TODAY’S READING: DANIEL 4-6

 

OVERVIEW:

Nebuchadnezzar’s tree dream and Daniel’s interpretation; Belshazzar (grandson of Nebuchadnezzar) and the handwriting of God on the wall; Daniel and the lion’s den.           

 

HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:

In chapter 4, Nebuchadnezzar once again has a dream.  This time the dream was about a huge tree overshadowing the entire earth that was ordered to be cut down by an angelic voice.  Once again the king summoned his wise men to no avail, for they could not interpret the dream.  The king then called on Daniel, the man of God, who proceeded to tell the king the interpretation, but not in a careless fashion, for this dream dealt with the King’s personal future.  The explanation of the dream is not difficult.  The tree represented Nebuchadnezzar and his mighty kingdom, and this tree must be cut down because Nebuchadnezzar did not give God the glory even after all that he had seen God do (see Dan. 1-3).  But not only would Nebuchadnezzar lose his position, he would have to live like a beast for seven years until God would once again restore the throne back to him.  God’s reason for doing this was to teach Nebuchadnezzar humility.  Yet after Daniel revealed this interpretation to th!

e king, he still did not repent of his boasting ways, so the dream was realized in Nebuchadnezzar’s life.  For seven years he lived like a beast until verse 34 when “he lifted up his eyes unto heaven … and blessed the most high”.  This chapter is essentially the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion!  Verse 37 should be a warning to all of us, for “those that walk in pride [God] is able to abase”.  This chapter also happens to be a foreview of what will happen to the nations in the latter days.  Just about the time that they will be boasting of their greatness and glory, God will send seven years of awful judgment upon them and bring them low.  Then, at the end of the tribulation period, Christ will return to earth and establish His kingdom.  The nations that have trusted Him will enter into the glorious kingdom; the others will be cast out.

 

In chapter 5, Belshazzzar is now king, and Daniel is about 80 years old.  Belshazzzar had obviously not been impressed with his grandfather’s decision to worship the one true God of heaven, for he was throwing a party in honor of one of the Babylonian gods!  Yet he was not content to just drink wine to his gods, he wanted to blaspheme the God of the Jews (and the whole earth) as well.  So he had the sacred temple vessels brought in to be used at this idolatrous, blasphemous feast (5:3-4).  This is when a hand appeared and wrote on the wall causing Belshazzzar to shake in fear (vs. 6).  As usual, the king’s experts could not explain this handwriting on the wall and this made the king even more concerned (vs. 9).  The queen had to tell Belshazzzar about a man named Daniel who most certainly could help him with the interpretation of the writing.  Belshazzzar obviously did not know him or his God!  Once again, Daniel gives the king the interpretation …”numbered, weighed, divided!

”.  Belshazzzar’s days were numbered and his time was up; he had been weighed on God’s scales and found wanting; now his kingdom would be taken from him and divided by the Medes and Persians.  Did Belshazzzar believe Daniel?  There is no evidence of repentance or concern on his part.  He kept his promise to Daniel and made him third ruler as though his kingdom would continue forever!  Yet that same night, Belshazzzar was slain and the Medes and Persians took the kingdom just as God had said (5:30-31)!

 

Chapter 6 deals with a day in the life of the Prime Minister of the Medo-Persian empire …Daniel.  God had honored Daniel’s faithfulness through many different kings and kingdoms; but the wicked hate the righteous (ever since Cain and Abel), and that fact is proven again by the events in this chapter.  The other leaders of the land conspire against Daniel and get the king to pass law prohibiting any man from petitioning any God or man, save the king, for 30 days.  This, of course, was a trap, for they knew Daniel prayed without ceasing to his God (6:10).  After hearing of this new law, Daniel continues to do what he had always done… pray.  For this, the king was forced to cast Daniel into the lion’s den against his own wishes, for he loved Daniel (6:14)!  The law could not be changed, even by the king himself (6:15).  So, Daniel was placed into the lion’s den and King Darius fasted and did not sleep the whole night long.  When morning came, he ran to the den of lions crying o!

ut Daniel’s name.  Sure enough, God delivered Daniel and the king was very glad (6:23).  The men that accused Daniel were cast into the lion’s den and killed.  Daniel went on to prosper throughout the reign of Darius and Cyrus (6:28).  

 

CHRIST IS REVEALED:

As GOD’S ANGEL sent to shut the lion’s mouths – Dan. 6:22. (Rev. 20:3; I Pet. 1:8; Heb. 11:33).