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  • Allen Domelle

Leave the Stump

Daniel 4:23

And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

Nebuchadnezzar experienced much success because God used him. However, his success caused pride to enter his heart. Nebuchadnezzar’s pride caused God to pronounce judgment against him and exiled him to roam the wilderness like an animal until he humbled himself to give God glory. God used a tree as an illustration to represent Nebuchadnezzar. God told the watcher to hew the tree down and destroy it. This was God’s judgment. Yet, in God’s judgment, there is one phrase that shows His mercy. God said, yet leave the stump. In other words, God still had mercy in judgment and desired to use Nebuchadnezzar again.

One of God’s greatest attributes is His mercy. Though God must punish sin, He never punishes to destroy but to bring back to usefulness. There are times when God completely destroys someone, but not until He has shown mercy many times. I think of Pharaoh in Egypt that God showed mercy in judgment time and time again, but it was after Pharaoh abused God’s mercy that He finally destroyed Pharaoh. I think of Samson that God showed mercy over and over again, and even when God sent Samson to the dungeon with his eyes plucked out, God’s mercy was seen when Samson’s hair began to grow again. It was God’s mercy that did not destroy Peter after he denied the church, his faith, and his God, and it was God’s mercy that brought Peter back to be used mightily by God.

We must be careful never to abuse God’s mercy. God’s mercy in chastening is not permission to continue in sin, but an opportunity to repent and do right. Just because God lightens up on His chastening does not mean you should continue in sin. God leaves the stump so that you can grow again. God leaves the stump because He still has a purpose for your life. Never abuse God’s mercy by continuing in sin because the God that leaves the stump can also remove it.

Moreover, if you have experienced God’s chastening hand, let His mercy of leaving the stump remind you that He can still use you. Just because you don't have the whole tree does not mean that the tree cannot be used again. Yes, sin has caused your life to be hewn down, but God left the stump with a hope that you will let His mercy be the catalyst to come back to Him and do right so your life can be used again. God does desire to use you despite what you have done; therefore, don’t go back to the same sin that caused you to lose everything when you experience God’s mercy.

Furthermore, just because someone has fallen in sin does not mean they cannot be used again. Too many believers have tried to destroy the stump that God left after the tree was hewn down. God left that stump so that the tree could grow again. God left that believer with hope that He is very capable of using them again. Don't be so evil that you try to destroy the stump of God’s mercy by trying to completely destroy the fallen sinner. You should be as merciful and hopeful as God that the fallen sinner will come back to God so that He can use them again.


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