December 2, 2018
WHAT’S THE TIME DELAY BETWEEN EARTH AND HEAVEN?
The angel Gabriel was sent by God in response to Daniel’s prayer during the time of the evening sacrifice. He said a command was given the moment Daniel began praying. One Hebrew scholar read Daniel’s recorded prayer aloud and noted that it took about 3 minutes.
So, we might conclude that there is no communication delay between earth and heaven when one of God’s precious ones prays. However, the angelic response time seems to be about 3 minutes.
Of course, that theory is tested by the next chapter, when Daniel fasts and prays for 3 weeks (Dan. 10:2). Again, Gabriel informed Daniel that God had immediately heard and responded to his prayer. Yet, this time it took Gabriel 3 weeks to carry out God’s command. For there was spiritual warfare with the “prince of Persia” (Dan. 10:13) that delayed him.
In both cases, the Lord heard and responded to Daniel’s prayers immediately, but the time of the response varied from 3 minutes to 3 weeks.
So, what may we conclude? God hears our prayers and responds immediately, there is no time delay. However, from our perspective, we must continue to faithfully pray, for the arrival of the answer can vary greatly.
November 30, 2018
WHO IS THIS SON OF MAN?
There are two threads of Messianic prophecy in the Old Testament. One, speaks of the Suffering Servant, as in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. The second, of the Victorious King, who would judge the nations and establish His eternal kingdom, as in the verse quoted above. The first advent (“Advent” means “coming” or “arrival”) was announced by angels to the shepherds in Bethlehem. The second advent, according to Jesus, will be announced by “the mighty blast of a trumpet” (Matt. 24:31) and the appearance of the Son of Man in the clouds (Matt. 24:30).
Who is this Son of Man? When Jesus was brought before the Jewish council and the high priest asked, “Are you the Messiah?” Jesus responded, “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62). Jesus used the covenantal name of God, “I AM” (“YHWH”) and quoted Daniel 7:13 in His response.
Jesus is both Son of Man and Son of God. He has come and He is coming again.
November 29, 2018
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF PRAYER WERE BANNED?
Ask Daniel. Daniel’s story is instructive to those who live as a religious minority under a worldly government. God gave Daniel wisdom to navigate the political tangle of Babylonian and Persian rule and yet remain steadfast to his faith. Even so, he still often experienced persecution and threats to his life.
How do we live out our faith at work or school, when expressing our faith is discouraged by company policies or prohibited by federal laws? As Daniel did, we should submit to the authorities over us, unless they cause us to break faith with the ultimate Authority, our God. Daniel feared the Lord more than the lions. And the Lord rescued him.
November 28, 2018
HAVE YOU SEEN THE WRITING ON THE WALL?
King Belshazzar of Babylon gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels from the treasury that his predecessor, Nebuchadnezzar, had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. He and his nobles partied, praising the gods of silver and gold as they drank from Jerusalem’s Temple goblets. It was at that moment that a disembodied hand appeared, writing on the wall. The drunken king was immediately sober with fear. The prophet Daniel was summoned to read the unreadable script, which warned Belshazzer of his imminent demise. Daniel reminded the king that he had witnessed the humbling of his forebearer, Nebuchadnezzar, yet he had not humbled himself before God. Instead, he had proudly defied the Lord, even drinking from the sacred cups.
This was not Belshazzer’s first warning. He knew all of the stories and had surely heard the testimony of Nebuchadnezzar concerning the greatness and righteousness of God. Yet, he did not repent. He should have known what was in store for him. Especially, after he saw the “writing on the wall.”
November 27, 2018
WILL WE SEE OLD NEB IN HEAVEN?
This is a most unusual testimony. A pagan king bends the knee and worships the Most High God.
The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, had defeated Judah, destroying Jerusalem’s walls and Temple. He carried off thousands of Jewish exiles, among them a young man named Daniel. After conquering much of the Middle East, old Neb settled down and turned Babylon into one of the Seven Wonders of the World, its hanging gardens, city walls, and palace, among the richest and most beautiful any where. Yet, in spite of God’s warning through the prophet Daniel to humble himself and stop sinning, Nebuchadnezzar was full of pride and unrepentant.
So God humbled him, making him live like a beast of the field. After a year, old Neb came to his senses and worshiped the Lord. His testimony of the Lord’s righteousness and power has led many to think that old Neb truly placed his faith in the God of Israel. Perhaps he became a true believer. I wonder, will we see old Neb in heaven?