Read Daniel 1 -- 3
In Today's Reading:
Daniel rejects king's food; Nebuchadnezzar's dream interpreted by Daniel; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego saved out of fiery furnace
Soon after their capture, Daniel and other selected Israelite captives were assigned new names which would identify them as citizens of Babylon. This was an attempt to remove their identities as children of God. The king's intent was that these select men be taught to think and live like Babylonians. Daniel means God is my Judge, but his Babylonian name Belteshazzar means Prince of Baal. As Daniel heard his new name called day after day, it was intended to remind him that the comfort, self-esteem, and high position he enjoyed in his new society were all the result of his being the Prince of Baal.
Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled. . . The king commanded to call . . . the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. . . . The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter (Daniel 2:1-2,10). But, after Daniel and his friends prayed, the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision and he proclaimed to the king that there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets, and makes known to the King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days (2:18-19,28).
Daniel revealed to Nebuchadnezzar that the giant image in his dream represented successive kingdoms that would rule the world. The head was of fine gold and represented Nebuchadnezzar. Its breast and its arms of silver symbolized the Medo-Persian Empire, which would become the next dominating world power. The Grecian Empire, represented by its belly and its thighs of brass came next. The fourth empire, with its legs of iron, its feet part of iron and part of clay (2:32-33), depicted the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire will be revived as a one-world government in the end times. But it will be destroyed at the return of Christ, Whose kingdom shall never be destroyed (2:44). The exact details may not be clear, but it is vitally important to be prepared for the soon coming of our King. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known (I Corinthians 13:12).
Babylon and Jerusalem symbolize two diverse loyalties — just as our Lord spoke of two gates, two ways, and two masters. Are we living according to God's Word or 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 God and mammon (worldy riches) (Matthew 6:24).
As the Stone that smote the image (Daniel 2:35). The Stone is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; I Peter 2:4-8).
1:4 Children = Young men; 2:1 sleep broke from him = he was unable to sleep; 2:31 terrible = awesome, terrifying, fear-inspiring; 3:19 the form of his visage was changed = his facial expression was changed; 3:21 hosen = tunic or undergarments.
BP Staff: Karen Hawkins · Pray for Dr. Samuel Thomas, Hopegivers International — Ministries of Emmanuel, Kota, North India; Hindi and Malayalam Coordinator for Bible Pathway · Government Officials: Rep. Joe Barton (TX) and Rep. Mark Kirk (IL) · Country: Slovenia (2 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian · Freedom of religion · 81% Roman Catholic; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray to be content with and thankful for the things you have (Hebrews 13:5).
Optional Reading: Revelation 20
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 10:10