Tabernacle Tuesday
~ Week Four ~
June 30, 2020
Daniel ~ Chapter Four
"And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar,
lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me;
and I blessed the Most High and praised
and honored Him who lives forever:
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and His kingdom is from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand or say to Him,
"What have You done?"
(Daniel 4:34-35)

Morning Meditation : Read Daniel 4:1-18

Nebuchadnezzar had reigned for over thirty years and was basking in the peace and prosperity of his kingdom. Years earlier he had been warned in a dream, which was interpreted by one of his favored advisors, Daniel, that his kingdom would not last forever, so out of fear for himself and his vast kingdom he built a massive golden statue to garner the allegiance of all the officials in his administration. The idolatrous worshipers bowed blindly before the lifeless, senseless image, while Daniel's three friends, refusing to compromise with the king, stood steadfast; they were determined to trust in the living God, whether He delivered them or not. They were men of faith, willing to suffer rather than sin, and the Lord rescued them like a firebrand snatched from the flames. The fire had no power over them and the gracious presence of God was with them in their suffering. All that was lost in the furnace were the cords that bound them. The Lord used the fiery furnace of affliction to purify their testimony; by a single act of faith, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, came forth from the fire with consciences of pure gold, the rarest of jewels which rivaled Nebuchadnezzar's worthless image, and became powerful witnesses of the true and living God to an entire empire.

In that moment, Nebuchadnezzar affirmed the power of Daniel's God and applauded his three friends for their dedication and confidence in their God who alone could deliver them from the fire, but he did not bow his heart before the King of kings. Despite the many opportunities the Lord had given him, the Chaldean king had not yet learned the lesson that God had desired for him to learn most of all - that the Most High alone is sovereign, and rules supreme in the world. Nebuchadnezzar was an idolater, and up to this point in his reign he only saw the God of Israel as one of many gods; so the Lord gave the king another troubling dream to warn him that He was going to deal with the pride in his heart. "Let his heart be changed from that of a man, let him be given the heart of a beast, and let seven times pass over him" (v. 16).

"This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
and the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
in order that the living may know
that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
gives it to whomever He will,
and sets over it the lowest of men."
(Daniel 4:17)

Nebuchadnezzar was a conquerable king who put himself at odds with the unconquerable King of kings. He was a proud tyrant who had a beastly heart - he showed little concern for the poor and was cruel to his subjects - so the Lord planned to humble him by transforming him into the very beast that reigned within him. "Because your heart is lifted up, and you say, 'I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, in the midst of the seas,' yet you are a man, and not a god, though you set your heart as the heart of a god (Behold, you are wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that can be hidden from you!)..." (Ezekiel 28:2). Through the Chaldean kings' humiliation, the Most High would reveal His sovereign power. For none can touch Holy One of Israel! Nothing can destroy God's kingdom or defeat His purposes! Though all the peoples of the earth build a tower that stretches to heaven, they cannot reach His throne (Genesis 11:1-9). The nations that dare rise up against holy God, will find heaven responding with a mighty deluge of power that will wipe the wicked rebels off the face of the earth. Opponents of His power are destined to become objects of His wrath. "All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless. To whom will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?" (Isaiah 40:17-18). God is Sovereign and does what He pleases. No one can hinder Him or His work. He accomplishes His divine purposes on earth even though He has ordained His creatures have free will. "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion." So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy" (Romans 9:15, 16). Nebuchadnezzar learned through the chastisement of the Sovereign Lord that the path to riches and honor and life come through humility and the fear of God. Let us praise the Lord today for the blessed strokes from His sovereign hand that correct our rebellious ways and bring us back into subjection to God. May seasons of trial and suffering draw us ever closer to the Lord, and help us to realize that the further we move away from God the further away from peace we get, but the nearer we are to Him, the greater our joy and delight. Let us return to the Lord with all our heart and offer Him our songs of gratitude and praise! "The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitudes of isles be glad! Clouds and darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne...For You, LORD, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods" (Psalm 97:1-2, 9).

