God Is In His Heaven And On His Throne


Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

When trials and tribulations come upon us, as humans we often ask:

Lord, Why did this happen to me?

If you have ever asked this question you’re not alone. King David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22) asked God fifty one questions in the Psalms. David asked questions like:

Psalms 6:3 My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long?

Psalms 13:1-2 How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

Psalms 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

The Psalms are called the Hebrew Hymnbook. They were put to music so that not only David could say these words, but God’s people could also ask the same questions. Trials come to us and often we do not understand why. As we go through this Covid-19 Pandemic some of you may have suffered the virus. There may have been good Christian people afflicted with the virus, while other brittle and unloving people escaped unscathed. You may be one who asks God,

How long will you forget me, O Lord? Forever?
How long will you hide Your face from me?

When David asked these questions at the front end of a Psalm, by the time he reached the end of the Psalm he rejoices in God, saying things like:

Psalm 13:5-6 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. 6 I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Trials Come To Both Children Of Light And Children Of Adam

God uses two things – TIME and TRIALS – to get our attention and make us consider our lives in the light of His Glory. God brings trials to people to

CONTROL history
to CALL the lost to salvation,
to CREATE faith in His Children,
and to impede the CURRENT of darkness.

God knows the destructiveness of sin, and sets LIMITS on the darkness. Just as firefighters sometimes fight fire with fire, there are times when God uses the darkness of trials against the darkness of sin. The sinful Jehoiakim and Judah will be hit with the sinful Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon – but God will still be in control!

As we examine the Book of Daniel, we read:

Daniel 1:1-2 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

Who attacked Judah? Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. But who caused this trial to come on Judah? The Scripture plainly tells us:

the Lord {אֲדֹנָי ʼĂdônây, (pronounced ad-o-noy’)} gave Jehoiakim king of Judah
into Nebuchadnezzar’s hand

Israel did not fall because they had weak rulers. Israel fell because Israel was not following God. The Scripture says:

Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Why are we as a nation suffering through this Pandemic? I believe it is because we have rejected the God Who so blessed us richly. God is in control. The powers that be are ordained of God (Romans 13:1). God either SENDS the trial or ALLOWS the trial. God is God. God is in control even in the midst of the trial.

When Nebuchadnezzar invaded Israel, God is in His Heaven and on His throne.
When Corona-virus invaded America, God is in His Heaven and on His throne.

God spoke through the Prophet saying:

Isaiah 45:6-7 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

The God of the Bible is in control. This is the God Whom I serve. When the apparent bad happens to the Child of God, our God is in His Heaven and on His throne. We know this to be true, which is why we can declare with confidence:

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

All things work together for GOOD. Not that all things ARE GOOD, but that the Sovereign God Who is over us all causes all things to WORK TOGETHER for good. If you love God and are living for Christ, nothing … NOTHING is bad for you.

Several years ago I read a book The Other Side Of The Mountain, written by Joni Eareckson Tada. Joni suffered a diving accident when she was a teenager that made her into a quadriplegic. When asked by others “Why does God allow suffering?” her reply is, “God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.” God loves people, and wants to be in a relationship with whosoever will. God uses trials like sheepdogs. A trained sheepdog will bark and snap at the feet of the sheep, driving them into a place of safety. The same sheepdog will chase off the wolf. Through trials God pushes us all toward salvation by faith in Him. Israel would not repent and turn to God. So God gave Israel over to Babylon. God moved the heart of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to order

Daniel 1:3-4 …. unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; 4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

God was working in the background to make sure those who loved Him were not destroyed in the invasion. He ordered that certain young children of Israel be kept safe, and adopted into the Kingdom of Babylon. Oh, how glorious the power of God! Oh, how wonderful is His eternal love!

Daniel 1:6-7 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.

Daniel and his three friends were around fourteen years old when taken into exile. Our text describes these young people:

  • Children in whom there was no blemish, but well favored”. These young people were BELIEVERS in God who LIVED THEIR FAITH. They were pleasant, well liked because they were not brittle.
  • Skillful in wisdom and cunning in knowledge”. These four young people LISTENED when they were taught.
  • Understanding Science” is actually mistranslated. A better translation would be “Having the ability to understand”. These four young men were not self absorbed nor narcissistic. The King wanted young people who were not arrogant, but teachable. I can only imagine how many children were killed because they were brats.

The Welwyn Commentary Series by Stuart Olyott states:

The four boys would have been fourteen years old when their names were changed, for this was the age at which the Babylonians entered young people upon their programmer of re-education. They were to be given no rest until they had a thorough grasp of all that was required of them. That would be three years later. Stolen from their homes, told to forget their God, intensively re-educated in a pagan culture—how would these young boys fare? Would they remain true to their God, and to what they knew to be right? Or would they capitulate?”

