Daniel 4:30-32 (NIV 33-35)

Are you a friend of God? Or an enemy? Take a deep look to these verses:

Daniel 4:30-32 (NIV 33-35)

"Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird"

"At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?"

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If you have compared the New International Version with the original Aramaic version then you have probably seen that it is a very good translation. The "powers of heaven" has been rendered as "armies of heaven" in other versions, because the word "kháyil" means both "army", "military" and "power", "strength". We can see also that the menace upon the king, which was a warning, now becomes real, and the king fell ill for seven years, living in a deplorable condition. This situation was the judgement for his sin of haughtiness, and his attitude of disregard about God's word (you can read about it in this site, under the link "Daniel 4:25-27")

What do you mean for "God's enemy"?

You have probably seen in the news about a war which takes place in the old Babylonia (actually in Syria and Irak) against a jihadist group that is trying through terrorism and "holy" war to create an international caliphate and submit all mankind under their dominion. To them, we all ("anyone else", including millions Muslims of other denominations) are "God's enemies"; their solution is to convert to Islam - in their form - or to die.
But it is not only "ISIS" members who have a concept of who is "God's enemy". We hear everywhere about religious wars and huge iniquities of some human beings against others, because they consider them "God's enemies".

Are you a friend of God? Or an enemy?

To answer this question we need to establish what is an enemy of God. Only then we can examine ourselves and know our spiritual condition. King David wrote in Psalms 139:23-24:

"Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting"

That which we consider to be a "friend" or "enemy" of God is not what matters. The truth is that which God says in His Word. To David, his thoughts were not the truth, but God's answer after proving him. He knew that any "offensive way" should make him an enemy of God. He didn't trust his own heart, but only that which God should show him. Have you listened some slogan about "following your heart"? Be careful about it, because it is from our hearts that good things come, but evil, too.

How could we know when are we acting as God's enemies?

We can read in the Word, besides king Nebuchadnezzar, about many others who behaved as God's enemies, showing hostility to Him - Satan the first one. The name "Satan" comes from Hebrew "Satán" and means "adversary" - the name of the Evil One. His rebellion included many angels and made them enemies of God, "fallen angels" like Satan himself. And the biblical concept of "God's enemies" is linked to this word, the "fallen" ones.
When we read about how sin was introduced among humans, we see in Genesis 3 that it was Satan who caused the first humans to fall. And when we continue reading, then we can see that the Evil One's activity has not ceased, and will not cease untill the Second Coming of Jesus, when Satan shall be bound so that he can't deceive anyone. That's why the sinners are called "children of the devil" (his followers or adherents, those who think and feel like the Evil One) You can read in Daniel 2:12-13 in this site about spiritual fatherhood.

How do we become "children of the devil"? In this story about king Nebuchadnezzar we see a rather simple explanation: he had a personal revelation about things that God should bring upon him if he sinned, but he ignored it, and sinned. He also had a word of wisdom from the prophet Daniel to avoid the punishment, but he ignored it as well. To ignore God's Word is the same as rejecting Him.

Have you chosen your own ways, in open rebellion against God and His Word? Do you live in opposition against the Spirit of God? Are you a "fallen one"?

Certainly these questions are not to be answered to me, but for your own spiritual examen. The Holy Spirit is the One who lead us to repentance so that we can live in God's grace.

Repentance? What "repentance"? are you maybe wondering about.

In Daniel 4 we can see some kind of "repentance" in Nebuchadnezzar. The king "raised his eyes toward heaven" - he acknowledged God - and praised the God of his Hebrew slaves (remember that he had his own Babylonian deities) We have no record about the king's conversion, and his own words show a very limited knowledge of God (he didn't know how to "move the hand of God" by prayer, and he didn't know that "all the peoples of the earth" are so important to Him that He would send His Only Son to die on a cross for us) But he evidently learned a lesson of humility and of respect to God, that's why he was restored to his royal position.

That limited knowledge of God that the king got - his "faith" - was the result of his repentance, and he was saved from his miserable condition. Then he exalted Israel's God. Notice that not even that Babylonian king, who dealt with the Jews in a very cruel manner, and who despised their God, not even Nebuchadnezzar was abandoned by Him. How much more we, even in our fallen condition, can believe that the Lord wants our blessing and restoration?

Many people do not receive the Word of God because they don't consider themselves as "God's enemies" or "fallen ones". They think that they are friends of God before they "do no harm to anybody". But we can't see in their lives some acknowledgment of God's authority, we can't hear some praise to Him, and we find nothing that shows their "friendship" with God.

The Word of God shows us, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, greater promises that those which the king got. He was delivered of haughtiness and boast; we shall be delivered from sin (from all existing kind of sins) He was restored to a former condition of authority and royalty on earth; we will be restored to the glory of God on eternity. He could proclame God's greatness in a very limited way; we shall be able to sing of the love of Christ on eternity, and we will know Him totally.

Do you want to be a "friend of God"? Observe the words of Our Lord to His disciples (not to the twelve, but to all the disciples who should come to Him through many centuries) :

"You are my friends if you do what I command"

John 15:14

God's greatest promises, which will be fulfilled in order to bless us on earth now, and on eternity, have an entrance door: Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior. To follow Him, listen to Him, obey Him and live under His guidance, makes us FRIENDS OF GOD. It is to restore the glorious communion with God, lost because of our fall, that the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our hearts. If you have not yet received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, today is the day! All you need is to kneel before Him, confess Him your sins, repent and ask Him to come to you, to save you and lead you. It is the prayer He wants to hear, that one which leads a sinner from death to eternal life. There is joy in heaven when a sinner repents. Receive Christ, and with Him, eternal life!

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

Israel Leonard

PS. Jesus comes soon!

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