Advent 2019 – Day 2

Cherry Springs (47)

Daniel 1:1-6 — In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.  The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god.  Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king’s court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.  The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service.  Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.

In 605 BC, three centuries after the split of the Hebrews into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and a century after the Kingdom of Israel had been taken by the Assyrians, the Kingdom of Judah falls to the Babylonians.

The people of God are exiled, scattered.  Jerusalem and the Temple will soon be destroyed.

Daniel 2:46-48 — Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense.  The king answered Daniel and said, “Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery.”  Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.

Daniel was taken to the courts of Babylon (east of Israel) to spend his life embattled among ungodliness – where, one day, he will face death threats, lions, and being thrown into a furnace.  Yet his righteousness finds favor before God and the king elevates him as prefect (chief officer/magistrate) above all the wise men of Babylon.

Matthew 2:1-2 — Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

Six hundred years later, wise men from the east – men who had been watching the skies – travel to honor the new King.  Were these wise men a direct lineage of those Daniel led?  We can’t be certain – but somehow the knowledge of a fore-coming king and his accompanying signs was dispersed through the lands of the East.  Could it be that god, in His perfect plan, used even these years of exile as part of His redemptive work?

Daniel 7:13-14 — “I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him.  “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.”

 

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