Friday, December 11, 2009

Daniel 3

Daniel 3

Verse 1-7

* King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold.
* He gathered all the important people in Babylon for the dedication of the golden image. He commanded that all must fall down and worship the image when they hear the sound of the cornet.

In the previous chapter, Daniel revealed the dream of the king and gave him the interpretation of it. King Nebuchadnezzar, in all of his pride, thought he would make an image of gold to symbolize himself and for the Babylonians to worship. He wanted to change his future, which Daniel prophesied about, by making an image of gold from head to toe as opposed to the image that was in his dream. Apparently, he wanted his kingdom to last forever.

It is easy to fall into the trap of pride. When we feel so blessed by God, it is not hard to place ourselves above others. It's a subtle type of "worship me" thing. King Nebuchadnezzar heard Daniel telling him that God made him king in a very strong kingdom. Instead of giving God the glory, he took the glory to himself. Pride always precedes destruction!

Verses 8-30

* The cornet sounded and all the people gathered fell down and worship the golden image, except for three young men.The report reached the king that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship the golden image. This made the king infuriated.

* The three friends were summoned before the mad king. The interrogation began. The three did not waste time to answer the king... they plead guilty. They did not fall down and worshiped the idol! More furious, the king ordered that the furnace, which was prepared to burn those who would not worship the golden image, be heated to the hottest possible degree.

* The most mighty men were commanded by the king to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and to cast them into the fiery furnace. And they were thrown into the fire... BUT THE FIRE DIDN'T BURN THEM! Instead, the fire slew the men who cast them into it.

* Astonished, Nebuchadnezzar saw four men in the furnace instead of three! He said that the fourth man had a form like the Son of God!

* The king called the three out and blessed their God. He also promoted them.


* The furnace mentioned was not just a basic oven used for baking. It was most probably a furnace used to process bricks and smelt metals. Nobody would survive thrown in there.

* Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn't bow down before the golden image simply because they were not wimpy young people! They knew the commandments of the most high God and lived by it. They were determined never to worship or to bow to any other god! They didn't even know if God would deliver them from being burned.

* Nebuchadnezzar blessed the three friends' God. But he never made Him his own God!


* Placing ourselves in the shoes of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, do we have the same courage to pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ even if it means death for us to do so? Do we only serve and love God because we know He provides for our needs and protects us from all harm? Do we love him and serve Him because of the blessings we receive from Him?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Daniel 2:24-49

Daniel 2:24-49

Part 1


Verse 24-
Daniel, having received the revelations from the Lord for King Nebuchadnezzar, went to Arioch, the leader of the army that was commanded to put all the wise men in the kingdom to death, asking him to bring him before the king.

Verse 25-
Arioch brought Daniel in before the king, introducing him as a man of the captives of Judah.

Verse 26-
The king asked Daniel if he was able to tell him his dreams and their interpretation.

Verse 27-
Daniel told the king that no wise man can reveal the secret dreams and their interpretation.

Verse 28-
Daniel introduced God to king Nebuchadnezzar... God who alone reveals secrets and who knows about the future.

Verse 29-
Daniel said to the king that his dreams were things that would come to pass in the future and that God will reveal to Him what will happen.

Verse 30-
Daniel said that the revealing of the secret was not due to his wisdom. But for the sake of the king.


Before Daniel told the king his dream and its interpretation, he made sure that the king knows that the revelation was not coming from his own wisdom. He introduced the one and only God to King Nebuchadnezzar, giving Him all the credit.


It is easy for us to take credit for what God has done through us! Like Daniel, we need to give God all the glory. We are just His vessels... His servants. It is He who empowers us to do great things and win victories in this life. When we fail to Him the due credit, we rob Him of the honor that He alone deserves.

Part 2

Verses 31-45
Daniel revealed the secret dreams and their interpretation to the king...

The king's dream:
A great image with excellent brightness and terrible form stood before him. The image's head was of gold, his breasts and arms were silver, his belly and thighs were brass, his legs were of iron and his feet were of iron and of clay.

A piece of stone stuck the feet and broke them to pieces.

The iron, clay, brass, silver and gold were all broken to pieces together and became like chaff in the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away and they disappeared. The stone that struck the image became a mountain and filled the earth.

