Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 12.
Read: Daniel 3&4 - As you re-read for the final time this week in the ESV translation, what did you discover new about God’s character?Reflect: The metaphor of the tree alludes to the king’s view of his superiority. There are so many echoes and allusions to other texts in this story (such as Genesis 1:28; Genesis 2:9; Genesis 11:4;3:3; Ezekiel 31:3-9). Nebuchadnezzar has time to repent and change the course ahead (Daniel 4:26-27). Daniel appeals to him to “practice righteousness” and show “mercy to the oppressed.” His defiance and inability to acknowledge God (Psalm 53:1; 14:1) creates this psychotic break-down in his life, known as lycanthropy. In the last few centuries, King George III from the United Kingdom and Otto from Bavaria suffered the same thing. In Psalm 8, it declares that we are created a little lower than the angels and are above the animals. However, Nebuchadnezzar wants to be above God, and ends up being below the animals. One of the most interesting mistranslations is found in Genesis 3:22, “Behold, the man has become like one of us” is the typical text. The word “become” is not there. The verb ‘haya” in the perfect tense, reads like this: “Behold, the man was like one of us.” When Adam and Eve were created, they were made in the image of God. They understood the difference between good and evil. They had not experienced it. They were like God. God has not experienced evil, because He has not done evil. He understands it. He explained it to them. After sin, humanity has a nature bent away from God. It is one of the hardest things for us to recognize that we need God. Yet when we embrace the spiritual insight God provides all of us (1 Corinthians 2:16; Ephesians 4:17-24; Colossians 3:5-11), we can embrace the “mind of Christ,” that is transformation and salvation. At the end of the process, God shows mercy and grace once again and Nebuchadnezzar recovers. He recognizes he is nothing without God, and his last words recorded in the book of Daniel glorify God (Daniel 4:37). He was open in Daniel 2, he saw faith in others in Daniel 3, and now in Daniel 4 he embraces God for himself.
Respond: Pray through confession and acceptance of Jesus.
Research: Read one of the books or commentaries for this series on chapters 3 & 4.