Daniel 5:13-14

Do you you feel that God has forgotten you?

Observe the following verses:

Daniel 5:13-14

"So Daniel was brought before the king, and the king said to him, “Are you Daniel, one of the exiles my father the king brought from Judah? I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom"

If you compared the English version with the original Aramaic, then you surely did find that the New International Version has a very good translation of the passage. And that the king is asking the prophet about his identity (he didn't know who he was) and is talking about Daniel's special abilities as "something he has heard". When we read Daniel 4:5-6 (8-9) we see a remarkable difference between Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar; the first one knew he could trust the prophet and his spiritual gifts, but not the other one. Belshazzar had forgotten Daniel and the service the prophet did in Babylonia, and even the authority which Nebuchadnezzar gave hom. When he calls Daniel, his question isn't, "are you the wise man which my father appointed as the chief of all wise men in Babylonia?" but "one of the exiles", of the Jewish slaves taken by Nebuchadnezzar. The king in Daniel 4:14-15 (17-18) acknowledges that Daniel could interpret that which was impossible to the rest of the wise men, but Belshazzar says, "I've heard", "if you can read". In his way of addressing Daniel there is no appreciation, no faith in his gifts and no certainty that the prophet should read the writing in the wall.

Have you been forgotten by other persons?

I've been working circa one year as a high school teacher of Physics. It ended suddenly because of my conflicts with communist political organizations, and my teaching career was ended (my father gave a good word for me and helped me to get to the Naval Academy, in order to become navigator in the Navy. But that's another story) Some years later, those of my students which I met somewhere were very glad to see me again, they remembered me and greeted me. Other ones kept the "rule of minimal distance between teenager and adult over 30" (it uses to be about 100 feet)

In Luke 17:11-19 we can read about a similar experience that Our Lord Jesus had. In that occasion, he healed ten men from leprosy, but only one of them came back to give him thanks. We don't read in the Word the reason that the other ones didn't. Maybe they forgot their Healer, maybe they were not specially grateful people. But we do know that only one came back to thank Jesus for his healing.

That someone forgets us could be just funny. But it can be also deplorable, and even tragic, as it was with Belshazzar. If he would have some respect for Daniel and for his God, the God of Israel, then he would hardly desecrate the holy vessels of the temple in Jerusalem, using them to his orgy. His contempt against the Jews and their God costed him his life.

One of the most tragic stories of forgetfulness is about the people of Israel, the Jewish nation. Many people who call themselves "Christian" and many muslims have forgotten the ones who first knew and worship the one and only God, and prevented us from idolatry, who gave us the holy Scriptures which testify about this real God and about His role in Israel's history and in mankind's history, the people from which the Messiah came, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior of mankind, and the people from which the church of God was born in Jerusalem.

The nation of Israel, the source of blessing for everyone who professes to be a believer in the Holy Scriptures, is not only forgotten by many of them, but despised and even aggressed by many people which want to obliterate them from the surface of the earth. If God is for someone that God of the Bible, the one who created heavens and earth, plants and animals, Adam and Eve, the God who sent the flood and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, then it is impossible that this someone shall ignore that this is the same God who created the Jewish people, who delivered them from slavery in Egypt, gave them the Scriptures, the Holy Land and Jerusalem, and promised them redemption on eternity.

There are many people who have forgotten Israel and even despise them. But God remembers His people! He has given them back most of the land He promised to Abraham, and He will always give them victory.

Let's remember the question of the beginning, do you you feel that God has forgotten you?

It's deceitful to evaluate God's ways on human basis. He is the Creator, and if there is something good in us, it's just because we are reflecting Him. It is we who are created, and who show Our Father's features, it is not God who shows human features. He is perfect, but we are imperfect. He is unchanging, but we change faster than the weather - and we don't even have some weather forecasting to tell us when we are "cloudy" or "clear". He forgets nothing but the things He wants - our sins, for instance. We forget many things we should remember, and remember many things we should forget.

If you feel that God has forgotten you, please read this verse, Romans 11:29:

..."for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable"

We want to emphasize three keywords in this verse:

"irrevocable": from Greek "ametaméletos", an adjective which is compound by "a-" (a Greek prefix which means "not") and "metamélomai" (a Greek verb which means "to repent", "to change one's mind") Something "ametaméletos" is unchanging, fast, immobile.

"gift": from Greek "khárisma" = a gift, a present, grace. It is something we can get because of the will of the giver, not because we've bought it or we deserve it. The spiritual gifts are "kharísmata".

"call": from Greek "klésis" = call, invitation (compare "kaléo", to call) In this verse - and in the NT, always - "klésis" is used to speak about God's call to human beings, to join His kingdom and abandon darkness.

Romans 11:29 is in a special context. We can't ignore this context and the theology which the context involves (of course it could have other applications, but they don't deny the original purpose) If we ignore this, it is like discarding a revelation from the Word of God, given by the Spirit of God through Paul the apostle: the gifts ("kharísmata") and God's call ("klésis to Teú") of THE JEWISH PEOPLE are irrevocable, are "ametaméletos", are something that God will never regret.

If you hear in a church that someone preaches "replacement theology", then you know that you are listening to Satan, and that a demon called "antisemitism" is in control there. This so called "theology" tries to show us that Israel has no longer God's favor, and that the promises of the Old Testament about Israel are only applicable to the church. But Romans 11, the whole chapter, shows us that the schism between Christians and Jews - a natural one which was in God's plan - doesn't mean at all that God has forgotten Israel. The rejection of the Jews, the persecutions and racism they suffered for 2000 years without a country of their own, were TEMPORARY and would end when God should gave them their land back. "For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable". That's why the "times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24) or the time of "breaking the power of the holy people" (Daniel 12:7) are TEMPORARY.

