Sept. 16, 2009
Read Daniel 4
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Daniel interprets: Results (4:34-37). Writing on the wall. The importance of the Holiness of God (5:23-24). Jealousy brings attack on Daniel (6:6-9), who trusts God and is honored (6:10,22,28). God punishes (6:24). God praised (6:26-27).
Nebuchadnezzar had conquered nation after nation and built the most magnificent capital in the world. He became exceedingly proud of all his accomplishments and boasted: Is not this great Babylon, that I have built . . . for the honour of my majesty? . . . there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O King Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee (4:30-31).
At that moment God caused Nebuchadnezzar to lose his ability to reason. He was forced from his throne and ate grass like an ox for the next seven years (4:32-33). At the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and . . . praised and honoured Him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion . . . Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of Heaven . . . and those that walk in pride He is able to abase (4:34-37).
Pride also brought down Belshazzar near the end of the 70-year-long Jewish exile. At that time, he was entertaining the thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand (5:1) from the sacred golden vessels taken from the Lord's Temple in Jerusalem and in a drunken condition, he and his guests praised the gods of gold, and of silver (5:3-4).
Suddenly there was a miraculous handwriting on the wall. In fear, he called in his astrologers to interpret the message, but they were speechless. The queen reminded Belshazzar: There is a man . . . whom the King Nebuchadnezzar thy father . . . made master of the . . . Chaldeans . . . let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation (5:10-12). Belshazzar quickly called for Daniel who boldly proclaimed: Thou . . . hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of Heaven . . . God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it (5:22-26).
The actions of Belshazzar compare with those of some today who have been materially blessed above others but who disregard the Word of God and desecrate the Lord's day and His tithe by using both for selfish interest.
God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6; I Pet. 5:5)).
Thought for Today:
Blessings are upon the head of the just (Prov. 10:6).
By Daniel — a stone was rolled across the mouth of the den of lions and set with the king's seal (Dan. 6:16-17). There was a stone rolled across the mouth of the cave where Jesus was buried and it too was set with an official seal (Matt. 27:63-66). As Daniel came forth unscathed, proclaiming the power of God to save, so, too, Jesus came forth from the dead proclaiming the saving power of God (Rev. 1:18).
4:11 the sight thereof to = its visibility extended to; 4:16 & 32 seven times = seven years; 5:5 against the candlestick = opposite the lampstand; 5:12 shewing of = rare ability of revealing the meaning of baffling riddles.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Staff: Karen Hawkins • Government Officials: Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO), Rep. Dale Kildee (MI), and Rep. Eric Massa (NY) • Country: Comoros (563,000) 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: Sing praises to the Lord (Ps. 30:4).
Optional Reading: Revelation 21
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 11:30