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Monday: Warned by the Prophet — 7 Comments

  1. I started my comment with the words, "In ancient times...", but them I edited that out because I am not sure that modern seats of government are all that different. We may not round up the court advisors and hack them to pieces and turn their houses into sewerage treatment plants, but, character assignation is quite possibly more painful and lasts longer. So I will begin again.

    The courts of kings and rulers are dangerous places. The ruler likes to think he is in charge and everyone agrees with him. Inevitably they surround themselves with people who are willing to sell their souls to tell the ruler that they are right and have thought up the most brilliant strategy ever. The problem is that there is always someone who disagrees and sooner or later court intrigue sets in and people take sides, numbers are counted and if there is a ghost of a chance of toppling the leader, it happens. In Australia we have been through more Prime Ministers in the last few years than we can count on our fingers.

    Nebuchadnezzar was no stranger to this. His family had come to rulership over the Assyrians by just such a coup and Nebuchadnezzar had maintained his position by ensuring that he nipped such intrigue in the bud as soon as he heard of it.

    It says something about Daniel and his integrity that Daniel could tell the truth and at the same time maintain with his head firmly attached to his body. Part of Nebuchadnezzar's respect was no doubt driven by fear. He knew first hand that Daniel's God was powerful enough to step in and do something. But he was still a selfish self-centred man.

    The really interesting thing about this whole episode is that Daniel was not afraid to tell Nebuchadnezzar where he was seriously wrong.

    Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.” Dan 4:27NIV

    Now where have I heard that before? "...being kind to the oppressed..." We spent a whole quarter studying the theme "Unto the Least of These", and some folk said that that series of lessons was pretty weak. Daniel was willing to risk his head to say that! In fact if you read history you will find that oppression was the big sin of all the kingdoms including the Papacy.

    Just because the big idea of this week is expressed in 5 simple words does not mean that it is not important. Hold that idea in the hollow of your head for the rest of Daniel, because I think it is the thread that binds the prophecies together.

    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35

    ...oops, I cannot help myself.

    • WE are living in a time that world power is norm everyone wants the role the president. He himself is prideful and God see's what behind it all. History is repeating itself like in the times of Daniel.

  2. By "adopting" this poor family we have learned a lot about our social responsability. The fact that we are there for them is something that makes a difference. We are the ones most helped.

  3. "such splendor and beauty, at least in part, is accomplished through exploitation of slave manpower and neglect of the poor."....sounds like the USA.

  4. Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.(James 2:27)

    Oppression takes many forms but God specifically mentions the oppression of these two in this text "the orpharns and widows" - the very the least of this in society.

    It therefore tells me that they are the most vulnerable in society to suffer oppression. And this Daniel warns the king from doing. It seems to me that where pride exists there also oppression exists.

    All the kingdoms as Maurice mentioned above suffered from this sin - pride, thus the oppression we see.

    You see when we feel proud we don't regard others.

    Pride is excessive self-esteem known as conceit or arrogance. Pride is basically a sin of attitude and of the heart and spirit. (Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible)

    Included in pride are the ideas of arrogance, insensitivity to the needs of others, and presumption. Pride is both a disposition/attitude and a type of conduct.

    One who is proud is a person who has ultimately shifted confidence in self in the place of confidence in God. I fknd thatthe vast majority of references to pride in the Scripture are negative.

    How the do we respond to someone when they say " I am proud of you?"

  5. @ Jared's Question: I am proud of you simply means You have done something good and I appreciate it.

    However, I want to ask also
    "Is a proud person aware of his/her pride?"

  6. In the early 2000’s a book was published with the title “The Hole in Our Gospel” by Richard Stearns who retired as president of World Vision in 2018. The call of the book is for Christians to fulfill God’s will by living the faith that Jesus taught by not neglecting the poor (in spirit?). “Two thousand years ago, 12 people changed the world. Richard Stearns believes it can happen again.” And in fact it must happen again so the universe can see what we humans can do when we are motivated and empowered by the Spirit of the Holy God...or not?


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