The interpretation of the dream:
King Nebuchadnezzar represented the head of gold in the image. God made him ruler of all. After him, a kingdom would rise inferior to his. And the third kingdom would rise more inferior than the second. The fourth kingdom would rise with a strength of an iron as it would be mixed with a miry clay. However, the fourth kingdom would be partly strong and partly weak being that the toes were partly iron and partly clay.
As the fourth kingdom was partly iron and partly clay, it would mingle with the seed of men but not cleave.

In the days of the four kings, God would set up His kingdom. His kingdom shall never be destroyed. It shall not be left to other people. It shall break into pieces and consume the kingdoms. It shall stand forever.

The stone which destroyed the image was cut out from the mountain without hands, God has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar that the interpretation of the dream is sure and that these things shall surely come to pass.


(Life Application Bible)
The head of gold on the image in the dream represented Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of Babylonian Empire. The silver chest and two arms represented the Medo-Persian Empire, which conquered Babylon in 539 BC. The belly and thighs of brass were Greece and Macedonia under Alexander the Great, who conquered the Medo-Persian Empire in 334-330 B.C. The legs of iron represented Rome, which conquered the Greeks in 63 B.C. The feet and toes of clay and iron represented the breakup of the Roman Empire, when the territory Rome ruled divided into a mixture of strong and weak nations. The type of metal in each part depicted the strength of the political power it represented. The Rock cut from the mountain depicted God's Kingdom which would be ruled eternally by the Messiah, the King of kings. The Lord reigns and His Kingdom shall reign on the ruins of the earthly kingdoms.


Only God's Kingdom prevails. Every thing else in this world fails. Even the most powerful empires on earth are now but ashes. The most powerful men on earth are also now but ashes. But there's one Kingdom that stands forever. Why don't we make sure we are part of this eternal Kingdom, ruled by a Savior who is patiently waiting for sinners to come to Him in repentance and be born into His Kingdom. And if we are already part of His Kingdom, won't we go out and tell our loved-ones about this Kingdom? One day, Jesus Christ will come to completely destroy the earthly kingdoms and reign forevermore. And those who put their trust in Him shall reign with Him. What a day that will be!

Part 3

Verse 46-
King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and worshiped Daniel. He also ordered that they offer oblation and sweet odors to him.

Verse 47-
The king acknowledged God as the God of gods, the Lord of kings and the revealer of secrets.

Verse 48-
The king honored Daniel. He gave him many gifts, made him ruler of the province of Babylon and chief of the governors over all the wise men in Babylon.


King Nebuchadnezzar honored Daniel and his God. He wouldn't have known and honored God if Daniel did not tell him about Him.


How can people around us know God if we don't tell them about Him? We can not expect people to guess God as the source of our righteousness, because many of them don't know Him and others don't care to know. One of lame excuses I have heard from people who has fears to tell people about God is this, "I just need to make the people around me wonder what I have because of the righteousness, peace and joy that they will see in me. Then, they will come and will ask me how to have what I want." It also works... very seldom though. Why can't we be bold like Daniel... go to people and not wait until people come to us and waste time. By the way, preaching or evangelizing means that it has to be with words. If we can talk about sports, fashion and other trivial things, there is no excuse for not telling people about our God!

Part 4

Verse 49-
Daniel requested for his friends to be appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon. Daniel sat in the gate of the king.


As Daniel was promoted by King Nebuchadnezzar, he remembered his friends. He knew how to show gratefulness to his friends who stood by him during the time that they faced death. They were there praying for God deliverance and revelation with him. He could afford to enjoy his position if his friends were not to be promoted as well. On the other hand, he now had an enormous responsibility. He needed competent assistants.


Often we forget those who helped us get promoted... or enjoy what we are and have now. I want to live a life of gratitude! I like to sit down and browse through pictures and remember the love and support, the prayers and encouragement that the people on the photos have given to me. I pray for them. I thank God for them. I send them "thank you" cards or gifts. Most of all, I remember to show kindness to them.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Daniel Blessed the Lord!

Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

And he changesth the times and the season: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness and the light dwelleth with him.

I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.

Blessed be Your name Oh Lord! I praise You with everything that I am and that I have. You are my source of wisdom, so I can live pleasing before you day by day. This wisdom has helped me be useful for your glory. You, oh Lord, is also the source of my strength. Each and every day, I depend on the strength that I can draw from you to sustain me as I carry on my responsibilities as a wife and a mother. My own strength fails me when my obligations get so overwhelming... obligations not only to my own family but to the body of Christ as I am a member of. I depend on your strength to carry me through life. And when I face unanticipated trials and temptations, I draw strength from you and my faith stands strong. Blessed be Your name oh my God!

