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September 6 Today’s Reading: Daniel 2-3
“We will not serve thy gods.”
The book of Daniel is so manifestly a prophecy regarding the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ that the Jews declare that it is not a book of prophecy. The reason is obvious. — Were they to acknowledge that the book of Daniel is a book of prophecy, they would be compelled to acknowledge that Jesus of Nazareth (whom they crucified) is the Christ, the Messiah.
Christ and Antichrist
The Book of Daniel deals with nations and wars, specifically identifying the rise and fall of kings and kingdoms, all opposing our God, all opposing Christ and His kingdom, the church of God. But these nations and their kings shall fall before Christ our King. Daniel declares, as does the Book of Revelation, the sure and certain triumph of Christ over antichrist, the sure and certain triumph of God’s church over Babylon, the full redemption and salvation of God’s elect, and the everlasting glory of Christ.
In chapter 2 Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. In his dream Nebuchadnezzar saw the image of a man. The head was made of gold, the chest and arms of silver, the stomach and thighs of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet and toes of iron mixed with clay. As Nebuchadnezzar looked, a stone was cut out, not by human hands, and thrown at the image, striking its feet. This stone then grew into a huge mountain that filled the earth. The meaning of this vision is given in verse 44. ― “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” There must be a series of kingdoms in the earth, ruled according to man's ways, idolatrous and ungodly. But, ultimately, God's kingdom shall reduce them all to dust and fill the whole earth. The kingdoms of this world must crumble; but the kingdom of God shall endure forever (Revelation 11:15). — The Stone “cut out without hands” is Christ. The mountain growing from that Stone and filling the whole earth is the church and kingdom of Christ (Matthew 16:18).
Daniel and his friends (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) lived in a time of Divine judgment upon their nation. The vast majority of the people of their land despised God and His commandments. Therefore God sent Israel into horrible bondage. Daniel and his band witnessed the conquest of their country, the rape of God’s temple, and were themselves carried away into captivity.
In Babylon they were assigned to the service of the king. But everything in that heathen society blasphemed God. Idolatry was rampant. Immorality was promoted in the name of religion, enlightenment, and freedom. Because of their assigned position, they were assigned a luxurious diet of foods and drinks that had been offered to idols. Eating such food was clearly forbidden in the Scriptures. So Daniel quietly, but resolutely refused to do so. His three friends followed his lead. In the midst of a wicked, oppressive, perverse society, “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” He and his friends might have suffered greatly for their decision. But as they resolved to honor God, God began to display his favor toward and blessing upon them (1 Samuel 2:30)
We live in similar circumstances. In this society the house of God has been raped, the Gospel of God has been prostituted, and the name of God is everywhere blasphemed. We live in a generation under the judgment of God! Our government appears to have no purpose other than the promotion of Sodomy, fornication, abortion, and the complete destruction of moral principle. In our schools the name of God cannot be mentioned, except to blaspheme it; but in the name of morality young children are taught how to commit fornication “safely”! In the media, in the schools, in the White House, in the congress, and in the churches of this country rebellion against God is promoted, often in the name of God!
As believers in this decadent society, we must draw the line, like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. We must resolve, by the grace of God, not to defile ourselves by yielding to the pressures of a heathen culture and the idolatry of freewill/works religion out of which it grows. As the children of God, we must constantly separate ourselves from the pagan influences around us (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1). Spirit of God, give us grace to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and say to this generation, “we will not serve thy gods!”
“Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known!”