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Bible Pathways - Sept. 16, 2008


September 16

Daniel 4

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Kings come and go in Chapters 4 & 5 but God is still in charge (4:17,25;5:18-23,26). And Daniel is still interpreting! Satan always has those who will do his will. But God also has those who will be put to death but will remain faithful to God. God's enemies deceive the king; the king learns who The True Living God is (6:26; see also 3:29).

Babylon was one of the most glorious cities ever to exist, and Nebuchadnezzar was the first king to begin the "times of the Gentiles." He was now worshipping his idol, the work of his own hands, and himself as creator: Is not this great Babylon, that I have built . . . by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king . . . The kingdom is departed from thee (4:30-31).

The king suddenly began to exhibit the instincts and actions of an animal and was forced from his throne and from human society. He was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen (4:33). Seven years passed by and then God, in his mercy, moved the king to humbly pray. Nebuchadnezzar said: I . . . lifted up mine eyes unto heaven — and with such a look to heaven, God restored the king's mind: Mine understanding returned unto me (4:34). The last thing recorded that Nebuchadnezzar said is a public confession recognizing the One True God: I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honoured Him that liveth for ever, whose . . . kingdom is from generation to generation . . . and He doeth according to His will . . . among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand. . . . Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth . . . those that walk in pride He is able to abase (4:34-37).

In striking contrast, it is recorded about his son (grandson): Belshazzar, (thou) hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven (5:22-23). God had no trouble getting that arrogant king's attention through the miraculous handwriting on the wall. In his hour of crisis, the proud king panicked, and his knees smote one against another (5:6). In fear, he cried for his astrologers and soothsayers, but they were unable to interpret the message.

The God-rejecting Belshazzar finds his parallel in the lives of some today who disregard the Church and desecrate the Lord's day and His tithes. Unless all nations heed the lessons of history, a similar disaster will surely come upon them suddenly. And God has declared: Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

Thought for Today:

When we realize the greatness of God and compare it to the failures of our lives, we will find it easier to turn loose of our prideful attitudes.

Christ Portrayed:

By Daniel — a stone was rolled across the mouth of the den of lions and set with the king's seal (Daniel 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 (Matthew 27:63-66). As Daniel came forth unscathed, so Jesus came forth from the dead proclaiming the saving power of God (Revelation 1:18).

Word Studies:

4:11 the sight thereof to =b> its visibility extended to; 4:16 & 32 seven times =b> seven years; 5:2 father =b> grandfather; 5:5 against the candlestick =b> opposite the lampstand; 5:12 shewing of =b> explanation.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Jack Rose • Bible Pathway Media Producer: Rick Hash • Government Officials: Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO), Rep. Dale Kildee (MI), and Rep. Michael McNulty (NY) • Country: Finland (5.2 million) in northern Europe • Major languages: Finnish and Swedish • Religious freedom • 86% Lutheran; 1% Orthodox; 12% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Trust in the Lord; He is your refuge (Psa. 15:1-4).

Optional Reading: Revelation 21

Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Thessalonians 1:4

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