Oh God, You are the one who changes times and seasons! You moved me from nation to nation over the past ten years... No matter where I am, I have always seen your hand upon me. I have seen the people's desperate need for You! Different groups of people have different ways of hiding their desperation. But it all boils down to the truth that all people need You... the majority of them just don't know that they do.

You are sovereign! Nothing happens or stop to happen without Your will. We may not understand a lot of what is happening in the world today, but You do! You give us wisdom enough for us to live a life pleasing to You.

You are the revealer of the secret things. I ask you that You reveal the secret things in Your Word in the book of Daniel as I continue to study it.

I love You God! I love You dear Lord Jesus Christ!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Daniel 2:1-23

Daniel 2:1-23


Verse 1-12
On his second year of reign, King Nebuchadnezzar was so troubled by particular dreams, which he totally could not remember. His advisers- magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and the Chaldeans failed to tell the king his dreams, which he demanded from them. The pagan advisers told the king that there was no such a man who could tell him his dreams and that only gods who did not dwell in flesh has the ability to do it. As his advisers failed, he demanded that all wise men in his kingdom be put to death. Daniel was among the group who faced death.

Verse 2:14-15
Arioch, the captain of the king's guard came to kill Daniel but he answered with counsel and wisdom. He asked Arioch what the reason for killing them was. The captain told him what happened in the palace.

Verse 2:16-19
Daniel went to the palace and plead before the king to give him time to know the dream and its interpretation. He then went home to tell his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah about what was going on. They asked God's mercy to reveal the secret. And He did... He revealed the secret to Daniel in a vision at night.

Verse 2:20-23
Daniel blessed the Lord!


In Babylon, dreams were considered messages from the gods during that time. The wise men of the kingdom were suppose to provide interpretations for the benefit of the king and his entire kingdom. Usually, the wise men could give some sort of interpretations as long as they know what the dreams were. God gave King Nebuchadnezzar a series of prophetic dreams that he totally forgot. No one on earth could tell him the dreams because no one on earth could know the mind of God except he who He revealed the secret to. The Chaldeans had insulted the king when they told him that there is no king, lord, nor ruler that asked such thing as to tell the dreams from any wise man. That must have made the king so mad that he ordered all the wise men to be put to death. When the Chaldeans said that only "... the gods whose dwelling is not with flesh" could tell what the king's dreams were, they were actually saying that the gods didn't exist. Only a God who exist can reveal the said secret to who He wants to reveal it to... And that man was Daniel. God gave Daniel extraordinary knowledge and wisdom. He revealed the dreams and their interpretations to him.

In chapter 1, we saw how Daniel gained the favor of the prince of the eunuchs. Now, in this chapter, I can see how he gained the favor from the captain of the king's guard. His tactful and wise words must have made the captain listen to him before slaying him to death.

Imagine standing before a furious king! Daniel, had the guts to stand before a very temperamental king. I wonder if the teenager Daniel wasn't scared at all. But this I am sure of, he didn't panic. He was able to confidently approach the king with a request to give him time and he would tell him his dreams and their interpretations that would come from the God of heaven. Once again, he was shown favor... the king granted his request. He came home and found his three friends who had the same strong beliefs in God as he had. Together they sought God. They prayed for His mercy to reveal the king's dreams. And God, who placed Daniel and his friends in the Babylonian kingdom revealed the king's dreams to Daniel in a vision at night.

After Daniel received the revelation from the Lord, which would spare his and his friends' lives from death, he knew what to do... thank and bless the Lord! He knew the knowledge and wisdom were from Him. And He knew where the praise and blessings be directed to. He knew that it's God and God alone who is sovereign and is worthy of all praise!


There has been a line that separates the true and false prophets since Daniel's time until today. There's a line that separates between the wise men of this world and the men that have been anointed by God... a line that separates worldly wisdom and that which comes from heaven.

How many self-proclaimed prophets have come and gone in this age? Countless. They were exposed in the light. They may seem to be real at a period of time but God always creates an event that exposes their evil hearts.

