GOOD MORNING SIBLINGS!
Today’s readings are Daniel 4-6
So much is going on in Daniel that we are only hitting the highlights on much of it but rest assured, each time we come around the bend the Father will show us more. And that is why, when we finish reading through the entire Bible, without even sitting it down, we turn right back to the front and start again.
Chapter 4 begins a short detour in Daniel as it is narrated by King Nebuchadnezzar himself. Note in the first sentence that he is addressing the entire world.
In Daniel 4:8 we see how Daniel’s Babylonian name was chosen, a far cry from the meaning of his Hebrew name. Remember, we went over the meaning of his name in yesterday’s notes.
The dream scared Nebuchadnezzar but he first tried his own people for interpretations. They could not help. When Daniel arrives, Nebuchadnezzar expresses clear relief in his words “At last, Daniel came before me…” Daniel 4:8
He could tell by Daniel’s reaction that the interpretation was not good. Daniel offered a way out, which is the same way we have as well.
Therefore, o king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, break off your sins by practicing righteousness and your inequities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may be perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity. Daniel 4:27
This is a call to repentance. In our time, we often skip over that step, which is of great importance to the Father. We need to read over this a few times and really consider each admonishment, each word, to make sure we’re not skimming over opportunities to let go of a behavior that is keeping us separated from the Father.
However, Nebuchadnezzar did not follow Daniel’s council and 12 months later, he went too far.
“Is not this great Babylon which I have built by my mighty power for the royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” Daniel 4:30
While the words were still in his mouth, a voice came from Heaven. A VOICE FROM HEAVEN Y’all!
31 While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32 and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” 33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws. Daniel 4:30-33
The mercy and grace of the Father was overwhelming towards Nebuchadnezzar. He sent clear prophetic warnings and Godly counsel via men he trusted and yet he still did not heed the generous wisdom given to him. And so the hammer comes down, as it always will, when we choose our ways over His time and again. Eventually, judgement comes. In this case, though, the Father – according to His will and for His good purpose, chose to show even more mercy to Nebuchadnezzar.
Nebuchadnezzar was afflicted with a spiritual ailment that manifested itself by him living out in the elements for a period of time, senseless and akin to a wild animal.
How long was Nebuchadnezzar afflicted? For seven periods of time. We do not know if these were years, months, or seasons.
At the end of that period of Time, Nebuchadnezzar blessed YHWH and it is a BEAUTIFUL blessing at the end of chapter 4.
34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to 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,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”
At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. Daniel 4:34-37
Moving into chapter 5, we come to a king whose name is almost identical to Daniel’s Babylonian name. Daniel’s name (in the ESV translation, which I use for my notes in this group) is Belteshazzar and the king’s name is Belshazzar. If your translation is similar, just look for the “t” to know it is Daniel.
We open with King Belshazzar ordering the gold and silver vessels that had been taken from the temple in Jerusalem to be brought to them for he and his lords to drink wine from. As if that were bad enough, he piles on blasphemy towards YHWH by then drinking to and praising the many gods they worshipped. (Daniel 5:4).
It is important to remember, though only a sidenote that has no real bearing on this king because he was not a follower of YHWH to begin with, that the Father tells us how He wants to be worshipped. He has never said, at any point, that we can just worship Him however we want. On the contrary, He has given us examples of what not to do and told us clearly, time and again, not to worship Him as others worship their gods or even as we ourselves have worshipped our false gods in the past.
But I digress.
Daniel 5:4-9 Each time I read about the disembodied hand writing those words on the wall I find myself holding my breath – the moment is so intense and I can just picture it in my mind.
In Daniel 5:17 When Daniel turns down the offer of gifts, he is clearly demonstrating that he has no need for worldly treasures and knows that YHWH will provide. This statement also shows his disdain for the king and what he has done with the vessels as this was quite a spectacle and Daniel knew exactly what was going on.
3 but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored. Daniel 5:23
Man, that’s intense. He dies that very night. His opportunity for repentance having passed.
Another king gone, but YHWH remains eternal.
Under the rule of Darius we see Daniel rising through the ranks yet again. “Because an excellent spirit was in him.” (Daniel 6:3, ESV) Excellent, indeed!
Daniel walked in the ways of the Father, was careful to obey His laws, and lived according to the word and so when his enemies sought to find fault in him, they could find none. Daniel 6:4.
Is this possible in our day and time? Most will say “no”. But YHWH says it is and so does our Messiah. Not of our own accord, but with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. So our answer depends on who we put our trust in.
And so, with Daniel’s enemies unable to find fault in the servant of the Most High, they moved on to the king and the first place they struck was his ego. Although we will see that Darius held Daniel dear, the weakness of his ego got him in a situation that caused him to inadvertently turn on Daniel.
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.
We see that Daniel was immediately aware of this decree and was no doubt distressed at the news. What did he do? He went to his home to pray to the Father. First thing. He didn’t call a bunch of friends asking their advice first. He didn’t post about it on Facebook, and He didn’t request an audience with the king –He went straight to the only one who could actually help him – the Father.
A wonderful example. We also notice that this was not new behavior. This is how He had been serving and worshipping the Father and He continued on in The Way (play on words there).
Speaking of examples, many use this passage of Daniel praying three times per day to say that is how often we are to pray. Some even go so far as to say it is commanded to pray three times a day.
Two things about this:
1. In a simple reading of the text we clearly see no commandment so that is an outside opinion being held up as equal to commandments of YHWH.
2. I don’t know about y’all but my daily prayers are pretty much like open line Friday up in here, only it’s Open Line Monday, Open Line Tuesday, Open Line Wednesday…. I need to pray all day ERRRR day. Three times just won’t cut it. Of course, I do have special time set aside times as well.
We see the king grieving and petitioning the Father by fasting and praying. The next day, YHWH would be praised by another former idol worshipping king.
Something to think on today
Are we living our lives in a way that pleases the Father?
How much focus of our focus is on what pleases us vs what pleases Him?
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!