Daniel 5-7

When you read these stories, I hope that they aren’t just good old stories. They are meant to be much more than that. They are meant to show us God’s principles, and they are meant to be examples of heroic faith for us to follow. As you read, prayerfully consider what your Lord is showing you.

We are living in times very similar to those in Daniel. You are probably wondering why I would say such a thing, so I’ll tell you.

Earlier in these studies, I shared how the Babylonian captivity in the natural, parallels a spiritual one which has gone on for centuries. The word “Babylon” signifies a state of confusion which will come from mixing the cultures of Israel and of heathens. You can easily see that the same thing has happened to the modern church.

For centuries now the church has succumbed to a state of confusion by mixing the ways of God with the ways of the world. When we allow that to happen to us in our own minds and hearts, we no longer are sure about what God wants. We look around us to see what is true and what is not. And, unfortunately, we can never find God’s truth just by looking around us to see what everyone else is saying and doing.

In the midst of that confusion, we see some truly remarkable young men, and we see God really showing Himself strong toward them. We also see our God showing Himself strong toward the arrogance of men who don’t honor Him.

So when the new king and his cohorts mock God by taking the vessels from God’s temple to use for their partying, they see a hand writing a message on the wall. A message which foretells the king’s demise. And instantly the kingdom is overthrown. God shows Himself as God Almighty, Creator of all things.

Then when Daniel is thrown into the lion’s den for his refusal to pray, again we see a miracle. The mouths of the lions are shut, and Daniel remains safe. Only an all-powerful God could accomplish such a thing.

My guess is that none of us will ever be thrown into a lion’s den. Yet in a mixed-up world, when we remain true to God, He does and will continue to  intervene on our behalf. The more we trust Him, the more we see His hand.

There will come a day also when the Lord will arise to judge the arrogance of men. I want to be on the right side when that happens!

The wisdom for us in all of this is to be like Daniel and learn to trust Him more. When we get to know Him and trust Him, we see His hand working in many ways that only He could do.

II John

Babylonian thinking was already getting into the church in John’s time.

There were those who were trying to change the gospel. Some were even saying that Jesus Christ never came in the flesh. It’s amazing that such heresy was already starting so close to the time of Jesus.

That’s the way it is, however, because we do have an enemy out there – the devil. The one thing he tries to accomplish is to make us unbelievers. If he can discredit the gospel and the true message of Jesus, he has us. So our enemy is busy at it from the first.

Beware of deceivers. That’s John’s message to this lady who has a church meeting in her home. That’s also a message we need to keep in mind.

Beware of deceivers. They are dangerous.