We left off in Chapter 3 with Shadrack, Meshack, and “Away-we-go” being released from the fire when King Nebbie saw the 4th man in the fire. King Nebbie ACKNOWLEDGED that the God of Daniel and his three friends WAS the Most High God. He ruled that no one could say ANY thing against the God of Daniel, Shad, Mesh, and “Away-we-go.” (If you are just joining the blog.. I am not making fun of Abednego’s name …that is actually how I learned his name so I could then remember all three of them.) 🙂 I’m also not making fun of King Nebuchadneccar’s name….Nebbie is simply shorter to type 🙂 .
Chapter 4 – Did you notice Daniel’s beautiful character? Although he could interpret the dream of King Nebbie he begins by telling the king (verse 19): “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries…but the tree is you….” What forgiveness Daniel showed. And his compassion was most touching!! Everything that Daniel prophesied about King Nebbie CAME TO PASS. But the most interesting part of this to me today was that God through Daniel told Nebbie in verse 27: “Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: RENOUNCE your sins by doing what is right and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be THEN that your prosperity will continue.” Words that struck me in verses 25-27 were:
“UNTIL you acknowledge the Most High is sovereign…”; “your kingdom will be RESTORED…WHEN you…” and “RENOUNCE your sins…”
Unfortunately, Nebbie did not accept the Most High God as Sovereign although he had 12 months to change. So….twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” RUT ROW…. It was all about Nebbie and there was NOTHING about the MOST HIGH GOD in his view of life!!
Result of Nebbie’s pride and his punishment: OUCH!!!
At the end of Nebbie’s time of insanity verse 34 says:… “ I raised my eyes toward heaven and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified HIM who lives forever.” Verses 34-35 are full of PRAISE to the Most High God by King Nebbie!!! WE end chapter 4 with Nebuchadnezzar giving praise, exalting, and glorifying the KING of heaven!!! King Nebbie was RESTORED, but much like us ….. we often have to come to the end of our ropes before we realize we have not given every part of our being to our Most High God. Nebuchadnezzar saw the three men survive the furnace and he saw the fourth man in there with them. He acknowledged God as great, wouldn’t let anyone in the entire kingdom say anything bad about God. However, at that point the Most High God was simply another god he could add to his list of gods because he saw HIS power!!! We saw how Nebbie credited himself with all his success rather than God. God even warned Nebbie through Daniel that he needed to acknowledge the Most High God as THE SOVERIGN GOD so the prophecy would not have to pass. Nebuchadnezzar FINALLY recognized God as the MOST HIGH SOVERIGN GOD. I LOVED this and was reminded by Nebbie that he and I have more in common than I’d like to admit. Don’t misunderstand; Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. However, there are days when I am confronted in what I call less obvious areas —“what is more important?” With the loss of my husband’s job, praying for guidance, praying for a new career for him…and all that goes with that…. I catch myself confessing my sadness at the thought of having to sell our home. And God whispers….”my child whom I love dearly…..it is just a house….I have things you can’t even imagine in store for you….just lean on me.”
As King Nebbie made his proclamation of the Most High Sovereign God, I could not help but think of Job. Do you remember when we read Job? Well if not, this is what Job did and said after the enemy’s first “round” of taking ALL he had just in Chapter 1 of Job verses 20-22:
“At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”
WHOA…talk about giving thanks and an attitude of gratitude when all earthly possessions have been taken away!!!
Chapter 5 – As we read this chapter, it is important to be aware of the fact that approximately 66 years have passed from the beginning of Chapter 1 to the beginning of Chapter 5. Daniel was taken into captivity when he was around 16 so now he is about 82 and King Nebbie is deceased. This is why we hear of the names of the new kings.
Sometimes I am amazed at what is actually in Scripture like this drunken orgy taking place in this book of Daniel (I KNOW….jaw dropper!!) And NOT ONLY were they having a drunken orgy …but these people WERE USING THE GOBLETS AND TEMPLE ITEMS AT THIS PARTY!!! OH MY HEAVENS!!! It makes me painfully aware of how much people without God do not change. And then we read the phrase: “the writing is on the wall”….. bet you didn’t know you were quoting Scripture when you said this did you???
