Daniel 2:24-26

Do you know God? Do you trust Him?

Daniel 2:24-26

"Then Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, “Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him.”

"Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can tell the king what his dream means”

"The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?”

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If you compared with interlinear version the you saw that NIV is a literal and perfect rendering. Before we go on let's only remember that they are receiving answer to their prayer as an act of faith, which was showed in Daniel 2:17-18 (you can read it again)

There in Dn 2:17-18 we saw that their act of joint together in prayer is an act of obedience to the commands we can find in the Old Testament (for instance in Ps 69:32-33, Ecc 4:9) To be taken to the king and to stop the order of killing all the wise men in Babylonia was only a little part of God's answer to their prayer. After that they were promoted as Babylonian statesmen, and they gave testimony on many times about Israel's God before the kings. Since Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10 was known by a prophetic word that the captivity in Babylonia should last 70 years, and Isaiah 44:26-45-13 calls king Cyrus (by name, more than 200 years before!) as God's instrument to set them free. But it was certainly the testimony they gave in Babylonia which made them special before kings, and which showed those kings that Israel's God was God over everything (see Daniel 2:48-49; 3:28-30: 4:1-3; 5:11-12, 29; 6:26-27, which show the testimony of those Jewish "slaves" before the Babylonians and Persians)

Which promises of God do you know? Do you trust them?

There are promises of God almost in every book of the Bible. They are often connected to commandments or conditions, as a pact (you do your part, then I will respond as promised) but sometimes they are unconditioned (as many promises about Abraham's choice, Israel's choice, the future of Israel and the church) and then they are predictive prophecies. There's a great deal of theology about God's promises and pacts to the believers. In some way, we can say that our relationship with God is determined by that pact which applies in every era. But to put everything in its place we need to know what "are" and what "aren't" God's promises.

In Matthew 13:3-9 we can read one of the most known parables of our Lord Jesus Christ, the "Parable of the Sower". In this teaching, our Lord compares the reception of the Word of God by people who hear it as the reception of the seed which is scattered on the ground. In the same way that He defined four kinds of answer to God's word, we can see four answers to God's promises. We hear messages about them, we read about them, but many of us forget them, or abandon them when going through trials and conflicts, or entangle ourselves in earthly life's issues so much that they are not relevant at all in our lives.

This parable teaches us that we can forget that which God has promised us, or distrust it when we are in trouble, or become excellent procrastinators, because we have "more important" things to do. But if we love God and search Him, He will always help us recall His promises, He will support us when we are weak in our faith and He will teach us the right priorities. That's why we must love God FIRST, and a "legal" relationship with God doesn't work. There was a scribe who asked the Lord Jesus Christ about the most important commandment of all. The Lord answered him with Deuteronomy 6:4-5, and by that way He showed that to love God is superior to every ordinance or ritual. In 1 Corinthians 13 the apostle Paul shows us also that it doesn't matter how many spiritual gifts we could have; without love, it will be to no avail. It is true that God is a God of promises and God is a God of covenants, but these promises and covenants are not the basis to love God. They are the gift of God to those who love Him.

Promises are neither a way to "oblige" God or "demand" from Him something. He is Sovereign, and He answers us when He wants and how He wants - we are supposed to believe that His time is the correct one, and not ours, and that His answer is the fair one, no the one we wish. Many believers have err because they didn't act on this principle, and other ones have succeeded by persevering. Abraham engendered a son with Hagar because his faith in God's promise (to get a heir from Sarah) failed, and he didn't wait the fulfillment of God's promise (Genesis 16) Peter and other disciples were about to go back to their old occupation (fishermen) because their faith in the Lord's call (who promised them to make them "fishers of men") fainted, as we can see in John 21:2-3, 25-27. But the disciples who prayed in the upper room were baptized in the Holy Spirit because they trusted Jesus' promise, and they kept praying together and waiting for God's answer during ten days (see Acts 1, 2)

If we observe those conditions (love God first, and wait in Him) then we are in the right place to be blessed through God's promises, let's say, through what they really are. God's promises are a GOAL. We have spoken about the example of the sportsmen, which Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, to teach us that an act of obedience is part of a strategy to reach a goal. We certainly obey God because we love Him, but our obedience is part of His plan and His strategy. When you have a goal, then you understand that some things will hinder you from reaching it, other things will delay or disturb you, and other things help you in the way to it.

The book of Joshua, chapter 6, narrates the taking of Jericho. It's been always challenging to me to read about the faith of the army of Israel in applying a so strange strategy. They walked in a silent procession around the city wall, sounding their shofars, for a whole week; the seventh day they did that seven times. My goodness! It seems to be a very strange way to besiege a city, thinking in military terms. Isn't it? I think that the inhabitants of Jericho, seen that kind of parade, should be proud because of the "honors that the Jews were paying them". But the promise was from God, the power which should destroy the walls was from God, and the Jews were supposed to obey God only (as simple as that!) to see His hand at work.

