Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – James 4:10
Read the “0925 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.” (Micah 1:2-3)
Micah was a prophet from the town of Moresheth, which is located approximately 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem near the border of the Philistines, and not too far from the City of Gath (See Map). He was called and equipped by the Lord to deliver God’s message:
“But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.” – (Micah 3:8)
His name means, “who is like Jehovah?” or “who is like Yahweh?” His name is said to be a shortened version of the name Micaiah. There are many other men in the Bible that share the names “Micah” and “Micaiah”
Micah prophesied to both the northern kingdom as well as the southern kingdom. Only the names of Judean kings are mentioned in verse 1, however. This is probably due to the fact that the northern kingdom was just about to be taken into Assyrian captivity at the time of his prophecy. Micah was a prophet during the reigns of Jotham (2 Kings 15:32 – 38, 750 – 731 BC), Ahaz (2 Kings 16, 731 – 715 BC), and Hezekiah (2 Kings 18 – 20, 715 – 686 BC). Hezekiah was the king when the Assyrians invaded Judah and attempted to conquer Jerusalem. (See 2 Kings 18:13 – 19:36; 2 Chronicles 32)
Micah was contemporary to the prophet Isaiah in the south; and also to Hosea, Jonah, and Amos from the north. He prophesied at the time when Israel was being completely over-run by the Assyrian Empire, and the same threat was moving southward into Judah. Many of the people from the north were seeking refuge in the south, but unfortunately, they were also bringing with them some of their bad habits. The worship of Baal was becoming more and more of a problem during the time of Micah, as well as the disintegration of moral values. Micah was the prophet to the poor and downtrodden citizens of the farmland, and Isaiah was a preacher in the cities and had the ear of kings and princes; but the messages of both Isaiah and Micah were very similar.
My thought this morning comes from the first few verses of Micah’s message: “Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.” God had a message for the people of Judah, and he has a message for us today that is very similar. We need to hear and heed his message. Our nation is currently in a mess. We are still dealing with the COVID-19 virus and all of the resulting restrictions that have been placed upon our liberty. We are also bitterly divided as a nation, and the division seems to be primarily between God-fearing people and people who reject Him. God is calling out to America today, just as He did through Micah 2,700 years ago. But, will we listen? The northern kingdom of Israel didn’t listen and they were taken into captivity. The southern kingdom of Judah listened for a little while, but they also eventually turned away from God and received the same fate as their northern neighbors. Will America listen? Will America turn back to the God that has blessed her so abundantly in the past, or will she continue down the path of forsaking God?
You and I cannot answer for the nation, but we can determine, like Joshua: “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15). We can keep our lights shining brightly in an increasingly dark culture, and we can remain faithful to Jesus during a time when faith will be hard to find (Luke 18:8). We can also listen to the Lord as He commands to preach His gospel to all of the lost people around us. This world is desperately in need of revival. The Lord is still calling, but will we listen?
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.
Read the “0924 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.” (Jonah 1:1-6)
Good Morning! It’s amazing how much we can see of ourselves in Jonah. The Book of Jonah is one of my favorites. Right-off-the-bat, Jonah is given his marching orders from the Lord. Right-off-the-bat, Jonah runs off in the other direction. Sin will take you quickly from the presence of the Lord. Remember what Samuel told Saul? Samuel said…
“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (1Samuel 15: 22-23)
Also notice, back in Jonah, verses 4-6, that God sent a tempest in the sea, and a great wind. The sailors thought they were going to die. Notice two observations here. When we sin, it affects those around us. And also notice where Jonah was: he was in the side of the ship, fast asleep. When we sin, it not only affects others, but how we affect others: his soul winning hit an all time low: while those on deck were facing the wrath of God, Jonah was asleep below.
So, while Jonah is asleep, what are the people on deck doing? They are running around deck, throwing things overboard, trying to lighten the ship.
When they cast lots, and found that Jonah was to blame, they asked him what they should do…
“And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.” (Jonah 1:12-13)
Jonah knew that the wages of sin was death: he knew that someone had to die to save those on the ship. The crew did not believe Jonah, and worked hard to save the ship. Of course you know…
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
And you should also know that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6); and that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Wait, wasn’t that the task given to Jonah: to give people the Word of God? Yes it was. But God wasn’t done with Jonah yet. After the crew threw Jonah overboard, the Lord not only calmed the sea, but sent a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. So, not only does our sin cause us to run from God. Not only does our sin affect others. Not only does our sin cause our soul-winning to come to a halt. Our sin causes us to be separated from God: we find ourselves in the belly of the fish: a dark and lonely place. In those places are the times we usually turn back to God. 1John 1:9 says…
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)
A good example of this happened to David. King David wrote in Psalm 51…
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” (Psalm 51:1-15)
This is what Jonah did in chapter 2, and the Lord caused the fish to vomit Jonah out onto dry land. And, of course, Jonah went on to witness to all of Nineveh, and they turned from their evil ways. God spared that city of 120,000 souls.
