~ ~ No More, No Less ~ ~
(Caps used for Divine emphasis)
Throughout the Bible, we see over and over, those who demand having their own way. Using such control ploys as anger, threats, shutouts, assigning blame, various forms of abusive treatment, hostility, bribery, manipulative ploys, etc. (as we'll see in today's message with king Nebuchadnezzar) Others, seek to gain control by using fear and intimidation. But God!
Whether one is moved by selfishness, ego and pride or, is in the right, fighting to take control of a situation, they will only be able to do what God 'lets' them. No more; no less. People can 'think' they are gaining and keeping control, only to find out that in a split second, the entire course of their life and those around them can be turned upside down. Then what? Who is in control then? Whose will shall matter then? Whose feelings will win out then? Whose desires, reaction.....will affect one then?
Throughout the Bible, we see God intervening various ways in the affairs of man on earth. He said, 'I change not.' Whether people believe in and consider God and His wants and feelings or not, God is God, and none of us is left to fate nor chance. He hears and answers the cry of the righteous. And, He'll let people go so far, and that is it. We see that in the Tower of Babel. The people had determined in their heart that they were going to build a tower to Heaven. Day in and day out, they set about their work to do exactly that. God heard them saying 'I' am going to build a name for 'myself', 'I' am going to build 'me' a tower, and they got so far up there, then wham! What happened to them is exhortation to us today. How? While they were doing their own thing, their own way, in a second, God confounded their language so they could not understand one another speaking. (At that time the entire earth had only one language, and this is where all the languages came forth......from God.....and why) Well now, not understanding one another, they had to cease their building. Yes, one will do no more~no less, than God Himself permits. He is today, as then, The God of Divine Intervention.
We find that in some things He intervenes; while in other things and circumstances, standing on the side of right and God's way, we must change, and then we'll change our circumstance. Anything that does not go with God's Word and His nature and character, we must reject, stop, and change. Love does no harm to his neighbor. Follow this. Always.........bear in mind what you would want done to you, said to you, and what you would need under the same given circumstance. This is heeding Christ's 2nd Great Commandment in the Gospels.......to all humanity. And for sure, as we live with this in our thought, we are less apt to do hurt or harm to another. After all, we all need the same things and the law of what goes up comes down; what we sow, we shall reap. I had a man tell me years ago that dishing it out was a great joy, but when his 'pay day' came, his reaping was enormously painful. Nonetheless, another life lesson learned. :)
In this message, I wish to bring to the forefront God's plan for man and it being carried out; consideration of His feelings and to realize He still Divinely intervenes in the lives and circumstances of we who roam around on planet earth. Too, the rewards in The Spirit realm to a vessel who lives right in God's sight, and is right in His sight. The anointing and His Divine revelation of truth in the midst of circumstances, meeting needs. (we see that here with Daniel). God ~ cares and still hears the cry of the righteous, answering prayers of love, faith and dependence upon Him. For sure, it is most comforting to know that He can do what we cannot, and too, that 'this too shall pass'.
Thus said, the lead in scripture for this message is found in Daniel. I encourage your own in-depth daily study and meditation in God's Word, as it surely gives us Divine perspective for our daily life and circumstances in this busy world we live in. Too, this is how we gain, keep and grow in 'faith in God Almighty'. If we don't do this, God seems unreal, our faith diminishes in Him and His Word, and it's easier to doubt, fear and worry when we have to defy the wrong in circumstances of this life.
At His feet is where we are motivated to 'take the bull by the horns' (starting with our self), bringing into His order what we can and must with our self. Knowing He will do the rest, we intercede in prayer. Nothing.....is impossible with God! Ever! We see that in this (of many) Bible instances.
Daniel 2: 1 ~ 23
And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. (God hates and judges to Hell such activity in soothsaying, see Revelation 22) So they came and stood before the king.
And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live forever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.
The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.
The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.
But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.
The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. (who weren't really 'wise' in the sight of God; quite the contrary)
And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
Then Daniel answered with Counsel and Wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:
He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: (the 3 Hebrew young men that got thrown into the fire for not bowing to the image, and came up without harm, having the 4th man, likened to The Son of God, in there with them)
That they would desire Mercies of The God of Heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night Vision. Then Daniel blessed (worshipped) The God of Heaven.