In my life, I have seen people acting like they are superior than others because they are well-educated and have important careers. One of the statements that really broke my heart after arriving in America was spoken at dinner I was invited to... "She is uneducated." Talking about some girlfriend of their brother. I can never forget that line. It's a line that proves how education is a label that holds people superior than others in this culture. It shocked me. I never would have expected that line to be spoken in the open. Daniel was well-educated! But, it was not his education that saved him and his friends from death. It was God! The wisdom and ingenuity of man are but temporary. Ultimately, only the wisdom that comes from God can save us.

When we are in a tight spot, we need to turn to God and to people who also believe in God's power. Things can go worse if we run to wrong people, who are capable of giving us bad counsel. Also, it is important not to panic when a crisis arises. Remember that God did not give His children the spirit of fear but of power, of love and of sound mind.

When God answers our prayers, it is easy to dash off in our excitement and forget to give God the credit for the answer. We need to match our consistence in prayer with gratitude when they are answered.

To God be all the glory.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Daniel 1:5-21


Verse 5
The young Jewish captives in Babylon were to be nourished with the king's meat and wine for three years.

Verse 6
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah of the tribe of Judah were among the young captives.

Verse 7
The four kids were given Babylonian names, Daniel as Belteshazzar, Hananiah as Shadrach, Mishael as Meshach and Azariah as Abed-nego.

Verse 8
Daniel purposed in his heart not to partake any of the king's meat and wine so not to defile himself.

Verse 9
The prince of the eunuchs favored Daniel.

Verse 10
The prince of the eunuchs begged Daniel to be nourished with the king's meat and wine so that Daniel and his friends would not look worse than the others.

Verse 11
Melzar was the name of the prince of the eunuchs.

Verses 12-16
Daniel challenged Melzar to give them vegetables and water instead of the king's meat and wine for a ten-day trial. After 10 days, Melzar found them physically healthier than the others. The prince then decided to exclude the king's meat and wine from their diet.

Verse 17
Daniel and his friends were not only proven healthier than the rest but God also gave them knowledge, skills and wisdom. Daniel had the ability to understand visions and dreams.

Verses 18-21
When it was time for them to be presented to Nebuchadnezzar, the king was so pleased with them. He found them 10 times better than the other wise men in his kingdom. From then on, they became his advisers on every thing.


Verses 5-8
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were forced to eat the king's meat and wine, the best diet in Babylon, to make sure they would look fit to serve in the king's palace. The verses show how Daniel must be the leader of the four being that he was the one who made the decision not to partake the king's meat and wine. The king's food was probably pork or some other food that was forbidden in Leviticus 11. It must not have been prepared according to the Jewish laws and was maybe sacrificed to idols. Daniel must have thought through his convictions well before faced with the temptation to defile himself with the unclean food in Babylon.

King Nebuchadnezzar had a goal to convert his young Jewish captives into Babylonians. Changing their diet was one way to introduce them to their new lifestyles. Changing their names was a way to get their loyalty. The names Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Asariah carried a loyalty to the One and Only Almighty God. The Hebrew words -el, and -yah refer to God. The four kids carried the name of God in their names. Daniel means, "God is my judge." It was replaced by a Babylonian name "Belshazzar", which means "he whom Bel (a Babylonian god) favors." Evidently, they want Daniel to carry the name of their god instead of the One and Only God of the Jews. They did the same to Daniel's friends. Hananiah, which means "God is gracious" was replaced by Shadrach. Mishael, which means "Who is like God?" was replaced by Meshach. Azariah, which means "Yahweh has helped" was replaced by Abednego, which means "servant of the god, Nebo." Undoubtedly, these four kids were taught the laws of the Lord by their parents. In this chapter, we see how Daniel showed his loyalty to God by refusing to defile himself with the Babylonian food. In chapter 3, we will see how his three friends display their loyalty to God.

Verses 9-21
Without compromising, Daniel found a way to live by God's standards in a culture that did not honor God. Wisely choosing to negotiate rather than rebel, he suggested an experimental ten-day diet of vegetables and water, instead of the king's meat and wine.

Daniel and his friend maintained their allegiance to God while doing their work to learn about their new nation with excellence. While the nation's wise men were authoritative in communicating their words to the king as if it sounded directly from their gods, Daniel and his friends had extraordinary knowledge and insight given to them by God. It was God who appointed Daniel to serve as a counselor to the kings of Babylon. The nation would have been much worse had not God put Daniel in it.