“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” (Psalm 51:12-13)
Posted in Devotions by Pastor Ted Stahl with 2 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Ephesians 4:32
Read the “0923 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:” (Amos 8:11)
Amos is writing concerning Israel about a time where there will be an absence of the Word of God among the people. But that famine of Bible instruction and principle comes as a result of the lack of desire among the people of Israel for hearing the Words of God. The people of Judah and Israel had their fill of God. They no longer desired to hear what He had to say; they no longer desired to live in by His precepts. They simply felt that they no longer needed God or His instruction.
I feel that America today is in the same boat. There is no famine here. There may be preachers out there who water down the Word of God, and there may be a lot of compromise out there; but, a copy of the Word of God is certainly available to nearly every person in America, and there really isn’t a shortage of churches out there. The problem is not the availability of the Word of God. Rather, the problem is a lack of desire for instruction from God. We have loosed from the moorings of our Biblical heritage and are floating in the sea of secular humanism. We are shouting to God from our culture, “Get Out!”, we don’t need you and we certainly don’t want you. I don’t think it is too far fetched to think about a day in the near future when our authorities try to stop the distribution of the Word of God altogether.
God will not stay where he is not wanted. In fact, the only thing holding back the judgment of God is a remnant of people in America who love the Word and the God who wrote it. So what is the solution? Can this tide of apathy and antagonism toward God be stopped, or even slowed? I am not sure. But my instructions are still to “preach the Word”, even when it is out of season. Christian, it matters not what the world thinks about our God and our Bible. We need to keep obeying God by sowing the seed of His word to the world around us. Some day soon, our job will be done; but for now it is still our responsibility to reach who we can with the glorious gospel of Christ. There are still people out there that hunger and thirst after righteousness.
Posted in Thoughts from Amos by Phil Erickson with 5 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Matthew 6:33
Read the “0922 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)
The context of verse 3 above deals with both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and how they had chosen to live contrary to the principles of the Word of God. They had become immoral and idolatrous. They had become enamored with the cultures of the heathen nations around them. God tells them here that He cannot walk with these people because they are not in agreement with Him.
I have often quoted this verse when preaching, particularly while speaking on matters of separation. How is it that the professing Christian today feels so comfortable walking alongside the people of the world who do not know Christ? There must be agreement in order for there to be fellowship. Now, I can walk alongside anybody for a short distance. I will have to work at times with people who are not Christians; and hopefully, I will walk along with a lost man for a time trying to persuade him to trust Christ. Jesus walked and ate with some lost people at times in order to reach them. But, I do not think that this verse is talking about casual, purposeful, or limited contact with the lost world around us. It is talking about true communion. God cannot commune with people who have forsaken Him; and we should not be comfortable running with people who are not in fellowship with Him either.
Christian, be careful who you run with. Surround yourself with people who are going to influence you positively, encouraging your walk with God. Stay away from the gossips who have “the goods” on everybody else. Avoid those who are always negative: who desire to tear everything down instead of building things up. Run with people who have the same doctrine and standards that you have. My preacher used to say, “You are, or soon will be, who you hang around.” I want to run with people who will cause me to do right and grow in the Lord. Just a thought!
Posted in Thoughts from Amos by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 48:1 & 2
Read the “Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?” – (Joel 2:15-17)
“Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servantswhich is shed.” (Psalm 79:10)
Have you ever asked the question, “where is God?” I have often heard the people of this world ask this question when bad things happen on the earth. They will say that if there was a loving God, He would not allow all of this evil in the world. I have also heard some of the people of God pose the same thought when they or somebody they care about are experiencing hardship in life. However, the context of the verse written above is a little bit different. In our passage, the people of God have strayed far away from His will. Judgment has already come, and more judgment is on the way, and the prophet is pleading with the people to turn back to God. Notice that he wants all of the people: men, women, and even the little children to gather together. He doesn’t want any of them to not be in their place. That’s a good place to start, isn’t it. Many of God’s people today have forsaken the church house, which is “the house of the living God” for us today. Then the prophet says that the priests are to plead to God for the people. God wanted this congregation of Israel to understand that they needed to recognize that they have strayed; and then repent and turn back to God. We need to do the same thing today.
My thought for this morning, however, is that I wonder how many of of the people around us: our neighbors, our co-workers, our family members, etc. can see God in our lives. Can they see the reality of our faith working throughout our day to day living. Maybe they are tolerant and even polite to us regarding what we say about our faith; but I wonder sometimes if they aren’t secretly thinking, “where is their God?” Can they see the reality of God in our lives? No wonder we are having a difficult time reaching the people around us. If God isn’t real to us, how can he reveal Himself to others through us. I believe we have a tremendous responsibility and an awesome opportunity to show people our God through our lives.
