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Showing posts from December, 2016

When All Seems Lost

Isaiah 11 [i] Isaiah wrote to a prosperous, proud nation.  Sure, they had their problems.  Years of civil war between the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah had divided the descendants of Jacob; call it family in-fighting.  However, economically they were well off.  A descendant of David sat on the throne in Jerusalem, and the temple of God continued as a centerpiece of national life. In their apparent prosperity, they hid a cesspool of corruption.  Isaiah pointed this out when he said: See how Jerusalem, once so faithful, has become a prostitute.  Once the home of justice and righteousness, she is now filled with murderers.  Once like pure silver, you have become like worthless slag.  Once so pure, you are now like watered-down wine.  Your leaders are rebels, the companions of thieves.  All of them love bribes and demand payoffs, but they refuse to defend the cause of orphans or fight for the rights of widows.  (Isaiah 1:21-23) Because of t

The Most High God Rules

Daniel 5 [i] Nebuchadnezzar was Babylon’s greatest king.  At his death, his son, Awel-Marduk, became king in his stead.  After only a couple years, the husband of one of Nebuchadnezzar’s daughters, Neriglissar, murdered Awel-Marduk.  After 4 years, Neriglissar was succeeded by his young son, who, after only a few months as king, was murdered by Nabonidus, who happened to be the husband of yet another of Nebuchadnezzar’s daughters. Nabonidus was the last ruler of the Babylonian empire.  He spent much of his time away from Babylon on foreign expeditions, and left his son and co-regent, Belshazzar, in charge of the kingdom in his absence. It is interesting to note at this point that for many years critics of the Bible pointed out that the only place Belshazzar appeared in history was in the Bible.  However, in 1854 and 1881, archeological finds of the historical records kept by Nabonidus have established the identity of Belshazzar, [ii] and the authenticity of Daniel’s account.

Nebuchadnezzar's Huge Idol

King Nebuchadnezzar built a huge idol. Dr. W. A. Scott writes: We are not without historical confirmation of the narrative as to the existence of gigantic idols of gold among the Babylonians.  Herodotus writes that in his day there was at Babylon an idol image of gold twelve cubits high; and, what is still more remarkable, another authority, obviously speaking of the same statue, mentions that every stranger was obliged to worship it before he was allowed to enter the city. [i] Herodotus was a Greek historian who wrote about 100 years after the events of Daniel. Pride.  Pride is why Nebuchadnezzar built his idol.  He said: Look at this great city of Babylon!  By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor. [ii]   (Daniel 4:30) He made a name for himself, a name that is remembered to this day. Nebuchadnezzar had at least four godly men in his service:  Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.  God use

Living for God in a Messed Up World

Daniel 1 [i]   Genesis 10 tells of the descendants of Cush.  If you remember, Noah had three sons with him on the Ark: Shem, Ham and Japheth.  Cush was the son of Ham.  One of Cush’s descendants was a mighty warrior named Nimrod.  According to Genesis 10:10, Nimrod built his kingdom in the land of Babylonia. Immediately after the flood, everyone on earth spoke the same language.  God told Noah, “Be fruitful and multiply.  Fill the earth.”  (Genesis 9:1)  However, we learn in Genesis 11 that the descendants of Noah decided not to fill the earth.  In the land of Babylonia, they built a tower saying, “Come let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky.  This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” (Genesis 11:4)  Humanity wanted to make a name for itself.  Humanity wanted to make itself, great. God intervened and spoiled their plans by confusing their language.  This incident is known as the “Tower of Babel,”