The Apostle Paul tells us that all scripture is given to us for our edification; the book of Daniel in the Old Testament, gives us a glimpse into what has been, what is now, and what is to come.
Daniel was a Jewish lad who was only a teenager when he was taken prisoner and carried off to Babylon by king Nebuchadnezzar. (Certainly a cruel and formidable ruler, by anyone’s standards.) This king wanted the best that Israel had to offer, the most intelligent…in order to raise them up to be Babylon’s finest.
Now, in reading Daniel’s words most carefully; it is revealed that this ambitious earthly king was God’s appointed servant. (Jeremiah confirms this.) Israel had been told that if they did not change their ways, if they did not stop worshiping idols…(just one of their fails, along with the big one of unbelief) that they, as a Nation, would be severely punished. Their land made barren.
And so they were, and it…was. The Lord does nothing without first informing the involved persons of His intention.
In any case, despite Daniel’s young age, he was true to His God. Having a death sentence over his head because of a dream which Nebuchadnezzar’s wise men were unable to translate or explain…, he prayed to The Lord about it, and then fearlessly interpreted the dream for Babylon’s ruler.
(In the verses of this book, it seems that a mutual respect develops between Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel. It is even rumored, via tradition, that it was Daniel who took care of the despot when he spent seven years eating grass like an oxen…in punishment for his sin of pride. Somehow, if this tradition is true, it is comforting, because it speaks of two such disparate personalities, both doing what was asked of them while performing the duties that The Lord had assigned them. Daniel’s attitude and perspective remained focused on God, despite being a captive; a stranger in a strange land.)
Daniel never cursed his situation, nor is it written that he moaned about his circumstances. He stood firm, without fear, all the while trusting in God to protect him. And lead him. And guide his words. He spoke to the king with utmost respect while daring to tell him words that could possibly have meant his immediate death when the last word was uttered.
The king listened, taking the interpretation to heart.
Then we come to the fourth chapter of this book within The Book. It is a proclamation sent out to the entire world of that day…penned by Nebuchadnezzar himself, in which he personally tells of his humiliation before the “King of Heaven” whose word is truth and who is able to abase those who walk in pride. (And in whom he now believes.)
Seems that the king, despite being forewarned, praised himself about all his achievements…givng no praise to The Lord above. However, that cruel by-the-world’s standards ruler came to understand, after it was explained again, in God’s manner….that he was only in his position because it was pre-ordained by The Lord.
Babylon’s king then wrote that chapter in the Bible.
(Do you think we will meet him in some future day? All scripture is God inspired and The Word within breathed by the Holy Ghost, through the pens of each scribe. Nebuchadnezzar was a servant of God…and after the end of his grass eating days, returned to greater power than he had before his humbling by The Lord. He …was the scribe of Daniel: verse 4.)
Do you have a Nebuchadnezzar in your life? This writer has several. Do you pray for the forgiveness of that person who is acting out against you? Have you forgiven him or her? (Often a daily duty.) Is it a family member? A neighbor? Your boss? (Just think about who Daniel’s earthly “boss” was, and how he dealt with it.)
And while doing that, think about this story if Daniel had acted out against his captor: had felt sorry for himself when taken from his own land; had retreated into a world of recrimination and blame casting, or had turned his back on God because his world was turned upside down…certainly not going the way a noble son of Israel would have planned.
The Apostle Paul tells us to pray for our enemies. To forgive those who abase us. To love them. Which can only happen when we tap into our abundant supply of Spirit provided agape love. No emotion involved. Observing our “set apartness” which allows us to compassionately deal with those who are sent into our lives.
How do we know if that “little Nebuchadnezzar ” in our lives is not a saved individual and so, anointed/appointed of God.
Actions speak louder than words, it is true…but we do not know what each persons heart holds. Nor can our eyes see past that dark mirror which shows us a partial story…our ears hear only the surface noise and words…so, we must trust in The Lord and follow his instruction whether we understand or not.
Pray for your enemies; if they are not of The Lord it is as if heaping coals are thrown on them. (Although this thought might not be the best one to be mindful of, when we are speaking with The Lord and asking him to have mercy upon our worldly enemies…it bespeaks of duplicity. If they are HIS, then they too, are a part of the Body of Christ which means we are joined to them as solidly as we are joined to Jesus Christ, who is our Head. And so, a joint blessing is received.)
Best to treat all those in our personal circles as fellows in Christ.
We have good examples set before us in HIS manual…HE gives us “case studies” for our study… HE commands us to respect no person above another.
So, despite how we perceive our foes, or accept our friends, everyone should be on equal footing, as far as how we treat them or pray for them or interact with them each day,
Who knows? When the Harphazo occurs, some of them might be right next to us on the big “fly-up.”
Who would have thought that king Nebuchadnezzar would be selected by The Lord to pen a chapter in HIS Book of the Living Word?
May The Holy Spirit lead, guide and comfort us all as He increases our learning; The Lord smile upon us as we grow in Him, and His mercy and peace fill our hearts.