1 Show them God by living out your faith. If you really believe God, then live according to the principles found in His Word. Walk with Him daily. Yield to His Spirit and His will. Separate from the things that are not apart of His perfect plan for your life.
2 Show them God by loving the people around you. God loves people, unlovable people just like you. Demonstrate the reality of God by demonstrating God’s love to people. Look for ways to express the love of God to the lost world around you. Don’t take separation beyond where God intended it to be. He wants us to impact their world; not only with the truth, but also with compassion.
3 Show them God by lasting. A lot of Christians start out their race, and do pretty well for a while, but eventually drop out. When a Christian throws in the towel on his faith, he is telling the world that his God was not real. When I first got saved years ago, my brother said to me that he didn’t think this new life of mine would last. He thought it was just a phase that I was going through; but now I think he has come to realize that my God as well as my salvation is very real. The greatest compliment a person could give me would be for them to say that they saw the reality of God in my life.
Posted in Thoughts from Joel by Phil Erickson with 4 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –Micah 6:8
Read the “0920 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” (Hosea 10:12)
“O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.” (Hosea 14:1-2)
A few years ago, Hosea 10:12 was the theme verse for our church. Throughout the year, we would say to each other before services or soul winning, “It’s time”. In the context of Hosea’s book, Israel was at the end of their time for turning to God. God had warned them over and over again to come back to Him; but they were content to stay away. They had become comfortable, and complacent. They had been protected and prosperous, but they attributed their success to themselves rather than to the blessings of God. God had been patient; but His patience was running out. It was past time to seek the Lord. Judgement was imminent.
As a preacher, I sometimes feel the same frustration that Hosea and the other prophets felt. I preach the best that I can, yet I get the feeling that for the most part, my words are going in one ear and out the other. I am not speaking here about people who are trying but struggling. I am in that category myself sometimes; but I am sensing that their is an indifference to spiritual things by many in our community and even in our church. I believe with all of my heart that we are in those “perilous times” that Paul spoke of where men will “heap to themselves teachers having itching ears”.
Those of you that are reading this blog most likely are not in this category. You are the “choir” that so often get preached at (or written to). You love God, and though you may have your weak moments and battles with the flesh, the world, and the devil; you desire to live for Him. Keep seeking God. Don’t let the attitude and apathy of the world cause you to back up in your love and devotion for Him. Keep moving forward, keep growing. Hosea was writing to a bunch of lost Israelites about turning back to God; and we certainly want to encourage a lost America to turn to God. But, we also want to plead with those who may already have a relationship with God to keep seeking Him; keep drawing closer to Him.
I am praying that God will bring real and lasting revival to our church, and new life to our community and country; but I really want to experience a personal revival. I want to know God and love Him in a deeper way than ever before. How about you? It is very dry out there, spiritual speaking. If you are like me, you are thirsting for some refreshing rain from God. Let God break up some of that hard, dry soil in your heart; and ask Him to refresh, renew, and revive your life.
Posted in Thoughts from Hosea by Phil Erickson with 3 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 51:11
Read the “0919 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land… My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:1 & 6)
I remember recently looking at a textbook from back at the turn of the last century. I think it was called a “primer” and it was used for teaching in public schools all over America. It is full of references to God and direct quotes from the Bible. It didn’t matter what the subject was, the writers of the curriculum made sure that while the students learned academics they also learned about God. When I was a child, we used to observe a “moment of silence”, which was our opportunity to pray at the beginning of the school day. When my dad and mom were young, the teachers in the classroom actually prayed to God aloud, and also recited the Ten Commandments, etc. in the public school. America was filled with the knowledge of God in years past. They say that the average lost man, 100 years ago, knew more Bible than a Bible college student does today. I don’t think that is far from being true. We have become a secular society with all of the humanistic principles and philosophies that go along with it. We no longer look to God for solutions: we look to the government or the prominent secular authority.
In Hosea’s day it was much the same way. The land of Israel was founded on Biblical principles, yet the people became increasingly enamored with the counsel and culture of the ungodly. God said that the people were destroyed because of this lack of knowledge. The question in my mind, though, is where to place the blame. Was it God’s fault? No. Was it the people’s fault? That is a good question. I mean, the people obviously had lost their appetite for spiritual things: they did not want to “hear it” anymore. It’s hard to deliver truth to people who don’t want to listen anymore. However, I would place the blame at the feet of God’s ministers. They seemed to have gotten tired of going against the popular trends of their day; and chose to acquiesce to it rather than preach against it. So, truth stop being delivered, and the people got worse.
