He transformed Saul into the Apostle to the Gentiles and the explicator of the theology of Christianity. This Damascus Road interruption changed the course of history resulting in the writing of half the New Testament.

As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. (Acts 9:3-8)

The Great Interrupter sovereignly watches over the earth and over all mankind. He interrupts in big and small ways to effect His perfect will (Ephesians 1:9-11).

Questions to Ponder

1. How has the Great Interrupter interrupted your life?
2. When facing an unexpected shift in the expected pattern of your life, what difference would it make to bow to the Great Interrupter?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday May 10, 2017 A.D.

“But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’
At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”
(Daniel 4:34-37)

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Responses

  1. Another excellent article. Thanks for sharing it.

    Like


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