Daniel 1 -- 3
Soon after their capture, Daniel and other selected Israelite captives were given new names which would identify them as citizens of Babylon. This was an attempt to remove their identity as children of God. If they remained loyal to the God of Abraham, they would live as His servants. It was the king's intent that these select men be taught to think and live like Babylonians. Their new names would be a constant reminder of the Babylonian gods. Daniel means "God is my Judge," but his Babylonian name Belteshazzar means "Prince of Baal." As Daniel heard his name called day after day, it was intended to remind him that the good times, comfort, self-esteem, and high position he enjoyed in his new society were all the results of him being "the Prince of Baal."
These select Israelites were even separated from fellowship with the people of God and given a three-year training course in the customs and language of their new country. Thus Satan attempted to seduce them into the lifestyle of the world. Then in time they too would eventually serve in the king's palace (Daniel 1:4). But, the people of God think differently than the people of the world concerning the reason for living because their lives are God-centered.
In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, by which his spirit was troubled. . . . the king commanded . . . the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. . . . The Chaldeans answered . . . There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's dream (2:1-2,10). But, after Daniel and his friends prayed concerning this secret, he said to the king: Blessed be the Name of God for ever and ever . . . There is a God in Heaven that reveals secrets, and makes known . . . what shall be in the latter days (2:18,20,28).
Daniel revealed to Nebuchadnezzar that the giant image in his dream represented kingdoms that would rule the world during the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24). King Nebuchadnezzar was represented by the head . . . of fine gold (Daniel 2:32). His breast and his arms of silver symbolized the Medo-Persian Empire, which would become the next dominating world power; this was followed by the Grecian Empire, which was represented by his belly and his thighs of brass. The fourth Empire, his legs of iron, and his feet part of iron and part of clay (2:33), depicted the Roman Empire, which will be revived and climax with the coming one-world government to be ruled by the Antichrist. He in turn will be destroyed at the return of Jesus Christ, the King of kings, who will set up His Kingdom which shall never be destroyed (2:44). Jesus Christ was portrayed as a Stone . . . cut out without (human) hands. . . . and the Stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth (2:34-35).
Babylon and Jerusalem represent the two cities to which men and women belong and symbolize the two loyalties of which Scripture speaks -- two gates, two ways, and two masters. Each day we need to ask ourselves: "Am I living according to God's Word, or am I living according to the ways of this world?" As Jesus said: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve (both) God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).
As the Stone that smote the image (Daniel 2:35). The Stone is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:11; Eph. 2:20; I Pet. 2:4-8).
1:4 Children means Young men; had ability means was competent; stand means serve; 1:5 nourishing means cared for and trained; 1:10 liking means in appearance; 1:12 pulse means vegetables; 2:1 sleep brake from him means was unable to sleep; 2:31 terrible means magnificent, awesome, frightening; 2:35 place means trace; 3:16 are not careful means are at no loss, unconcerned; 3:19 the form of his visage was changed means his facial expression was changed to antagonism; wont means usually; 3:21 hosen means tunic or undergarments; 3:27 coats changed means coats were unscorched; 3:28 changed means defied or altered.
Government Official: Rep. Joe Barton (TX) · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KBCL-AM, Shreveport, LA · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast sponsored by Floyd B. Peters · Country: Comoros (478,000) in the Mozambique Channel of the Indian Ocean · Major languages: Shaafi Islam (Swahili dialect) and Malagasy · Limited religious freedom · 99.7% Muslim; .2% Roman Catholic/Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray without anger or resentment in your heart (I Timothy 2:8).
Memory Verse for the Week: