Whose God is God?
Whose God is God?
September 9, 2007
“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.” Dan 1:1-2
1. Nebuchadnezzar and the conquests he made were understood by him to be proof of his superiority or the superiority of his gods, to all others. Nebuchadnezzar believed that he was greater than that God. So when he forced the capture of Jerusalem, his cause and his gods seemed vindicated.
2. He brought the gold and silver articles that had been dedicated to the service of Jehovah in Jerusalem to Babylon to be placed in the treasure house of his gods. The heathen gods had triumphed! Nebuchadnezzar was sovereign!
3. In this case appearances were deceiving. Jehovah was as much in charge of the overthrow of Jerusalem as he had been many times earlier in its defense. In fact, it was Jehovah who had brought on the destruction, sending it as a punishment for the people’s sins. Now, in spite of the fact that he had “delivered Jehoiakim into [Nebuchadnezzar’s] hand,” God was going to show that he was sovereign.
4. The main point here in Daniel is the absolute sovereignty of the God of Bible. At a time when it seemed to all the world that his cause was lost and that the gods of the heathen had triumphed, it pleased the Lord strikingly and unmistakably to display his power.
5. The theme running through the whole book is that the fortunes of kings and the affairs of men are subject to God’s decrees, and that he is able to accomplish his will despite the most determined opposition of the mightiest people on earth.
6. The miracles recorded in chapters 1–6 demonstrate God’s sovereignty on behalf of his saints. All clearly show that the Lord God of Israel was in charge of the tide of human affairs and was perfectly able to deliver his people from pagan oppression during their captivity. The great and most important theme of Daniel is that there is but one God, who is Jehovah, and that he is sovereign over the events of history.
7. Yet this needs to be placed in an even larger context. One of the most influential books on theology ever written is The City of God by Saint Augustine of Hippo. Its theme concerns the existence of two societies, which Augustine calls “cities.” One is God’s society. The other is the society of this world. Augustine described them, saying, “Two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self.”
8. It is important here because it reminds us that the struggle between Nebuchadnezzar and God, recorded in Daniel, is actually only one example of that greater struggle between the world’s way of doing things and God’s way of doing things.
9. Nebuchadnezzar considered himself master because he was able to take gold and silver out of the Jerusalem treasury and carry them to Babylon. But the world is not master. God is master. God is sovereign, and he is able to bring the secular city down. Just as He did it in the case of Nebuchadnezzar. (Dan. 4:31–32).
10. At the same time, while the world is living by its own standards and for its own glory in opposition to God, there is another people who know God and honestly try to please him. In this story they are Daniel and his friends. They were people who are aware of the dangers of trying to serve God in this world but who trust God in spite of the danger and who will not compromise. They are the only ones who really triumph, regardless of appearances, and in the last analysis, they are the ones who make a difference.
11. Are you with Daniel? Are you a member of his special band? No one is by nature in the company of these servants of the true God. All are born into the secular city. But the city of God can be entered by new birth through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. Jesus said, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3). The doors of that city stand open for any who will enter it. (Heb. 11:9–10).
12. If you are not a member of the city of God, I invite you to become one now through faith in Jesus Christ, and then begin to live here and now in the eternal city which will never fade away and whose God is the Lord.
The saints of God are called His hidden ones - Psalm 83:3. Why so? Not only because they are hid in God's decree, and hid in Christ's wounds, but oftentimes God hides them in a time of danger and calamity. He reserved to Himself seven thousand that had not bowed the knee to Baal. The prophet knew not where there was one, but God knew there were seven thousand. - Thomas Watson
GracePointe Baptist Church
2209 N Post Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73141
Phone: (405) 769-5050