Daniel 2:12-13

Do you consider yourself just? Read the following verses:

Daniel 2:12-13

"This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death"

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We can see that NIV's rendering is a very good one. Just notice the concept of "justice" of the king Nebuchadnezzar:

1) The "wise men" who had always served him, and just confessed their ignorance where sentenced to death - as traitors - instead of some kind of discipline, or even fire them from their "jobs" because of their "incapacity". The reason of the king's act is in verse 12, that says that "he was so angry and furious". Keep it on mind, because we're going to talk about anger.

2) Another act that shows the king's justice is calling Daniel and his friends to kill them also. If we read a little forward we'll see that Daniel didn't know what happened, because he had not been in the discussion. By that time Daniel and his friends were not "Babylonian wise men" but Jewish, that's why they were in a "three years preparatory school" and they had not been called to interpret the king's dream.

The apostle James writes in his letter (1:19-20) "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires". Anger is one of the reasons that lead us to wrong decisions - which we will repent of, later - and one of the reasons that make us rebellious against God. The apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 2:1-3 that Christ gave us life, because we were "dead in our transgressions and sins". "To be dead" in a spiritual sense is to be in the hands of Satan, the "spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient", and to be "by nature deserving of wrath". In the original, "disobedient" and "deserving wrath" are called "sons of disobedience" and "children of wrath". Those are special expressions which we can compare with that of the "father" of those "sons".

In the Scripture God is called "Our Father", "glorious Father" (or "Father of glory") and "Father of compassion"; Abraham is called "father of the circumcised" and "father of all who believed". But the sinners are called "children of the devil", and the devil, "father of lies". In the biblical Hebrew - and its Greek equivalent - the word "Father" is often used to mean the source of something; in the same way that a biological "father" engenders children, a spiritual one "engenders" another kind of "sons", spiritual ones, those who follow their teaching and their example. That's why a person who doesn't obey God's commandments (by killing, robbing, committing adultery, etc. which makes him "son of disobedience") or who acts under a fleshly emotion (like anger, which makes him a "son of anger") are both called "sons of Satan", because they follow his example.

It doesn't mean that we are going to hell because of our emotions. The well known preacher Joyce Meyer has written a precious book called "Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don't Control You" which we recommend as an example of wisdom. To be a Christian doesn't take away our feelings and emotions - as anger or indignation - but teaches us to control them. It is not a sin to become angry, but it is a sin to do evil because of your anger - as the king Nebuchadnezzar did.

How can we keep anger under control? Let me tell you, it is not a human task. Anger is like some viruses which mutate to resist medicines. When we just repress anger and pretend that it doesn't exist, it will come back in some way as resentment, grouchiness or vengefulness (a whole set of emotions which are just anger in disguise) Besides, it is not possible to "freeze" your heart in order to annihilate emotions and feelings. There's no promise in the Bible that "God will take away your feelings and emotions". The Lord Jesus Christ became angry (Mark 3:1-5, John 2:13-17) and the prophets (Exodus 32:15-20; Jeremiah 6:10-11; Jonah 4:1-9) and apostles (Acts 17:16; 2 Corinthians 11:29) But they didn't sin because of their emotions.

One of the pastors who has led me in the Lord and whose precious teaching I always remember is Alfonso Ambrossi, who founded our church in Sollentuna. In a Bible study which I never forget, he compared the acts we see on earth as the fruits of a tree which has its roots in heavens. There's no point - he taught - in cutting away the fruits only, because the tree will bring forth new ones. This picture refers back to Ephesians, with the "children of anger" or "of disobedience". So long the root is left on the ground, the sinful "fruits" will appear. Is it possible to unroot the tree?

Our first step is the identification of the "root". My "root" was ignorance about God and His ways (because I was an atheist) To live alienated from God and the spiritual world causes us to focus in the acts we see, without considering the reasons (the "roots") When we know the "root" and how is it that the devil uses it, then we can ask the Holy Spirit for help, in order to be free from its influence. In my case, the best of all tools has been prayer. "Pray continually" is the Lord's commandment, and it is not for nothing. When we pray for sinners instead of condemning them, God is using our prayers to destroy barriers of hate which Satan wants to rise between them and us. And when we rebuke unclean spirits which work in the "sons of..." (all kinds of sin) then we are delivering the souls from satanic oppression. God abhors sin, but He loves sinners and He wants to save them.

If you have not received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, do not wait any longer! He loves you and He wants you to be free from anger or from any emotion which bounds you to sin, because "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). If you have received the Lord but you're still bound because of some emotion, PRAY. The Holy Spirit uses prayers in a supernatural way to transform your life ("the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord", Romans 6:23) Ask from the Lord the revelation of the "roots" which nourish sin in you, and how to be free from that attachment.

May the Lord bless you. In the love of Christ, your brother

Israel Leonard

PS Jesus is coming soon!

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