This sure reminds me of the current religious climate in America. Preachers want to please the people. Who doesn’t want to be liked? The problem is that in pleasing the people they often compromise the truth. Most churches in America today are only delivering a small fraction of the truth that they once delivered. For example: how many churches have shut down their Sunday School programs; Sunday Evening services; and mid-week Prayer Meetings? How many messages have been cut back to a palatable 20 minutes; and how many of those 20 minute messages have more than a reference or two to Scripture. God commands His preachers to preach the Word “in season (when it’s popular) and out of season”. It really does not matter if the culture wants it or not, we are to flood our communities with the truth of God’s Word. Our nation is starving for the Word of God; and, unfortunately, so are many of our church members. We need to get back to preaching and teaching the truth in our schools and in our churches and in our homes. We need also to get back to flooding our communities with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that the people won’t be “destroyed for lack of knowledge”
Posted in Thoughts from Hosea by Phil Erickson with 3 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31
Read the “0918 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” – (Daniel 12:3)
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” – (Proverbs 11:30)
Several years ago I received a text message from a very excited member of our church. She had taken a trip down to North Carolina to visit with her father who was very sick. She was concerned about her father’s physical health, but she was even more concerned about his spiritual condition. This young lady had never lead anyone to Christ before and she was very apprehensive, but because she had such a love and burden for her dad, she boldly shared Christ with him. Praise the Lord! Her father was gloriously saved. I do not know that in the future she will go on to “turn many to righteousness”, or not; but I do know that she was shining like a star the day she was used of the Lord to win her father.
I don’t know about you, but that story encourages me to be a better soul winner. I want to share Christ with the world around me. There was a time in my life when I was overflowing with the gospel: I witnessed to everybody. But, to my shame, somewhere along the way, I lost some of that zeal. I want it back.
Posted in Thoughts from Daniel by Phil Erickson with 3 comments.
Today’s Passage – Daniel 7 – 9 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)
Read the “0917 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” (Daniel 9:26)
Good morning! While reading my Bible I hit this verse in Daniel. Four words jumped out at me. This verse told the Jews that their Messiah would be cut off – die. And this is followed by four little words. But these words carried an even bigger statement: BUT NOT FOR HIMSELF! The Messiah, the Christ, allowed Himself to be beaten, whipped, spit upon, and then nailed to a cross, but not for Himself: He did it for us. He did it for us because He loved us…
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Romans 5:8-11)
We have a Saviour! He gave His life because He loved me and you! We have a Saviour! “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself…” Maybe we should keep that in our minds and hearts always.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4:19)
Posted in Devotions by Pastor Ted Stahl with 2 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 3:5 & 6
Read the “0916 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earthare reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (Daniel 4:34 & 35)
But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: (Daniel 5:23)
I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. (Daniel 6:26)
In the three chapters that we have read today, we have the accounts of three different kings: Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon; Belshazzar of Babylon; and Darius of Persia. Each of these kings came to know that the God of Heaven was the only God of the universe. Each of these kings came to know this under different circumstances. The first king we saw (Daniel 4) was Nebuchadnezzar. He had already seen the power and supremacy of our God in the events that are recorded in the first three chapters of Daniel. Somehow, however, he forgot that it was God who buttered his bread; and began to think that it was he who was the source of his own success. The last straw was in v 30, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?”. God had to greatly humble him. It is a principle of God that he humbles those who exalt themselves. Praise God, though, that He gave Nebuchadnezzar another chance, and He allowed him to be restored. Nebuchadnezzar did not make the same mistake twice: he gave God the glory for all that he was able to accomplish in the kingdom.
The second king we saw (in chapter 5) was Nebuchadnezzar’s “son” who appears to have never come to the place where he voluntarily submitted himself to the God of Heaven. He actually got so bad that he drank from the cups that were taken from the Temple of God: cups that were reserved only for the priests in the service of God. God revealed Himself to Belshazzar by writing his doom upon the wall. Shortly thereafter the the prophecy from the writing was fulfilled when the Persian empire came in and conquered the city of Babylon.
The last king that we read about (in chapter 6) was Darius from Persia. It seems that Darius had a great respect at least for God, though it did not appear that he worshipped him. Because of a mistake that he made, Daniel ended up in the den of lions; but somehow Darius knew that God would deliver him. He actually ended up making it official in the kingdom that everyone was to worship God.
The common denominator for all of these kings, however, is Daniel. Daniel was a steady witness; a powerful, uncompromising voice in all three of these kingdoms. He never wavered and he never yielded to the worldly influences around him. Even though he was in captivity, he was always blessed of God, and favored by each of these kings. His story is similar to Joseph’s in many ways. Let’s learn from the example of men like Daniel and Joseph, and let’s live for God; even in times when the whole world is going in the wrong direction. There will be opportunities to demonstrate the love and power of God before a lost world. When they need God, they will look for someone who they know has consistently walked with Him, like Daniel.
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” (Proverbs 22:29)
Posted in Thoughts from Daniel by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.