Nebuchadnezzar

Daniel, His Friends, and Separation #3

Sunday, April 30, 2017

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8 KJV).

Every Sunday School child knows about Daniel and his three companions (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). Unfortunately, today, few adults practice what these precious children knew!

Verses 11-16 continue: “[11] Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, [12] Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. [13] Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. [14] So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. [15] And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. [16] Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.”

The prince of the eunuchs, verse 11 says, appointed Melzar to supervise Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (notice their Hebrew names). Daniel, the spokesman of the group, “beseeches”/begs/asks (not demands or violently protests, remember!) if they can be given vegetables to eat and water to drink instead of the king’s meat and wine (verses 11,12). This routine, Daniel suggests, is to continue for 10 days, after which Melzar can see how the four boys compare to those following the king’s defiled diet (verses 13,14). After the trial, Melzar sees that Daniel and his three friends are actually healthier looking and appear more nourished than those eating and drinking according to Nebuchadnezzar’s specifications (verse 15). Melzar decides to allow Daniel and his three companions to eat their special diet for the three years (verse 16).

Let us see what happens when King Nebuchadnezzar meets these four Hebrew children, who will now probably be young adults….

Daniel, His Friends, and Separation #2

Saturday, April 29, 2017

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8 KJV).

Every Sunday School child knows about Daniel and his three companions (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). Unfortunately, today, few adults practice what these precious children knew!

During the first invasion of the Babylonians into Judaea and Jerusalem, circa 606 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar ordered one of his servants to gather some of the best, learned Jewish children living in Judah. These kids, probably in their early to mid-teens, were to be trained and fed for three years, before being promoted in Nebuchadnezzar’s court.

Today’s Scripture says: “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” Notice how Daniel did not pick a fight, throw a tantrum, shout, or make demands. Instead, he “requested” (as in asked politely) that he and his three companions be exempt from following pagan ways. They, good Law-keeping Jews, obey the kosher food rules in Leviticus chapter 11 and Deuteronomy chapter 14. Furthermore, they do not eat or drink things offered to idols. Moreover, in such Gentile lands, blood may not have been drained from animal flesh—the Mosaic Law forbad Israel from consuming blood (Leviticus 19:26; Deuteronomy 12:16).

Daniel chapter 1 continues: “[9] Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. [10] And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.” The prince of the eunuchs is worried. If he allows Daniel and his friends to have a special diet, and it harms them, Nebuchadnezzar will be wroth—probably issuing a death sentence for them all!

Let us see what happens….

Daniel, His Friends, and Separation #1

Friday, April 28, 2017

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8 KJV).

Every Sunday School child knows about Daniel and his three companions (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). Unfortunately, today, few adults practice what these precious children knew!

The Book of Daniel begins: “[1] In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. [2] And the LORD gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.” After centuries of persistent unbelief and pagan idolatry, JEHOVAH God finally judged the Jews as promised (cf. Leviticus 26:14-46; Deuteronomy 28:15-68). He recruited Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, to attack and eventually deport Israelites from Judaea (southern Israel) to Babylon (modern Iraq).

Daniel continues: “[3] And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; [4] Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. [5] And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.”

“[6] Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: [7] Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.” Today’s Scripture says that Daniel, living in heathen surroundings, has already made up his mind to remain separate….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is the Ephesian church of the Revelation the same group as those in the Book of Ephesians?

“Hate Speech” #2

Thursday, February 18, 2016

“Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt” (Jeremiah 38:4 KJV).

Who is “this man?” And, what words is he speaking to make him worthy of being “put to death?”

From verse 1, we learn that it was Jeremiah the Prophet speaking “offensive” words. The wicked leaders of Judah (southern Israel) had grown tired of the 40 years of Jeremiah’s preaching ministry. Now, they wanted him dead, so they went to King Zedekiah in today’s Scripture to “make the arrangements!” (We will comment on this later.)

The Jews had overlooked a simple fact. While they were blaming Jeremiah, he had not originated the prophecies of judgment that were coming up on idolatrous Jerusalem. In fact, nearly 1000 years earlier, Moses had given Israel express instructions concerning God’s Law Covenant with them. Disobedience to God’s commandments would result in five courses (phases, rounds) of judgment/chastisement. Whenever Israel would persist in false religion, idol worship, increasing divine judgment would come upon them. Once Israel refused to repent of her wickedness after four rounds of judgment, the fifth phase of chastisement would be Gentile captivity. Israel would be removed from her Promised Land. (We will comment on this later also.)

For now, just notice that it was so strange then that Judah’s king and the other Jews in the area had grown upset with Jeremiah. He was doing nothing more than quoting what Moses had written to them centuries earlier! Yet, Moses did not originate those judgments either. It was God’s Word through Moses. The same God who had spoken through Moses was now speaking through Jeremiah. Furthermore, by the Jews refusing to hear Jeremiah, they proved they really did not believe Moses, either. If Jeremiah were guilty of “hate speech,” then so was Moses, and so was the JEHOVAH God they had claimed to “love and worship!”

Our latest Bible Q&As: “Is Matthew 27:9 a mistake?” and “Is Matthew 2:23 a mistake?