The promises which are goals in our Christian life become MOTIVES of holiness. The apostle John writes in his first letter, chapter three, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure". On the basis of several promises, the apostle shows us how hoping on their fulfillment is a powerful motivation for us to be purified:

1) Because we have been made children of God, and like Jesus
(even when it "is not yet been made known", but it is Jn 1:12's fulfillment)
2) Because He will appear, in His Second Coming
(the fulfillment of 1 Thessalonians 4:16)
3) Because we will be transformed, as He was transformed in His resurrection
(the fulfillment of Lk 20:36; Ro 8:11; 1 Co 15:42-44, 51-54)

If you read the message which accompanies Daniel 2:14-16 in this site, then you know how I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, in the middle of a crisis I was passing through. The demonstration in which we were taking part was ended, but the anointing that the Lord gave us that day in Södermalmskyrka didn't. The Spirit of God has been working in our lives so that we bear fruits. And one of these fruits is in prayer.

Before receiving the baptism in the Spirit, I was problably the believer with less praying time on Christianity. Sometimes, after several days and even weeks, the only prayer that came out of my lips was to thank the Lord for my meals (and even this prayer was not always present) But the Lord came to transform many things in my life, and especially this one. Through those years when we were illegal immigrants and were living "underground", sometimes we had no job (and consequently no gain) But the Lord provided for us through generous donations from Christian brethren, and gave us lodge in a room which was a part of the temple, there we didn't have to pay rent. 

In the book of Proverbs, the wise king Solomon wrote a verse which have been always a great help for me: Proverbs 13:23, "Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment" (King James Version) We use KJV because it's nearer to the Spanish version by which we first knew the verse. "Tillage" is the rendering of Hebrew "nir" which means "fallow ground" (a technique in farming which consists in leaving a part of the land without sowing, so that it recovers its nutritional properties) As I received it, some periods in our lives can be "fallow ground", a time of unemployment for instance, when we have "zero productivty". But even when we are deprived of the ability, the right or the possibility of doing something profitable, there's "much food" in us. That "food" - now talking about spiritual food - can be destroyed, or lost (hebrew "safá" can be translated "to destroy" or "to sweep away") if we don't care about it (which usually happens with people who "wants judgment") That period of "fallow ground" gave us more faith that any other in our lives (I'm talking out of my personal experience, but others could corroborate it) At that time we use to begin the day with a "praise & prayer" service, and we prayed from God to help us in our situation. No one of us who attend those meetings is without answer (and much more than we expected)

For me it was also a time to grow in the knowledge of God. By that time I adquired my first Study Bible and some Christian books, and the Lord gave me my first messages. But it was mainly a time of growing in prayer. That room where we lived was conected with the temple, which was empty by night, and I used to go down there to pray. 

In one of that prayer sessions, after an hour or more of praising and praying to God, I was standing and waiting for Him to answer me. It is important not only to speak with God, but also to listen what He wants to tell us. The answer came to me on that night as a vision (it was like dreaming, you know, when we see scenes as if they were real, but I wasn't asleep but standing and awake) I saw myself without skin, or muscles, or organs; only a skeleton. And I saw in vision how it gradually appeared tendons, muscles, and the "new me" was been formed. To know about the meaning of that vision, I consulted the Word of God. In Ezekiel 37 the Lord showed me a similar vision, now concerning the people of Israel and its restoration. The restoration of the people of God is showed there as a resurrection from dry bones, too. Wow! - I thought - the Lord has showed me my resurrection! But it wasn't all. Some time later, the Lord gave me a prophetic word through a sister. She was a precious lady who, even in her eighties, was one of the most faithful of the congregation, serving as a deaconess and participating in almost every service. Sister Adriana Urzua revealed to me through the Spirit that my vision had to do with my call, and a personal confirmation from God to me. Even when the restoration which the Lord promised is not yet 100% fulfilled, there's a great deal I've seen until now, and it is my believe that "...he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6) That revelation was a great blessing to me. There's a little difference in saying, "the Bible affirms that the believers will be restored, and that they will be resurrected", and saying "the Lord has showed ME that I'm being restored, and that I will resurrect". 

If you have not received yet Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, do not wait any longer! He gave His life on the cross of Calvary to set us free from our sins, and to transform us back to God's image and likeness, that has been lost by living wihout caring about Him. He sent the Holy Spirit to guide us, in our prayers, in our actions and especially in understanding His Word. With God, everything is possible. Confess Him your sins, ask for forgiveness and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior! It doesn't matter in which condition your life is; the Lord will restore it and He will help you to reach a state you haven't even imagined. There are hundreds of promises from God which will be yours also, at the time you confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. 

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

Israel Leonard

PS Jesus is coming soon! 

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