Friday, June 4, 2010

God's AMAZING Work Through Daniel and Nebuchadnezzer

Hello, again!

For school, I have been doing an inductive Bible Study on Daniel lately. Just to brief you, there are 12 chapters in the book of Daniel. The first six I have not quite figured out the author yet, but they are kind of like a history of Daniel's life. The last six chapters are written by Daniel himself, and are about the various dreams, visions, etc. he's had. Daniel was born around 620 B.C., and when he was about 15 years old, he was taken into exile by the Babylonians, around 605 B.C. The first six chapters of Daniel are the story of what happened to him.

So, after doing an overview, I am now going through the individual chapters of Daniel in great depth. I have just finished Chapter 4, and these are some of my thoughts as I have been studying this the past few weeks...

~Soon after he arrives in Babylon, Daniel becomes a part of a three year program to enter King Nebuchadnezzer's personal service. Part of this was a daily ration of the king's own food. However, Daniel and his 3 friends stood up and dared to not be like everyone else. You need to realize this is not a guy in his thirties who's got everything going for him. This is a teenage kid who's been taken from his home, his family, and his country! Also, to understand why he did this, you need to know something. His home country (Israel) was taken into captivity because they had become like everyone else. Through Moses and the Ten Commandments, God had told the people they were the Chosen Ones and were to represent Him, and not be like everyone else. However, over those many, many years, Israel turned far away from God and became like everyone else. The Babylonian food Daniel decided not to eat could have be considered 'unclean', or another reason might be this: In Babylon, they often gave a libation to their gods, which is basically offering the gods some of the food and wine, so you could not eat the food without honoring the Babylonian gods.
"But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself." [Daniel 1:8]
One thing we can learn is to stand up for what's right. As Christians, we aren't going to be like everyone else. If we are, something's not right. God has called us to be different. To be His light in this dark world.

~The first four chapters of Daniel all take place during the reign of Nebuchadnezzer. After reading through them in depth successively, I have seen God at work through even King Nebuchadnezzer. In the first chapter of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzer definitely does not follow God, or have any interest in Him. He devoutly worships his own Babylonian gods. When the Hebrews were brought into exile, he even changed their names so the names no longer honored the One True God, but honored his own Babylonian gods. In chapter 3, King Nebuchadnezzer set up a golden image to his gods. He even made everyone bow down to it, threatening death by fire (in a furnace) if they did not worship the statue! By the end of chapter 3, however, God is starting to work. After Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego come out of the fire unharmed, Nebuchadnezzer recognizes that there is a God who saved them from the fire. However, he does not go any farther. But then, in chapter 4, God really works. He gives Nebuchadnezzer this crazy dream, and the dream comes true. Nebuchadnezzer actually goes and lives with beasts, his hair grew long, his fingers became claws, and the mind of a beast was given to him! After a "period of time", he returns to sanity, and this is what he says:

"Now I, Nebuchadnezzer, 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 4:37]

Now if that isn't a change of heart, I don't know what is! Is that not amazing how he worked through this heard-hearted Babylonian king, and turned him into a servant of the Most High God?! God is amazing. Totally. There is nothing he cannot do!


I know this has gotten to be a really long post, but I thought those two points were just so incredible I had to share them!

Also, Mrs. Regan at Regan Family Farm is hosting a wonderful giveaway for a skirt pattern and fabric to go with it! So make sure you go to her blog and enter HERE!


1 comment:

The Riefer Fam said...

That's really neat. Good thoughts.
My mama and I have been talking about that Christians, Christ is living IN US. She went up to the mall the other day, and it was so depressing for her to walk through those doors and see all the poor lost people who need the Lord desperately. It just kind of struck her that there probably are not many Christian people there. We know that Christ is everywhere, but it is an amazing thought to know that as she walked tthrough that door, Christ walked in too. And wherever we go, to meet whoever we will meet, Christ will be shining through us. We ARE called to be shinig lights in this dark world. Our Father loves us so much to give such a responsebility as that.
Keep sharing!!!!!!