Wednesday night we studied the book of Daniel as we continued our survey of the entire Bible for our mid-week Bible study. I had forgotten how fascinating this marvelous book is, and the brief videotape review from Dr. R.C. Sproul and the discussion that followed was very interesting in view of modern day events in Iraq and North Korea.
THE KING BROUGHT TO HIS KNEES
Babylon was the impenetrable fortress city of her day. The walls were high and thick, and the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar thought himself a deity. He threatened the followers of the one true God who refused to bow down to the statue he created for worship, and of course, he made outlandish braggadocious statements including telling Shadrach, Meshach and Abedneggo. . .
" . . . if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?" (Daniel 3:15).
Of course, you remember that God brought Nebuchadnezzar down. He became insane, to the point he spent his days in the fields eating grass and his hair grew to the length of eagles' feathers and his fingernails like birds' claws (Daniel 4:33).
THE KINGDOM BROUGHT DOWN
The next king of Babylon, Belshazzar, brought the holy vessels of the Temple in Jerusalem to the palace in Babylon and used them as drinking cups during his orgy infested parties.
Of course, the hand of God wrote on the wall "Mene, mene tekel upharsin" which being translated means "Your days are finished. You have been weighed on the balances of justice and have been found wanting. The kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and the Persians" (Daniel 5:26-28).
Notice God calls Belshazzar's Babylonian kingdom "the" kingdom instead of using the personal pronoun and saying "your" kingdom. Most kings think they own the kingdom. Not so. God is the one who has established his throne in the heavens and he is the ruler of all the nations.
Just exactly as Daniel prophesied when he interpreted the handwriting on the wall, the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon, and King Belshazzar was killed that very night. Historians tell us the Medes penetrated the "impenetrable" fortress of Babylon via the underground aquaducts.
And just as God revealed to Daniel, and just as Daniel prophecied in chapters 2 and 8 --- in some cases hundreds of years before the actual events --- the Medes and Persians were eventually conquered by the Greeks and their leader Alexander the Great (he himself the "little horn" mentioned in Daniel 8:9, and the Greeks were then eventually conquered by the Romans (Daniel 8).
All this to say . . .
No kingdom stands on earth but that God sustains it. No king or ruler sits on the throne or chair of authority unless God ordains it. And God has a way of bringing the mighty low as we saw when the modern king of Babylon crawled out of his hole outside of Baghdad where he was hiding. Soon, we will see the ruler of North Korea brought down by God because of his pride and arrogance and crimes against humanity, but particularly the atrocities against Christians in North Korea.
The book of Daniel should keep all believers from the paralyzing fear that plagues many who have little or no confidence in the God of the Bible. Rulers of the kingdoms of this world can make threats, fire missiles, or even claim personal deity, but the One Person who counts is the One to whom they must answer --- and He has a pattern of using various nations to bring down evil doers.
Daniel should also remind us to always be on our guard as a nation against corrupt persons at any level of governmental authority.
Pastor Rick Warren is headed to North Korea to preach the gospel in stadiums and theaters across the country. Some believe the evil leader of that country is using Pastor Rick to draw out underground Christians in order to persecute them.
I've got news for Kim Jong II. If God brought Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar of old to judgement, He will do the same to any leader of the world today who mocks His laws and seeks to destroy His people.
My prayer is that Kim Jong II will be converted to faith in Christ before he sees the handwriting on the wall.
In His Grace,