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Bible Pathways - September 15, 2005

September 15


Read Daniel 1


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 of royal blood were assigned new names which would identify them as citizens of Babylon. Their Hebrew names, which they received at their circumcision, had something of God, or Jah, in them. The name Daniel means God is my Judge; Hananiah — The grace of the Lord; Mishael — He that is the strong God; Azariah — The Lord is a help. To make them forget the God of their fathers, the guide of their youth, they gave them names that savor Chaldean idolatry. Belteshazzar signifies the keeper of the hidden treasures of Bel; Shadrach — The inspiration of the sun, which the Chaldeans worshiped; Meshach — Of the goddess Shach, under which name Venus was worshiped; Abed-nego — The servant of the shining fire, which they worshiped also. Thus, though they would not force them from the religion of their fathers to that of their conquerors, yet they did what they could to wean them from their faith in the One True God. Though they suffered for their fathers' sins, they were preferred for their own merits, and the land of their captivity was made more comfortable to them than the land of their nativity would have been at this time.


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. As Daniel heard his new name called day after day, it was intended to remind him that the comfort, esteem, and high position he enjoyed in his new society were all the result of his being the Prince of Bel. The book of Daniel shows that, although the king could change the names of the young men, he could not change their characters.


Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled. . . the king commanded to call . . . the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. . . . The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter (Daniel 2:1-2,10). But, after Daniel and his friends prayed, the secret was revealed unto Daniel in a night vision and he proclaimed to the king that there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh 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. His breast and his arms of silver symbolized the Medo-Persian Empire, which would become the next dominating world power. The Grecian Empire, represented by his belly and his thighs of brass came next. The fourth empire, with his legs of iron, his 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; compare Acts 1:7).


Christ Revealed:


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).


Word Studies:


1:4 Children = Young men; 2:1 sleep brake from him = he was unable to sleep; 2:31 terrible = dreadful, awesome; 3:19 the form of his visage was changed = his facial expression was changed; 3:21 hosen = tunic or undergarments.


Prayer Needs:


Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer · Staff: Rita Guerra · Government Officials: Rep. Joe Barton (TX), Rep. Mark Kirk (IL), and Gov. Bill Richardson (NM) · Country: New Zealand (4 million) two large islands southeast of Australia · Major languages: English and Maori · Religious freedom · 51% Protestant; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Keep the Word of God and pray to Him who has given you an open door into His presence (Revelation 3:8).


Optional Reading: Revelation 20


Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:12

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