"Peace and prosperity to you! I want you all to know about the miraculous sign and wonders the Most High God has performed for me. How great are his sign, how powerful his wonders! His kingdom will last forever, his rule through all generations." Daniel 4:1b - 2
If you haven't read Daniel 4 yet, you might be surprised to know that the above verse was sent out to the whole world by none other than King Nebuchadnezzar! Take a minute if you need it - it is quite a piece of shocking news.
That irrational, weak, demanding, frantic, fearful, egotistical king who kidnapped & enslaved the best & brightest of Judah's royal family doesn't just say it in court, he sends out a message to the whole world! The royal who ordered the death of his advisers, yet declared to Daniel, "Truly, your God is the God of gods, the Lord over kings, a revealer of mysteries..." Daniel 2:47. He throws Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fiery furnace for refusing to bow to his statue. And when they didn't die, the King declares, "Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him.... There is no other god who can rescue like this!" Daniel 3: 28-29. Yep! That's the man who makes the statement above. In today's world he would have put it out on Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook, and every social media outlet and news station possible.
What is the difference between the king's declarations in chapters 2 & 3 and his message in chapter 4? What or who could have brought about such change? Daniel 4 has all those answers and more! Once again, the future is revealed to the king through a dream and Daniel is able to explain it. It's so exciting and fascinating! Some scholars believe an aspect of God is revealed in this chapter (question 4). Do you agree or disagree? How does it make you feel?
Warning: there are some big theological questions in this week's study guide. Do the "easy" ones first and give some thought to the tough ones. Write down your ideas and come back to them throughout the week. I can't wait to hear what you think about them! If you can make it Friday morning, I'll see you there. If you're following along via the blog, voice your opinions in the Comment section.
Have a wonderful week!
Your Partner in Ministry,
"Kind words are like honey - sweet to the soul and healthy for the body." Proverbs 16:24