This is followed by a second dream that Nebuchadnezzar has. And the Bible says that for a season in the aftermath of the three Hebrew boys, not only is Daniel preserved, not only are the three Hebrew boys preserved, but there is a period of calm and a period of success on the part of Daniel and the three Hebrew boys. And they are not disturbed that the envy and the jealousy

that was against them subsided because it became plain to see that God was on their side and to rise up against them was to rise up against God and it was to rise up against the king itself. And so for a season, now we don't know how long that season was. We do know that the Hebrew boys and Daniel were in Babylon for a period of 70 years, but there's so much other things that go on during these 70 years. We just don't know how long this season of calm and success lasted in the aftermath of the fiery

furnace event. What we do know is that a little later on, Nebuchadnezzar, the same king, has a second dream. And this dream is about a great tree that has to be pruned and trimmed, and how there is a voice from heaven that says to the tree, you have to be humble and you have to acknowledge that as great as you are, you are still not as great as the God of the universe.

Your refusal to acknowledge the ultimate, optimal God of the universe will result in you going mad, will result in you becoming like a beast of the field and you will wander the earth like a nomad until you acknowledge that God is the God of the universe and that despite how great you are, you're still not as great as the God of the universe.

Now this great tree, and Daniel comes back and he interprets this dream for the king and he says, you're the tree. You are so great until the top of your plumage touches the heavens. from any place on the known earth at that time, as far west as Africa or Egypt, as far east as Asia minor or the Mediterranean world,

this tree can be seen. That is just how great you are, Nebuchadnezzar. But until you acknowledge that you're still subject and second to the God of the universe. You need to be trimmed and the metaphor for trimming the tree or pruning the tree is a metaphor for humility and subjugation, that you have to be humble enough to acknowledge that your greatness is still second to the greater greatness of the God of the universe.

And of course, this is rejected by King Nebuchadnezzar initially. And as you see here on the screen, the second picture as a result of that, he does go mad. He does become a wanderer, a nomad. He does become like a beast of the field. And we don't know how long this lasts, but until he acknowledges that the God of the universe is the greatest power on earth, he wanders the earth in the very way that is predicted in his dream.

Finally, after days, months, maybe even years of wandering, having gone mad, and we see a picture of Nebuchadnezzar as the insect to the background that I am showing you. Until he acknowledges God, that dream comes to pass,

it comes to fruition. And once he acknowledges that he is God, then his condition is reversed and he is restored in the dream. The stump of the tree remains intact to suggest that even though he might lose all that he has, there is the ability to have that restored. The stump represents the resumption of the greatness of the King Nebuchadnezzar. When he finally acknowledges that God is the God of

the universe and that he being as great as he is, is subject to that God, his mind is restored and he returns to the throne of Babylon. It's not too long thereafter, however, that he loses his life and that his kingdom is passed into the hands of his son, who is Belsheser.

Belsheser, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, comes to power after his father goes mad. Belsheser defiles the vessels of God and has a dream that results in the rise of the Medo-Persian Empire. Now, you see it here on the screen. One of the things that Nebuchadnezzar had done was when he ransacked Jerusalem and reduced it to rubble, he marched into the temple,

he took the holy golden vessels that were used for worship in the temple of God that had been built by Solomon, and he returns those golden vessels to the plains of Shinar. He takes those golden vessels and removes them to Babylon. He displaces them from the temple, which he, Nebuchadnezzar, destroys. Now, there is no indication that Nebuchadnezzar ever did anything with the vessels other than to steal them from the temple in Jerusalem and bring them to the plains of Shinar. However, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, who is Belchezor,

raises a party with friends and family and has this idea that to drink wine as he engages revelry that he would do so with the stolen vessels that had come from Jerusalem. And he fills those vessels with wine and he uses those vessels to serve his guests at a great and grand party that he is having in the palace. And amidst that party and the usage of those holy vessels, which is a defilement of that which was sacred, beloved, there is a handwriting on the wall, mene, mene, tekel, euphrasin. And the interpretation of that, again, Daniel is brought out of retirement, so to speak, and he provides an interpretation, he says, Belshazzar, you have been placed on the divine

scale of justice and you've come up short. And as a result, God is going to take your daddy's kingdom out of your hands and he's going to give it to the Medo-Persian empire. Now remember, there had been an Assyrian empire, there had been a Babylonian empire was this upcoming military force and power called the Persians or the Medo-Persians. And the prediction and the prophecy is because you have defiled what was sacred and what was belonged to God, your punishment, Belshazzar,

son of Nebuchadnezzar, will be you will lose your daddy's kingdom and it will fall into the hands of the Persians. And according to Daniel five, that very night,

Belshazzar lost his kingdom

and it went into the hand of Darius the Mede, Darius the Mede. So there is a transfer. So you start with King Nebuchadnezzar, now you move to King Belshazzar, and now there is another figure by the name of Daniel the Mede, who is the third king in this narrative in Daniel's life. Darius the Mede, with the fall of El Chesed comes Darius the Mede. However, we don't have any

actual secular history to confirm the identity or the existence of Darius the Mede. The only place, beloved, and I don't want to be overly academic here, but the only place there is any reference to Darius the Mede is in the Bible itself. We look at all of the records of the Babylonian, the Babylonian historical records, the Persian historical records, the records of the Midianites and their historical records, there is no mentioning of a king between Belshazzar on the one hand and Cyrus the Great on the other.

Now, some scholars have argued that this Darius the Mede did not exist. Others, however, suggest, and I happen to be a part of the school of the latter, is that the general who led the army that took control of Babylon on the night of this prophecy would have been Agbaru, General Agbaru. And that is whom the Bible is referring to as Darius the Mede. That Darius the Mede was actually General Agbaru, who was the actual general because the king of the Persians and the king of the Midianites did not actually overtake Babylon.

It was the general of the Persian king, and that would have been Agbaro. Many scholars, I am one of which, who fall in this category, believes that whom the Bible is referring to as Darius the Mede, when the Bible says,

and that night, the kingdom went into the hands of Darius the Mede. That Darius the Mede that the Bible is referring to is General Agbaru, whom we do find in Babylonian records and we do find in Persian records. And so there seemingly is a misnaming of the character, but I don't believe that this was a fictitious character. I believe that there was an actual person

who actually took the kingdom of Babylon from the hands of Belshazzar. But even though the Bible refers to as Darius the Mede, I am of the school of thought that whom the Bible refers to as Darius the I am of the school of thought that whom the Bible refers to as Darius the Mede was actually General Ogden.

Transcribed with Cockatoo

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