Sunday, December 5, 2010

Daniel In Parallel

I'd decided to stop writing this blog because of lack of material and lack of time. No sense in keeping up something that isn't being contributed to, right?

But I ran across something in reading Daniel that needed to be shared.

Who knows, maybe this will launch me back into writing regularly. Hope so, anyway.


In Sunday school we are covering the book of Daniel via the "Be Resolute" book by Warren Wiersbe. It's a good deep study behind what makes Daniel tick, along with expounding on what God was doing behind the scenes.

We just finished chapter 4 of Daniel, discussing the last days of Nebuchadnezzar, with the culmination of his 7 year discipline for being such a prideful beast of a man, and basically making a profession of faith, before his son Belshazaar took the throne.

The study up to this point took about 3 months, so it was a very in-depth look, just at the relationship between Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar.

I am also doing daily bible readings using the Our Daily Bread devotional (free, if you're interested here's a link). On top of the devotional itself, centering on a specific passage, there is a set of chapters that will get you through the Bible in one year.

Surprise! Today's reading is Daniel, chapters 1 and 2.

I went into this thinking, "Yeah, maybe there's something God wants me to see that I didn't pick up on in the previous 3 months of going through it." And you know what, there was something in there I didn't expect.


At the end of chapter 4, the following events have happened:

  • Daniel and his three friends impacted the guards when turning down royal food in favor of water and vegetables, proving their allegiance to God was more important that defiling themselves with food sacrificed to idols
  • They also avoided being killed when they were able to describe and interpret the king's dream (when no one else could)
  • Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael declined to worship the king and were thrown into a furnace, and they survived
  • Nebuchadnezzar was challenged by God with another dream in which his pride was going to be punished, and it was for 7 years.
  • When the 7 years was done, Nebuchadnezzar finally gave glory to God, completely, acknowledging that He is in control of all things. This appears to be as close to a profession of faith as you can find in the Old Testament.

You notice things when reading through a second time. Starting off, Nebuchadnezzar was being used by God to punish the Israelites, while at the same time, setting him up to be affected by a group of godly men in a way that would change the most powerful kingdom ever to rule.

Let that sink in. God used Nebuchadnezzar to punish Israel, while at the same time getting Daniel and his three friends in a position to positively affect Babylon. God does cool things like that a lot.

Just thought I'd share.

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