It is quite a challenge to be counter cultural. In a culture where there is abundance of food, it is very easy to succumb into gluttony and placing our appetite for food on the throne. Fasting and prayer is, for me, one way to show that I am not a slave of food... that I don't only live to eat. That I don't only live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. I have seen many people who are obsessed with food... be it junk food or organic food. Obsession with anything but God is sin! (While it is important to choose healthy food, I cannot put my trust in organic food. I can only put my trust in the Lord who has the power to make food clean. That's why I pray before meals... for God to sanctify what I eat.)

How sad it is that many professing Christians would not make a stand to pledge allegiance to God! They may say they are Christians but their lifestyles are no different than those of the world. A very good example of this is the recent experience I have with one of my friends. She said that she had decided to join a so-called church which accepts everything. Apparently, there is no "black and white" truth in that church. Every possible god of false religions are accepted there. It shocked and has agonized me when she made this comment because there is only one Way, one Truth and one Life and that is Jesus Christ. Christianity is all about Jesus Christ! Nobody has the right to claim to be a Christian if they do not pledge allegiance to Him! And only those who has His Spirit can say Jesus Christ is LORD!

I must not allow this culture to remake me into a person who blasphemes the name of my God. This culture subtly drill and indoctrinate that blaspheming the holy name of the Lord is okay. For instance, saying "OMG!" Another way of the world to cause the children of God to be defiled is sensuality. Fashion has a big role to play in this area. What the world of fashion calls beautiful is often sensually inspired. I am glad I have my husband to provide me "check and balances" as to what to and not to wear.

Culture needs not be God's enemy. But if it violates God's laws, a true Christian knows where to stand. A true Christian discerns what is of God and what is not. His thoughts and convictions are not clouded. Our government needs people like Daniel and his friends. People with unquestionable integrity, excellent skills, godly wisdom and steadfast allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to pray for more modern Daniels in our nation.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Daniel 1:1-4


Verses 1-2
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged Jerusalem and conquered it. He captured King Jehoiakim of Judah. As part of his plunder, King Nebuchadnezzar carried the vessels of the temple to Babylon and put them into the treasure house of his god.

Verse 3-4
Nebuchadnezzar also took the best children of Israel- those of royal blood, of best education, of great physical stature and brilliant. Daniel was among those kids. Among the things that the young captives were going to learn in Babylon is the tongue of the Chaldeans which is the Babylonian language.


Verses 1-2
Daniel was born during the middle of Josiah's reign in Judah and grew up during the king's reforms. He must have heard the message of Jeremiah. When Josiah died, Jehoiakim became king. The nation of Israel returned to its wicked ways. God disciplined His people by giving Israel and King Jehoiakim into the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon as it besieged the nation.

King Nebuchadnezzar was feared throughout the land during his time. When he attack a nation, defeat was certain. To show his power, he takes his plunder of the most valuable things and people as captives to Babylon.

Verses 3-4
Those most valuable people who King Nebuchadnezzar brought back to Babylon were to be educated in the academic system of Chaldea (Babylon). The system includes Mathematics, astronomy, history and a strong dose of alchemy and magic. By imposing this system on their captives, Babylon would have a vast supply of wise and talented people for its civil service.


God is sovereign! He is Lord over the most minor to the most major changes in the history of man. Nothing happens or stops to happen without Him allowing it. He alone has the power to plant and overthrow kingdoms. King Johoiakim and the whole Israel were warned by the prophet Jeremiah to repent of their wicked ways and return to God. But they didn't obey the Word of God through the prophet. It is a serious thing to refuse to repent when God say so. It is always followed by a disaster. God has the power to hand us over to defeat and captivity... maybe in the form of worldliness, pluralistic ideology, depression, addiction, sickness, poverty, reprobate mind and etc. if we refuse to obey His Word.

There are two kinds of captives. One, those who embrace their captivity... enjoy it and comply with the wishes of their captors. Two, are those who embrace their captivity with a repentant heart and never allow their captors to convert them... never allowed their captors to reshape or completely replace their beliefs.

I am in this world but I am not of this world. I will be careful not to allow this world to shape my beliefs. I must not allow this world to convert me into a person who does things that are not pleasing before my God. I cannot blend in this world... this world has a form of godliness but it denies the existence and sovereignty of the almighty God, the Creator of all things! I cannot blend in this world as it denies the Lordship of Jesus... as it denies that Jesus Christ is THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE... NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH HIM!