“Hate Speech” #1

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

“Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt” (Jeremiah 38:4 KJV).

Who is “this man?” And, what words is he speaking to make him worthy of being “put to death?”

Let us start at the beginning of the chapter: “[1] Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying, [2] Thus saith the LORD, He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live. [3] Thus saith the LORD, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it.”

Jerusalem was such a glorious city in the days of King David and especially once his son Solomon assumed the throne. That was 400 years prior to today’s Scripture. During those four centuries, Jerusalem, and surrounding Judah, had steadily declined. They were now just about to hit “rock bottom” economically, socially, politically and spiritually. As we learn from the “fifth-course prophets” such as Jeremiah, divine judgment is swiftly coming on idolatrous Judah. Centuries of spiritual wickedness would finally be punished.

Earlier, JEHOVAH had told Jeremiah, “Therefore pray not for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee” (7:16). There will be no more delay, no more pleading, no more hope. God will use Babylon’s armies to return and level Jerusalem and deport nearly every Jew in Judah to Iraq. Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar will burn Jerusalem’s Temple to the ground and Israel’s religion will fall apart. This was the “hate speech” of Jeremiah the Prophet. Unbelief had gripped his kinsmen according to the flesh, and now they wanted his life!

Cain Came and Brought Shame #10

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD” (Genesis 4:1 KJV).

Can you identify the very significant phrase our King James Bible contains in today’s Scripture, and why it was said?

The Bible student understands what began in the book of Genesis is brought to its ultimate fulfillment in the book of the Revelation. God’s purpose and plan for creation initiated (and delayed) in Genesis is thus brought to fruition in the Revelation; Satan’s evil world system that began in Genesis is destroyed in the Revelation.

One of the primary ways that God will comfort believing Israel during those most difficult years—the horrors of the seven-year Tribulation—is to teach them using types, previews of their situation, found in the Holy Bible’s historical narratives. All of the Old Testament Scriptures about enduring hardship (especially the Psalms) will be critical to believing Israel’s spiritual edification as Satan tries their faith.

Israel will particularly benefit from the Bible’s accounts of how their ancestors were delivered from Pharaoh (a type of Antichrist), how David was delivered from Saul (a type of Antichrist), how Daniel’s three friends were delivered from Nebuchadnezzar (a type of Antichrist), how Daniel endured the lions’ den (a type of the Tribulation), how Job survived his awful ordeals (a type of the Tribulation), and so on. JEHOVAH was faithful to all of these saints, and He will be faithful to Israel’s believing remnant now facing the Antichrist’s wrath.

Regarding the story of Cain and Abel, Israel will learn how Abel gave his life for the very God they will now be serving to the Antichrist’s hatred. They need not be discouraged; they need not marvel that the world hates them (1 John 3:11-13). Even if they lose their lives (and many Messianic Jews will perish; Matthew 10:39; Revelation 20:4), Abel’s testimony still affirms that God is faithful (Hebrews 11:4). After all, Jesus Christ will return to defeat Satan, the Antichrist, and all of Earth’s wicked, and believing Israel will be resurrected bodily, to enter God’s earthly kingdom (Revelation 19:11–20:6).

Cain brought shame, but the real Messiah, Jesus, what joy and hope He will bring! 🙂

Big Brother Versus Heavenly Father #4

Thursday, November 7, 2013

“…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5c,6 KJV).

Big Brother is watching; Heavenly Father is, too!

A brief survey of the Old Testament Scriptures reveals God’s chief nation in the earth, Israel, refused to submit to His will. Like sinful Adam, Israel had no interest in governing earth for God’s glory. Israel’s recurrent breaking of the Mosaic Law had a consequence: she could not be a kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:3-6).

In Leviticus 26:27-39, God had warned them that, after repeated chastisements and subsequent habitual disobedience, His final judgment on them would be that Gentile nations would defeat them in battle, and carry Israel out of her Promised Land. Israel’s monarchy would be lost, and not restored until Messiah-King would come (Ezekiel 21:26,27).

The culmination of this judgment against Israel was when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon successfully thrice invaded Jerusalem. During the last invasion (586 B.C.), Jerusalem was utterly destroyed, God’s Temple was burned to the ground, and the remaining Jews taken captive to Babylon (see 2 Chronicles 36:5-21).

Some Jews returned to the Promised Land after the Babylonian exile, such as with Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Nevertheless, the majority of the Jews are still scattered worldwide, still without a Davidic kingdom. By the time Jesus Christ came, Babylon, Media-Persia, and Greece had already ruled over Israel. In Jesus’ day, the Roman Empire was oppressing Israel.

Ezekiel 21:26,27 said that Israel would not receive her crown again until her Messiah came. When Jesus finally arrived, and Pilate told Israel, “Behold your King!,” the Jews released themselves from their national heritage as they publicly declared, “Crucify him… We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:14,15). By rejecting Jesus their King and demanding His crucifixion, they hindered God’s earthly kingdom from being established (again!).

During the early Acts period, most of Israel still rejected Jesus’ right to David’s throne. The last week of Daniel’s prophecy, Israel’s spiritual cleansing and God’s wrath, would be postponed so God could commence another program… ours….