Young Adult Sunday School Lesson – March 3, 2013
This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. Daniel 4:17
Things are different in the angelic world than they are down here on the human side of creation. From what is stated in Psalms 8 you could contemplate that jealousy might have played a part in this verse, a form of not-so-sibling rivalry being the culprit—possibly. But just maybe the angels close proximity to the Creator merely allows them to see things a little more clearly, you know, the way things truly are.
By the decree of the Watchers. You can’t blame me on this one. The statement is not from my thoughts or rising from an intemperate place in my heart. I only quoted what is recorded here within the truth of G_d’s Word.
Question: How far do you have to drift, how arrogantly evil do you have to be, until it reaches the point when the Watchers and Holy ones in Heaven decree that something needs to be done?
Nebuchadnezzar has had several miraculous revelations of G_d’s will and His power. From the extra sensory perception dream interpretation by Daniel in chapter 2, to the fading embers of a by-now-quenched fiery furnace we read about in class last week; he has been shown beyond a shadow of a doubt the revelation of who really runs things. And this not only applies to his Babylonian kingdom, but throughout the Spiritual realm around him as well. By now all of his doubts should have been removed. He should have understood by firsthand experience the scripture: Remember the former things of old: for I am G_d, and there is none else; I am G_d, and there is none like me.
But once again, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. Again it is a nightmare. Again, he calls for the magicians and soothsayers to interpret the dream for him. Again, it is only Daniel who can interpret the dream and its warnings for an all-to-human King who is still shackled by his belief in far too many gods. Does he trust in Daniel’s G_d? Certainly. Yet to him, Jehovah is merely one deity among many who can suit his religious purposes, but only on an as needed basis.
(Before I cast stones here, am I much different? Am I prone to worship the G_d of Heaven on Sunday yet revert to the god of self-reliance and objectivity by Monday morning? Is my so-called worship on Sunday something I do simply to feel better about myself or to rationalize any fears that I face for my own future?)
The Watchers had seen enough. The decree went out in a dream and Daniel interpreted it, and even as he spoke, the proverbial clock began ticking for Nebuchadnezzar. For a full year (12 months) Nebuchadnezzar neither repented nor changed his ways, and finally judgment fell. By the decree of the Watchers, and the demand of the Holy ones, it was Daniel’s G_d who took away Nebuchadnezzar’s mental abilities and left him eating grass while pawing listlessly in the dirt.
G_d is Holy, Divine, and Omnipotent. He did not need the Watchers or the Holy ones to tell Him what to do or how to react. What is amazing here (and scary at the same time) is that the angels noticed the evil for themselves. They observe in each moment and understand the most important thing, which is their part of the Spiritual pecking order that we as humans are sometimes prone to forget: “the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.”
Thankfully (Wonderfully!) in this passage of scripture, we also get a glimpse of G_d’s Amazing Grace. After seven long years, Nebuchadnezzar’s understanding and mental facilities return, and He glorifies Jehovah as the Supreme G_d. Finally, finally, he learns. At long last, he gets it.
An interesting thought here is I believe those same Watchers and Holy ones who earlier condemned his actions were applauding Nebuchadnezzar as he repented. Jesus explains, “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of G_d over one sinner that repenteth.”
I’ll take that favored applause of Heaven over heavenly judgment any day of the week. I’ll bet if he were here, Nebuchadnezzar would tell you the same thing.