Daniel the prophet knew this about God. In Daniel 9 we can see the prophet reading about Israel's restoration after 70 years of Babylonian captivity, and in the visions and prophecies he received, Israel's restoration on eternity. Daniel 12 is talking about resurrection of the dead, and Daniel 7 about the kingdom of God coming to earth, both talking about the Jews, the people of Israel. If the church of Jesus Christ is to be blessed by the promises given to Daniel, it is because we are "grafted into the cultivated olive tree" (Israel, Romans 11:24) which means that God has given to the church the benefits He promised to Israel from eternity to eternity.

Because Daniel knew this, he was the same prophet he had been under Nebuchadnezzar, when the other kings forgot him. The fact that some men forgot him never meant to him that the God of Israel did. The spiritual gifts he used when Nebuchadnezzar asked him for interpretations, were also used when Belsshazzar called him, more than ten years later. It is just in the "first year of Belshazzar" when we read about the prophetic visions that make the book of Daniel an extraordinary revelation about world history, and this prophetical activity continued after Belshazzar's death, during the Persian rule.

Which "gifts" are those "irrevocable" ones?

Before we talk about them, let's see their context in 1 John 2:12-17:

Reasons for Writing

"I am writing to you, dear children,
because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, dear children,
because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God lives in you,
and you have overcome the evil one"

On Not Loving the World

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever"

Do you wanna live forever? John says that only "whoever does the will of God lives forever". The Spirit of God comes to our lives to transform us from "worldly" to "Christians", from "sinners" to "God's holy people". This transformation takes place in our life in stages, which John calls "dear children", "young men" and "fathers". These stages mean:
  1. The new believers (who know the Lord and have got forgivennes of sins) They are the ones John calls "dear children", spiritual children.
  2. The must footsure ones (they are strong, and the word of God lives in them, and they have overcome Satan) They are the spiritual "young men".
  3. The must experienced believers (who know the One Who is from the beginning) The spiritual "fathers" have a deeper knowledge of God, which enables them to minister other believers.
All the way in our spiritual growth we are receiving GIFTS. But let's remember that Paul urges us to "eagerly desire the greater gifts" (1 Corinthians 12:31) To get serene with a pacifier, to pronounce "mum" and to be able to stand with the support of a piece of furniture, all these are big achievements when we are babies. But twenty years later, we should be able to do something else. Some of these gifts we get in our spiritual birth and growth are:

- SALVATION: Is our "spiritual birth". In Romans 6:23 we read, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord". This gift is given to us when we repent from our sins and confess Jesus as Our Lord and Savior.

- ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: Is associated with our conversion. Acts 8:17, "Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit", These disciples were converted and even baptized (they were "save" already) but they were not "filled with the Holy Spirit" or "baptized with the Holy Spirit". The laying on of hands which the apostles performed upon them filled them with the Spirit.

In the book of Acts, the biblical account about the birth of the church, this anointing was always linked to the conversion, like the baptism in water that we all know. In his first sermon, the apostle Peter preaches, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit". (Acts 2:38) which means a double action of the Spirit of God. If you repent and receive Jesus Christ then you have already the Spirit of God living in you, because it is He who leads us to do it. But this anointing which we read about in Acts 8:17, and that Peter promises to all converses, is the result of a baptism in the Spirit, which was the rule in the church of Acts. In 10:45 we read, "The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles", because whereas the apostle was preaching, Cornelius and his family began to spoke in tongues and glorify God.

- SPIRITUAL GIFTS: Are the equipment that God gives us to do His work. We can read about them (some examples) in Romans 12 and 1st Corinthians 12. It is these kind of "gift" that Paul was talking about when he wrote to the Romans, "I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong" (Romans 1:11)

- ORDINATION: To receive the authority to minister from the congregation is a gift also. Observe the following verses:

Acts 6:5-6

"This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them"

The apostles confirmed the election of deacons; they laid their hand on them and prayed for them.

Acts 13:2-3

"While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off"

The prophets and teachers who where praying received from the Holy Spirit the order to send Paul and Barnabas as missionaries. The ordinance was confirmed by laying on of hands and prayer.

1st Timothy 4:14

"Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you"

2nd Timothy 1:6

"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands"

The "gift of God" to Timothy (his ordination as a pastor) was given to him through prophecy and laying on of hands from Paul and the elders of the church.

Have you been called and received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

Have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit, and received spiritual gifts?

Have you been ordained to some leadership ministry in the congregation?

All these are "kharísmata", God's gifts, which in His purpose are "irrevocable". If you have just for one second believed that God has forgotten you, remember this verse:

Romans 11:29

"For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable"

Daniel waited more than ten years before he was called to serve the Babylonian king. The people of Israel waited seventy years before they were allowed to go back to their nation and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple (during the Babylonian captivity) and waited 2000 years to get back the land which God promised Abraham. Men forget God's purposes, but He doesn't. Seek the Lord! He hasn't finished His work in us.

If you have not yet received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, don't think He has forgotten you! You are reading this writing because God has a purpose for your life: to forgive your sins, to save you from hell and to lead you to the heavenly home. Receive Jesus today, and with Him, all blessings God has prepared for you!

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

Israel Leonard

PS. Jesus is coming soon!

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