When Trials Come WHO Owns You?
Fear? Panic? The World? Or God?

The Bible tells us that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are captured and taken from Israel. Transported from their families, they were carried 1678 miles from everything and everyone they loved. These four young men lost their fathers and mothers, their sisters and brothers, their Church and schools, their friends and girlfriends. They not only lost everything they had grown up knowing, these four young men lost their very names. The Bible says:

Daniel 1:7 .. {the prince of the eunuchs} gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.

In the ancient world a name meant something. Parents today give their children names based upon their own fancy or fantasy. In the ancient world children were named as a goal, what their parents wanted them to be when they grew up. The Hebrew names of these four young men examined:

Daniel means “God is my Judge”
Hananiah means “God is Gracious”
Mishael means “Who is like God”
Azariah means “God helps”

These young men were names by Bible believing parents. They were trained as God commanded in the Book of …

Deuteronomy 6:4-15 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; 15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

Adopted into the palace as servants of King Nebuchadnezzar these young men were purposely renamed to make them conform to the Babylonian false gods.

Daniel was renamed “Belteshazzar”, meaning “One favored by (the false god) Bel”
Hananiah was renamed “Shadrach, meaning “servant of (the false god) Sin”
Mishael was renamed “Meshach”, meaning “guest of the king”
Azariah was renamed “Abednego”, meaning “servant of (the false god) Nebo”

What was done to these young men was an attempt to brainwash them, to make them over in the image of darkness. The devil’s world is constantly trying to take away the Christian’s name, our identity in Christ. It amazes me as I go back and watch old television shows how the devil started indoctrinating us, making us consider that which is abnormal as normal, that which is darkness as light, and that which is evil as good. The world pushes the mind of the believer into a state of compromise.

We must turn off the indoctrination, and turn on the Bible. We must do as these four young men did:

Romans 12:2 … be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Daniel was given another name, but we read in verse 8

But Daniel

Not but Belteshazzar”, but it says “But DANIEL”. Daniel did not lose his identity. He kept his eyes on God. Daniel knew that “God is my Judge”, and he purposed in his heart that he would stay faithful to the God Who loved him.

Beloved believers, we cannot compromise with the world. We are warned by …

James 4:4 … know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

We are to love those around us as we would be loved. We are to treat others with the respect that God calls us to treat all with. Yet we are never to normalize sin, nor make darkness out to be light. Love the sinner, but cry out against the sin. Remember that as Christians our allegiance is first and foremost to God.

Psalms 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Daniel looked UP! This was how he was trained, and how he continued.

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel PURPOSED in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank.

Daniel put God first. If you are a believer in Christ you are to put God first. God’s love to you is to be more than any other love. What did Jesus say?

Matthew 22:37 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

With ALL. God is to have ALL of your heart. Not just the leftovers. You are to love God more than anyone else. Jesus told us:

Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

God must be first. Seek ye first he Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). Because Daniel did this God worked in the life of his superior, the prince of the Eunuchs. The Bible says:

Daniel 1:9 NOW GOD had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

God brought Daniel into favor with the Prince Melzar. In fact, this prince loved Daniel just as if he were his own child. He was a eunuch, a man unable to have children, unable to know the joy of fatherhood. God planted love in that man’s heart – not creepy perverted love but the love of a father toward a son. Daniel didn’t demand, nor was he ugly in any way to his boss. He asked Melzar …

Daniel 1:12-13 … Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulsevegetables to eat, and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

Daniel humbled himself to both God and to Melzar in the midst of the trial. When we humble ourselves and let God be God, it is then that God can bless us.

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

The Bible says that Melzar

Daniel 1:14-16 … consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. 16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

Several years ago I preached to Riverview the following words. Little did I know that the words would become prophetic. I said:

A storm is coming to our country, a hurricane greater than anything that has ever been seen. Tie everything up as tightly as you can in your faith with God. Seek out His Word daily, and pray to Him as you go through your day.”

The storm is now here. Are you prepared? If not, let’s start. Repent, turn back to God. Look upward to him Who loves you so. Purpose in your hearts that you will be salt and light every day. Live so as to hear the applause of God. Bind yourselves to your Creator and Savior with the twin golden cords of Grace and His Gospel. God loves you – He loved you so much that He gave His life for you. God loves you still – the grave could not hold Him. He walks with His people, even in the midst of national failure.

He walks with us right now.

Daniel and his three friends not only lived through their exiles, they flourished through it. I am praying that this Covid-19 Pandemic will leave in its wake an awakened Church, and a people willing to shine for the Lord Jesus Christ every day. I am praying that many lost souls will discover the joy of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Beloved, as C.H. Spurgeon said:

Dare to be a Daniel! Dare to stand alone! Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known!

May God touch your hearts with His Word and His Holy Spirit. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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