Today I’m sharing over at Proverbs 31 Ministries’ First 5 app about God’s reign over all. Here’s a preview . . .
Daniel 1:2: “And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, 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 placed the vessels in the treasury of his god.”
When we think of the book of Daniel, we may remember God’s triumph over a fiery furnace and a den of lions. However, in these opening verses, we find God’s people in a bleak and disheartening situation.
Daniel starts with the bad news of the fierce king of Babylon’s attack on Jerusalem. (Daniel 1:1) Babylon had just dismantled the powerful Assyrian empire, and Nebuchadnezzar won a significant victory over Egypt; then he set his sights on the southern kingdom of Judah in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem didn’t put up much of a fight. Judah’s king, Jehoiakim, is now subservient to Nebuchadnezzar. The Babylonians head home with precious vessels of the house of God and the finest youth of Judah. (Daniel 1:2-4)
Nebuchadnezzar appears to be doing whatever he pleases — besieging, taking, indoctrinating and even changing people’s names. It’s starting to look like God has abandoned His people or lacks the power to stop Nebuchadnezzar. Have God and His people finally met their match in the mighty empire of Babylon?
We find our answer in these four words: “And the Lord gave…” (Daniel 1:2). God gave Judah’s king into the hand of the Babylonian ruler. But Nebuchadnezzar only reigns over that which the Lord has sovereignly and purposefully given to him. In these opening verses and throughout the entire book, Daniel wants us to know that the God of Israel rules over all.
To read the rest of the teaching, head over to First 5. And while you’re there, be sure to download the First 5 app so you can follow along through the rest our study of Daniel with the First 5 team!
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