OYB November 26
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Nov 25
2:27 Daniel replied, "There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king's secret. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets... I want to learn many secrets! But with learning secrets comes responsibility!
2:30 And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart. I surely appreciate Daniel's humility. His life shows that it is not false-Daniel is just like Joseph. He sees God's sovereignty and knows he is in the place for a Divine purpose. He could be bitter and obstinate, having been brought into the land as an exile slave basically. But instead Daniel, like Joseph, puts his heart and soul into doing his very best in order to be used for a great purpose of impacting the whole world!
2:32-33 The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze, its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay. This statue, as we find out, is symbolic for the kingdoms of the world from the time of Daniel until the second coming of Christ.
Gold=Babylonian Empire (Nebuchadnezzar) 605-539 B.C.
Silver=Medes and Persian Empire (Cyrus) 539-331 B.C.
Bronze=Greek Empire (Alexander the Great) 331-168 B.C.
Iron=Roman Empire (the Caesars) 168 B.C. - 476 A.D.
Iron and clay=Perhaps the religious political power (Roman) that assumed power after the fall of the Roman Empire, 476 A.D. - 2nd Advent
2:34-35 As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth. We recently discussed that in Revelation, mountains and islands can be symbolic for rulers and powers. Here we see evidence of this in a beautiful Messianic prophecy! All kingdoms will come to an end, without a trace, except the one Kingdom that takes over the world in peace and safety. Halleluiah. Can I get an amen?
2:44-45 "During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold."
I couldn't help but notice the parallels between King Neb and the antichrist.
His kingdom was Babylon (both a physical and a spiritual kingdom/world system that is significant in the Bible and destroyed in Revelation by Jesus).
Had the greatest kingdom of all time covering the earth.
The entire world ate from his hand; he was all-powerful.
Exalted himself above God.
Was turned into a beast for 7 years.
Was driven from his kingdom and turned into a beast for seven periods of time (years).
If you think WAY back to our studies in Ezra and Nehemiah...King Neb is followed in his reign by King Cyrus and King Cyrus was decidedly a Christ type in our readings! So you've got the antichrist immediately followed by the Christ-type (see Ezra 1:1-2; Is. 44:28, 45:1).
3:25 "Look!" Nebuchadnezzar shouted. "I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!" This reminded me of Revelation 2:11:
`He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death [lake of fire].' In Rev. 20:6, it says that the second death has no power over those in the first resurrection. Those who have overcome like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, can be in the fire but not harmed by it. And remember, God is the consuming fire! Overcomers can be in His presence and not get burned.
4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. When in doubt, measure all your works by the "Law of Love." It frequently clears up confusion for me on important dilemmas.
4:10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Each of us in our own way need to be pouring out our lives through our "special gifts." First we must identify our gift. Mine are teaching, exhortation, especially through writing...and I doubt I'll get any argument there. We are to pour out our gifts on those whom God has placed in our circle of influence--our children, our spouses, our friends, people we meet, if God has given us ministry--you get the idea.
4:11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies... If you think about it, and you and I are the "body of Christ," in everything we do, we must realize what a responsibility this is, and try to do everything as if Christ was speaking and acting through us.
4:12-13 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. Paul is saying here that the greater degree of trials and suffering will be the greater degree of glory revealed in us, hence, rejoicing. Papa is in for a load of glory and rejoicing!
5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. The concept of me being perfected, confirmed, strengthened, and established is incomprehensible to this little mortal pea brain. But I like the idea. That is my hope on these terrible, rotten, no good, very bad days of this life. A little chocolate once in awhile doesn't hurt either.