Faith Under Fire (Daniel Chapter 3)
Secular history records Nebuchadnezzar as a powerful king, who was both brutal and ambitious. He was so power thirsty that he set up a statue of himself. Whenever the royal music played everyone was ordered to fall down and worship the image of gold or be killed; (Dan. 3:2).
However, the Hebrew boys refused to bow down, so the king commanded his soldiers to tie them up and thrown them into a furnace that was turned up seven times hotter than the usual temperature. The boys were firmly tied and they fell into the blazing furnace.
In amazement King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet, and he asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” There were four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth man looked like a son of god.
To everyone’s surprise, God was in the fire with the boys. Scripture records that after they were taken out of the furnace the fire did not harmed them, nor was a hair singe their heads, their robes weren’t scorched, neither did they smell like smoke.
Nebuchadnezzar made a decree stating, “Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their house laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.”
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon; (Dan. 3:28-30). Their faith got God’s attention and earned them the promotion from the KING!
The Writing is on the Wall (Daniel Chapter 5)
IN THE third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god. (Dan. 1:1-2).
KING BELSHAZZAR gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that his father, Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem. The gold goblets were brought in and as they were drinking wine and praising the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, SUDDENLY THE FINGER OF A HUMAN HAND APPEARED AND WROTE ON THE PLASTER OF THE WALL.
The king face was pale as he fearfully watched the hand as it wrote. He called for the enchanters, astrologers, and diviners to come and he said to them, “WHOEVER READS THIS WRITING AND TELLS ME WHAT IT MEANS WILL BE CLOTHED IN PURPLE AND HAVE A GOLD CHAIN PLACED AROUND HIS NECK, AND HE WILL BE MADE THE THIRD HIGHEST RULER IN THE KINGDOM.”
No one else compared to Daniel in spiritual gifts, therefore, he was brought before the king to interpret the writing on the wall. The king told Daniel about the reward, but Daniel refused to accept any type of reward for using the gift that God had given him.
Daniel gave honor and glory to The Most High God, and then he proceeded to give king Belshazzar a history lesson about his father and how he ran his kingdom. Daniel told him about his father’s pride problem, and how God humbled him; (Dan. 4:28-37). Lastly, Daniel delivered God’s message to him about himself. “O Belshazzar, you have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. Instead you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You have the goblets from his temple and you and your people, did not honor the God who holds all life in His hand.” For this reason God judged Belshazzar. The written message read:
“ MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN”; (translation)…“Mene” : God had numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. “Tekel” : You have been weighted on the scales and found wanting. “Peres”: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
What I found most interesting about the fingers was they were not attached to a palm, yet they were held in position from forefinger to pinky finger. They appeared to come forth from the wall and were seen before they began to write. God saw the vessels of His worship profaned, so he came forth to express His displeasure and to reveal the forth coming wrath for the trespass.
In the end, the king commanded that Daniel be clothed in purple, a gold chain, and Daniel was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom. That very night Belshazzar was slain.
My Final Analysis
We can see from Daniel’s story that God’s will transcends beyond borders, genders, races, and human comprehension. Just as prophecy was foretold every prophecy came to pass. The writing was on the wall and it all started with the hand of God. God uses individuals, dreams, gifts, and even empires to accomplish His will. Make no mistake about it, God will never forsake his children. He will destroy every enemy who tries to destroy His people, even if He has to bring down kingdoms. Kings and kingdoms shall all pass away, but the kingdom of God is eternal.
***Please note: None of the Photo’s belong to me.
Photo Credit: “belshazzar’s feast” | rembrandt van rijn, 1638 / http://www.alittleperspective.com)