Can you IMAGINE the look on the faces of these people when they saw FINGERS from a HUMAN HAND come from NOWHERE and ATTACHED to NOTHING but writing words on the wall???? I don’t quite imagine that these people had clothing on when all this began to happen (as the picture shows) and the wall was most likely the LAST thing they were looking at….but GOD certainly got their attention didn’t HE?? BUT The King saw it….turned pale….sought advice. As my pastor just said this past weekend….there are a LOT of big BUTS in the Bible and they often mean something BIG for us. 🙂
Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin!
No one could understand the writing on the wall. The King sent for Daniel (after he had tried all HIS wise men, wizards, astrologers, etc) and lo and behold….Daniel could give him the meaning and it wasn’t good…..ALL because he went back to serving ALL the godssssss rather than the ONE TRUE GOD as his father King Nebbie had. Interestingly, in the research I have done it appears that Belshazzar was from the lineage of King Nebbie. The Belshazzar in this chapter according to different commentaries, the meaning of the original Hebrew word used for father, and archeological artifacts was also the son of a Belshazzar (all in Nebuchadnezzar’s line of descendants.) The father apparently was out in battle and left his son in the castle to manage things there. The reason I bring this up is because when Belshazzar tells Daniel if he can solve the writing then he will become the third highest in the kingdom it is because both Belshazzars were co-regents (father- first, son- second, and Daniel third.)
Chapter 6 – Belshazzar died and now we see Darius a Mede, at the age of 62 take over the Kingdom. (Pay attention to the Statue Dream)
Daniel at this point is in his mid to late 80s and has served two Kings if Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar). NOW the Head of the statue fell to the Chest and Medo-Persia is the Empire. Darius, a good leader, did not think his decree would hurt Daniel. His decree was a trick. The administrators were jealous and set the whole thing up…..and NOW we read the famous story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den!! I always thought Daniel was still a fairly young man when he was placed in the lion’s den…..but he had some age on him!!! KNOW that these lions were STARVED and abused so they would viciously attack, mutulate, destroy, and eat whatever was thrown in that room with them. BUT…..you read how the story ended!!! TALK about God’s intervention!!! WOW 🙂
“For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.
He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.”
So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Do you recall reading the name of Cyrus before? We read about him WAY back in Isaiah……300 YEARS before Daniel!!!! PROPHECY FULFILLED!!!!
Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd
and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”
and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.” ‘
”This is what the LORD says to his anointed,
to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
so that gates will not be shut:
I will go before you
and will level the mountains ;
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
KNOW that OUR God is a BIG God… BIGGER than all we can imagine or dream of!! He has, and continues to go to great lengths to reveal HIMSELF to us…. Just look at the “players” in this Scripture!!! And look at what HE did for us when HE sent Jesus to pay the ransom for ALL our sins!!!
God’s timing is always perfect. My timing and the timing of events in my life have made me question if I should continue writing the blog since things have prevented me from writing daily. However, many of you have sent me wonderful notes of encouragement and GOD…the GOD of all CREATION loves me so much that in the midst of all my weaknesses….here we are reading the book of Daniel right at Thanksgiving!! I am personally, deeply touched at all that Daniel and the Book of Daniel reminds me to be thankful for/of. This is such a wonderful Book to be reading right here at Thanksgiving.
I thank God for the Book of Daniel and for each of you reading the blog but most importantly for HIS Word.. you who are reading the WORD of God and sharing with me……. THANK YOU!!!!!
BTW… PLEASE forgive the HUGE font size in this post. I have done everything I know to do to make it smaller and it will not go smaller. I’ve shut down my entry three times and started over, made sure my original has no special fonts and it does not….but I am doing something to make it act crazy… so I apologize. I simply thank God that I was able to make the post. God bless each of you!!
Sharing HIS love,