Today’s Reading: Dan 4:1–37, 1 Thess 4:13–5:11, Job 41:1–9
Today’s Theme: Live Ready
Today’s theme is that we need to live ready. Nebuchadnezzar is given warning by God to live in humility before Him as the Most High God, the King of Heaven. Paul encourages us to live ready for death or the Lord’s return.
Don’t be deceived by the Dragon, trust God and live in a way that if He comes or calls you will go to be with Him with the confidence that you are not destined for Hell but eternal rule with Christ.
The Most High God
It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me. (Daniel 4:2, ESV)
It is wonderful to read about this pagan king acknowledging the greatness and power of God above all the other so called gods.
The kingdom of God
How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation. (Daniel 4:3, ESV)
God had revealed this very truth to the king in the dream. God’s kingdom though now and not yet, will someday be fully realised as an eternal kingdom in both the spiritual and physical world. We look with bated hope towards that great consummation of the love pact of the Trinity… the kingdom of God.
Empowered by God not demons
At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods—and I told him the dream, saying, (Daniel 4:8, ESV)
This is the king’s own misunderstanding, as it was not demons but YHWH who empowered Daniel.
Empowered by the Holy Spirit
“O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too difficult for you, tell me the visions of my dream that I saw and their interpretation. (Daniel 4:9, ESV)
Daniel was the greatest of the wise men because of the Holy Spirit and his trust in God.
“I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. (Daniel 4:13, ESV)
DC Comics depict watchers as powerful, benevolent aliens, they stole it from the Bible, these are actually angelic beings.
The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’ (Daniel 4:17, ESV)
Within the sovereignty of God there appears to be a governmental structure and these watchers who may be associated to the four beasts who are full of eyes are the ones who pass sentence for the sake of God’s glory in this case.
God will bring down and judge the proud to prove and make clear that He alone is God.
The unrepentant king
This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. And you, O Belteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.” (Daniel 4:18, ESV)
In his heart it is possible that the king knew, that is why he sent for his own wise men first and it explains him first avoiding Daniel and then buttering him up with praise. It also shows an unrepentant heart or he would have given God the praise not the name of his god or the demonic spirits regarding Daniel’s gift.
A bold call to repentance
Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.” (Daniel 4:27, ESV)
Daniel had no fear of man and spoke the truth. He went on to implore the king to repent of his sinful ways that would lead to this judgement
and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30, ESV)
Anything we do is only by God’s providence and power.
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:35, ESV)
This is what we mean when we say God is sovereign. He has the true freedom to do whatever He wants to do.
The king of Heaven
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (Daniel 4:37, ESV)
Our understanding of the sovereignty of God is wrapped up in the idea of Him as king.
The ancient Chinese also picked up on this idea of the king of heaven, he was called Shin-Tu.
So we should walk in humility before our king.
1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:11
With the Lord in spirit form
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:14, ESV)
When we die as Christians we go to be with the Lord in spirit form as we come with Him at the second coming.
Our new bodies at the rapture / resurrection
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16–17, ESV)
This is the rapture, it used to cause me such confusion but is so much clearer now, we are with the Lord in spirit form when we die but only get our new bodies at the resurrection / rapture.
Those alive are just raptured.
While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3, ESV)
Jesus will return when we least expect it so just live ready.
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:8, ESV)
We must be sober in our thoughts and conduct, always ready for the Lord’s return. We should have our armour on at all times.
We are not destined for hell
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:9, ESV)
Hallelujah, we are not destined for Hell.
Encourage each other
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ESV)
Let’s encourage each other to live and die for the Lord.
Lay your hands on him; remember the battle—you will not do it again! (Job 41:8, ESV)
The leviathan was a dragon, these creatures were later called dinosaurs and were great and fierce creatures of reptilian nature. The devil is also compared to the leviathan… Don’t mess with the devil you will get burned, and won’t forget the battle… because of the chunks he will no doubt bite out of your arm.
Thank God that we have the victory in Jesus.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.