Fear the Living God

The pronouncement by Darius after Daniel’s rescue from the lions is alluded to in the angel’s pronouncement to the “earth dwellers” in Revelation

Earth Dwellers - Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash
When Daniel was miraculously delivered from the lions, “
Darius the Mede” was relieved, so much so that he issued a decree to all his subjects commanding them to revere Daniel’s God. But he also condemned the prophet’s accusers to be cast into the lions’ den instead of Daniel. And both incidents are reflected in the Book of Revelation. - [Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash].

After Daniel was cast into the pit, the king spent the night in great anxiety. The next morning, he hastened to see if the prophet remained alive, and he called out to him, “Is your God whom you serve able to deliver you from the lions?” And he answered the king in the affirmative. His deliverance demonstrated that he was “blameless” before his God, the king, and the “law of the Medes and the Persians.”

In thankful response, Darius issued his decree to “all the peoples, the races, and the tongues who were dwelling in all the earth”:
  • MAY YOUR PROSPERITY ABOUNDFrom before me is appointed the decree that throughout every dominion of my kingdom, men are trembling and fearing from before the God of Daniel for He is the Living God and abides for ages, and his kingdom is that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion is unto the end; who delivers and rescues and works signs and wonders in the heavens and in the earth, for that he delivered Daniel out of the power of the lions” – (Daniel 6:25-27).
The king’s description of the everlasting kingdom of the “God of Daniel” echoes the conclusion from Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a great image. The “stone cut without hands” from his dream represented the kingdom “set up” by the “God of the heavens to the ages, which will not be destroyed” – (Daniel 2:44).

The royal decree also parallels the edict by Nebuchadnezzar after his downfall and restoration to the Babylonian throne, which he attributed to the power of the God who works “signs and wonders”:
  • Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all the peoples, the races and the tongues who are dwelling in all the earthLET YOUR PROSPERITY ABOUNDThe signs and the wonders that the Most-high God has wrought with me, it is pleasing before me to declare! His signs, how great! And his wonders, how mighty! His kingdom is an age-long kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation” – (Daniel 4:1-3).
The decree of Darius provides the backdrop for the announcement by the angel in the fourteenth chapter of Revelation to the “inhabitants of the earth”:
  • And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having everlasting glad tidings to proclaim to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a great voice: Fear God and give Him glory, for the hour of his judgment is come - (Revelation 14:6-7).
In Revelation, the group labeled the “inhabitants of the earth” represents those men who refuse to repent despite the “plagues” inflicted on them. Here, “fear” translates the same Greek verb found in the Septuagint version of Daniel where the king described how men “fear and tremble before the God of Daniel.”

This was followed by the second angel who pronounced the fall of “Babylon,” then by the third angel who announced the fearsome punishment awaited all men who rendered homage to the Beast and his image.” They would be cast into the “lake of fire.” And after his deliverance from the lions, the king cast his accusers into the pit instead of Daniel.

Fire Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash
Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

I
n the third chapter of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were charged for refusing to “render homage to the image” erected by the king, and they were cast into the “burning fiery furnace.” The three men did not escape punishment, but God kept them alive in the flames. Astonished, Nebuchadnezzar decreed that anyone who “said anything amiss” against Yahweh would be destroyed - (Daniel 3:29).

Revelation does not promise followers of the “Lamb” escape from death, but it does promise that they will not endure the “second death,” the “lake of fire.” And that very image is derived from the story of the three Jewish exiles delivered by God from the “fiery burning furnace” of Nebuchadnezzar - (Revelation 14:6-11, 19:20, 21:8).

Just as the accusers of Daniel and his companions were destroyed, so also the “inhabitants of the earth” who “slandered” the saints will be cast into the “lake of first that is burning with brimstone.”



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