586 years before Christ, Jerusalem.
Was besieged by the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar.
The children of Israel, that escaped death, were taken to Babylon to be servants and slaves.
The book we know as Jeremiah, was written prior to this. In Chapter 25 he prophesied the 70 year captivity.
The other book Jeremiah wrote, was written during the captivity.
Lamentations, is five poems about Jerusalem’s destruction.
Ezekiel also was a slave and wrote his book in Babylon. The main message was that dispersed Israel, would be restored again as a nation.
Nebuchadnezzar took all of the gold from the temple in Jerusalem to his own temple in Babylon.
The king instructed that the brightest princes from the Israelites should be educated to serve him.
Four boys stood out, Daniel, Hananiah, Meshael and Aazariah.
They were renamed after Babalonion gods, Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
God blessed these boys, by giving them knowledge and wisdom and they joined the King’s wise men.
One night Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. He saw the figure of a man. The head was gold, the chest and arms were silver and from his waist to his knees was brass.The rest of his legs were iron and his feet were a mixture of iron and clay.
The following day, the king invited his wise men to explain the dream, but they couldn’t.
Daniel approached the king saying, “O King, I will tell you your dream and its meaning.”
That night God explained the dream to Daniel. The next day Daniel told the king.
“You O king, are the head of gold, your empire will be replaced by another, that’s the silver. The brass represents the next empire and the iron the last.”
Nebuchadnezzar said to Daniel, “Your God is indeed a God of Gods.”
Then the king made Daniel the Prime Minister, over all of the wise men of Babylon.
The King also gave positions of leadership to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
Twenty years later, Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold.
At the dedication, an order was given that anyone who wouldn’t bow, would be thrown into a lake of fire.
But Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, would not bow and the Babylonian wise men, told the king,
The king sent for the men, but they refused to bow.
So the king ordered the furnace be heated to the maximum.
Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were bound and carried to the oven.
The heat was so intense, that the soldiers were burnt alive, Nebuchadnezzar said;
“LOOK! We threw just three men into the fire, now I see four and the fourth one looks like the Son of God.”
So the men were called out of the oven.
They didn’t have any burns, only the rope that they were tied with, was burnt off. The King said;
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, for there is no other God that can deliver like this.”
Nebuchadnezzar had another dream, when an angel said, “Cut down the tree, but leave a stump, with an animal’s heart for seven years.”
Then Daniel explained the dream, “O King you are the tree, and you are to lose your power. You will act like an animal for seven years.
The stump that is left, means that you will be restored and rule as king again.”
One year later a voice from heaven spoke, “The kingdom is taken from you, you will live like an animal for seven years, until you learn that God rules and gives kingdoms, to whoever He chooses.”
At the end of seven years, God restored the kings mind. Daniel welcomed him back and God blessed the king.