Old Testament – From Genesis to the Prophet Jonah
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who had laid siege to Jerusalem and conquered it, marched many thousands of slaves to Babylon. Daniel was among them and he was held with a group of young people who were selected for training in “wisdom” to serve the royal household. Daniel avoided defiling himself with the royal delicacies and wine, remaining true to the God of Israel.
Following king Nebuchadnezzar’s death, his son Belshazzar was crowned king. During one of his many banquets, attended by one thousand high-ranking men and their wives, the king instructed the use of the gold and silver drinking vessels plundered from the temple in Jerusalem to be filled with fine wines in celebration to their pagan gods.
As the king and guests toasted to the pagan gods with the chalices and goblets, the astonished and visibly shaken king watched a hand appear in front of him and write on the plaster of the royal palace wall the words, “MENE, MENE, TEQEL, and PHARSIN”. (Daniel 5:25)
Not knowing what the writing meant, the king’s astrologers and wise-men were called but they couldn’t explain it. The king then promised great wealth to anyone who could help and on the advice of his queen, Daniel was sent for.
Daniel told the king that he wasn’t interested in reward but he would explain the writing. By way of introduction, he at first described how the king’s father had become “arrogant and his spirit filled with pride” so, he was deposed from his throne and driven to “fed grass like oxen…, until he came to understand that the most high God rules over human kingdoms, and he appoints over them whomever he wishes”. (Daniel 5:20-21)
Daniel then interpreted the writing for the king as follows:
- MENE: “God has numbered your kingdom’s days and brought it to an end”.
- TEQEL: “You are weighed on the balances and found to be lacking”.
- PERES: “Your kingdom is divided and given over to the Medes and Persians”. (Daniel 5:26-28)
Not long after, the Mede and Persian tribes overthrew king Belshazzar and Darius the Mede was crowned the new king.
King Darius appointed Daniel to oversee his extensive team of 120 governors and supervisors throughout his kingdom. However, some of his disgruntled opponents quickly set a trap by convincing the king to introduce a 30-day decree banning the worship of any god other than the king. It wasn’t long before they witnessed Daniel in prayer to the God of Israel so, he was arrested and thrown into a lion pit, as the decree had maliciously stipulated.
The king was greatly upset at being forced to punish Daniel and said to him, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, save you”. (Daniel 6:16)
After a sleepless night, the king went to the pit in the morning calling out Daniel’s name. Daniel, who had trusted God, replied, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and closed the lions’ mouths so that they have not harmed me because I was found to be innocent before him. Nor have I done any harm to you, O king”. (Daniel 6:21-22)
King Darius ordered Daniel’s immediate removal from the pit and his malicious opponents, plus their wives and children, to be thrown into it.
New Testament: Daniel was referred to by Jesus as a Prophet of God while prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem and his judgement of all nations. (Matthew 24:15) (Daniel 5:1-6:27)
The best way to have a good nights sleep is to make peace with family, friends… (enemies) and God!
Lord Jesus, you said to your Apostles, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you,” kindly grant me the same loving gift for all eternity. Amen.
Prayer: Humility (St Alphonsus Liguori)
Most humble Jesus,
give me a share of your humility.
Take from my heart, everything that displeases you;
convert it totally to you,
so that I may no longer will or desire
anything other than what you will.