Daniel answered and said, Blessed be The Name of God Forever and ever: for Wisdom and Might are His:
And He changeth the times and the Seasons:
He removeth kings, and setteth up kings:
He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
He revealeth the deep and secret things:
He knoweth what is in the darkness, and The Light dwelleth with Him.
I thank Thee, and praise Thee, O Thou God of my fathers, who hast given me Wisdom and Might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of Thee: for Thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.
Did you notice, that when the king didn't get his way, he threatened to do bodily harm, taking their life? He was of the character that anyone would do well not to company with him. Just think of this a moment...he himself did not remember his own dream, was troubled; then, when others didn't even experience the dream their self so as to have a chance to interpret it for him, he was out to make them be killed. He may have been the ruler in the land to be bowed to and heeded (as a king is), but his own spirit didn't allow him to afford the same consideration to his subjects, as to himself.
In Proverbs, it says that when you see someone who acts and talks like a fool, go the other way, withdrawing yourself from them.
Trouble and strife come with the self-seeking contentious and evil-hearted person. Wisdom.
Change our self, our circumstances; others are responsible for assuming due responsibility for their self. It isn't our place to seek to control another. Leave God to do His own convincing and to work His way in the heart of others...as He does with you. He is very good at running His own business.
Did you notice what Daniel did when he heard of the news? He and his God-fearing worshipping brethren, went to Almighty God in prayer, seeking His guidance, revelation, and answers. This goes with the text:
Proverbs 3: 5 ~ 8
Trust in The Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct thy paths.
Be not wise in thine own eyes:
fear The Lord, and depart from evil.
It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
Wisdom, again. As you read on, you'll see that God revealed the dream and interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream to Daniel in a night Vision. (vs. 19) Of course again, He praised and thanked God for doing so, in worship to Him. Always, we see in this true man of God a thankful heart. Unlike so many people today who 'ring Him up in a desperate time' only to shun Him when the answer comes. Thank The Lord for those who truly serve Him with a sincere and loving heart.
After telling the king his dream and boldly speaking forth the evil report to him of its interpretation, Daniel was promoted by the king in his kingdom. He spoke up for all the 'wise' men, beseeching the king not to kill any, and was effective in his mission for the sake of good to all. Love for others, considers and steps up to the plate. Courage in love is one of the Spiritual hallmarks of a mature Christian.
The prophecies that Daniel spoke to the king, came to pass, and the king gave credit to Daniel's God, speaking such to the people in his kingdom. Time and again in Daniel's book, we see this happening after God Divinely Intervened various ways into circumstances.
Sometimes, until hard times hit and personal suffering is experienced, one doesn't see their 'need' to approach unto God for His guidance and help.
Perhaps you've lost your home due to a sudden change in your health, and expenses. Or, maybe you went to work one day, as any other, only to be told that you were done working for them that very day, with no former notice. While some, are under the oppressive thumb and cruel treatment of an insecure abuser of mankind in their workplace. It seems there is no end, you say? Nothing is going to change, you say? There is nothing that can be done about this, you say? When will this ever end and how, you say? And on.....and on.....Well, GOOD NEWS I bring you today! GOD is GOD, and HE still Divinely Intervenes. Draw near to Him, knowing in your heart that HE IS hearing you; that He cares for you!
He hasn't dumped nor rejected you as inferior, never measuring up, or not quite good enough! He is 'touched in His heart' by your heart and cry for His Comfort, Guidance and Help. Just go to Him. Jesus has ..... and IS 'your' answer. He can give you 'in a moment' His Guidance, Insight, and set up circumstances for His outcome which is always good for us....and best! Look for the answers, and praise and worship Him when they come, as you see Daniel did.
Psalms 147: 11
The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy.
In closing, although there are many lessons we learn from this instance, what Daniel and the other three men's heart condition and lifestyle were like in the sight of God brings with it our greatest sermon. Go thou and do likewise! ~:
'These 4 young Jewish men, didn't have things to 'prime their pump'. ... i.e.: No cassettes, no CD's of teaching and music ministries, no Christian TV or radio stations, no Bible, no evangelistic meetings or mailings coming to their homes, no other 'brethren' to strengthen and feed their souls in The Lord, and role models? They honored God in their heart and choices. They went to The King of Kings, being subjects in His Kingdom....from Whom they gained clear and precise help.
Absolutely Touching and Beautiful ~ Thank You, Penny
The Pretty Inspirational Music Playing is Entitled, Only Believe