"Why do the nations rage,
and the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
"Let us break Their bonds in pieces
and cast away Their cords from us."
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
the LORD shall hold them in derision."
(Psalm 2:1-4)
Afternoon Devotion : Read Daniel 4:19-37

Daniel advised the king to repent of his sins and humble himself before the Lord. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:7). Like Nineveh's response to Jonah, the Lord would relent from sending judgment, if only the king would repent and turn from his wicked ways. "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" (1 Peter 5:5b, 6). Those who walk in pride, God is able to humble. "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Matthew 23:12). The Lord was giving the king an opportunity to submit to the divine will and make a new beginning, for the Lord's lessons in divine sovereignty do not negate human responsibility. But the heart of sinful man is rebellious and longs to be free of all restraint, not realizing that they are rejecting the One who alone can break the bonds of their sinful nature and truly set them free. "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free...Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:32, 36).

"Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you;
break off your sins by being righteous,
and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.
Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity."
(Daniel 4:27)

The Lord gave Nebuchadnezzar a twelve month grace period to repent and reform his ways, but the king would not yield. Pride had taken a firm hold of his heart and made him think of himself on the same level as God, so God reduced him to the lowest level, that of a beast. "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18). The divine voice of heaven interrupted the king's arrogant speech, and in that instant the king went stark raving mad. "While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven...he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen..." (v. 31a, 33a). The Lord has a holy purpose for His judgments; in the case of king Nebuchadnezzar, he had to be humbled so that he would acknowledge and give glory to Most High as the Sovereign King of the universe. Nebuchadnezzar was a man without reason until God dealt mercifully with him and restored him to proper frame of mind. "And at the end of the time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation." (v. 34). By submitting to God's sovereign will Nebuchadnezzar was transformed from a beast into a man. God removed from him the heart of a beast and restored him to a position of greater honor and splendor. No longer did he boast of his own accomplishments, instead, he publicly acknowledged and extolled the eternal, self-existent, immutable, sovereign King of heaven. The eternal holy God of Israel is Himself unchangeable, but He graciously and mercifully effects change in the heart of man. May He work in our hearts today a spirit of perfect resignation and humble adoration, that we would worship Him with reverent love as the absolute Sovereign seated on the throne of our hearts, ruling and reigning there without rival, and taking complete possession of our being that we ever live to praise Him and testify to the greatness of His power and love. "Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all" (1 Chronicles 29:10b, 11-12).

"Now I, Nebuchadnezzar,
praise and extol and honor the King of heaven,
all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice.
And those who walk in pride He is able to put down."
(Daniel 4:37)
Evening Prayer : "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days." (Daniel 6:10)

Just click or tap the You Tube image below
or tap HERE.
As we travel through the Book of Daniel
we want to focus on following the example of his faith,
but as we do, let us prayerfully consider setting aside
Tuesdays as "fast" days,
as we feast upon the goodness and grace of our Lord this summer
(consider a full day fast, a partial fast, or a Daniel fast (1:12))

Scripture Meditations for the Week:

Wednesday: Psalm 2:1-12
Thursday: Matthew 3:10
Friday: James 4:6-10
Saturday: Psalm 123
Sunday: Psalm 72:17-19
Monday: James 1:21-27

Journal: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Memory Verse for the Week:

"For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and His kingdom is from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand or say to Him,
"What have You done?"
(Daniel 4:34b, 35)
Read about 2020 The Year of Divine Government HERE

A Proclamation of Prayer for the Pandemic
(with links to the YouTube ANOINTING prayers through the Psalms)
to provide peace and to encourage faith in times of crisis
when fear, doubt, and uncertainty try to rob us of our joy!
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"Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
and your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
and let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me, hear, and your soul shall live."
(Isaiah 55:2, 3a)
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Setting the world on fire for Christ ~ One heart at a time!
TESTIFY to the gospel of the grace of God
a 12-week devotional prayer and fasting journey through the Book of Daniel
copyright (c) 2020 Traci A. Alexander. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc., and the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.