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Tag Archives: King Nebuchadnezzar

When Sanity is Restored

The Bible’s authors have a unique way of expressing individuals who make poor decisions.  A common way to explain this behavior is being out of your mind.  Missteps usually begin with momentary lapses in judgement.  When a pattern forms, unsettled minds take souls further away from God than they ever expected or intended.  Anyone who goes off the deep end is often labeled insane.

Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws. Daniel 4:33.

One of the gospel authors blames insanity on demons, Mark 5:1-20.  One man’s condition had gotten so bad that he withdrew to catacombs, living in an underground cemetery.  Jesus refers to his condition as being under the influence of an unclean spirit.  A legion of demons possessed this man, making sanity impossible under his current state.  Yet, Jesus diagnosed this man’s spiritual condition by relying on the Holy Spirit.  After confronting one dominant being, this man was set free.

Now at the same time my reason returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor were returned to me, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was re-established in my kingdom, and still more greatness [than before] was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and faithful and His ways are just, and He is able to humiliate and humble those who walk in [self-centered, self-righteous] pridem,” Daniel 4:36-37.

Another disciple refers to a similar account or perhaps the same event.  This time the man once possessed is described as being in his right mind.  This is where sanity is restored as individuals can once again follow and obey their conscience.  The apostle Paul stresses the need to take thoughts captive, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  Make sure this spiritual discipline is exercised so that if you are on the verge of giving into temptation, sanity will prevail.

by Jay Mankus

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Moving Beyond Hunger Pains to Experience Worship

A decade ago I attended a Bible Study and Sunday School with a few individuals who introduced to me to the Daniel Fast.  When the Babylonians invaded Israel in the Old Testament, several young Jews were taken back to Babylon.  Held captive against their will, these teenagers were reprogrammed to a new culture by king Nebuchadnezzar.  Overwhelmed with conviction, Daniel proposed a 10 day eating challenge limited to fruits, vegetables and water to a chief official.

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way, Daniel 1:8.

This proposal has evolved into what churches refer to as the Daniel Fast, a three week period to eat healthy.  Some where along the way, 10 days was extended to 21, usually occurring at the beginning of each year.  To avoid shocking my own body, I do a modified fast in 7 day segments.  By the end of the first week, I give up soda or tea to transition over to water.  Depending on how I feel after 2 weeks, I might do a strict fast the last 7 days.  However, the hardest part of any fast involves coping with hunger pains which can ruin the spirits of any participant.

“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink,” Daniel 1:12.

Although, I am still relatively a newbie when it comes to fasting, I discover something new each January.  During my first week of this year’s fast, the Holy Spirit placed a thought in my mind, “to move beyond hunger pains to experience worship.”  While I still have 2 more weeks to go, this mindset is helping me see the purpose of fasting, to draw closer to the Lord by worshiping God daily.  Thus, the next time you feel called to begin a fast, don’t forget to move beyond hunger pains to experience a heart set on worshiping God.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Mind Stripping

Strip mining involves excavating the surface of earth, rock and other material to uncover mineral reserves.  Although most commonly used to extract coal, some of the miners on the Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush reality show use strip mining to remove overburden.  Also known as open-cut mining, this process relies on explosives and heavy machinery to reach key pockets of minerals.

A wise king once developed a different kind of mining.  One of the secrets to Babylon’s successful empire in 600 BC was the introduction of mind stripping.  Instead of killing the citizens of newly conquered nations, King Nebuchadnezzar recruited members of royal families as well as the best and brightest young people, Daniel 1:3-5.  Like going back to school, these individuals were programmed to eat, think and embrace the Babylonian worldview.

For example, Daniel was given a new name to strip his mind from his Hebrew roots, Belteshazzer.  This name originated from Mesopotamian mythology, based upon Bel, a title applied to various gods in Babylon.  Essentially, King Nebuchadnezzar attempted to convince Daniel that Bel, his god would take care of him from here on out.  Tempted by knowledge, power and wealth, Daniel refused to allow his mind to be corrupted, Daniel 1:8-14.

Today, mind stripping continues, kept alive by the devil, 2 Corinthians 4:4.  However, this process is invisible, induced by subtle thoughts, whispers and images of greatness.  No one is immune to this internal battle, Galatians 5:16-18.  Regardless of the state this blog finds you in, may the power of the Holy Spirit come to your aid, Galatians 5:25, leading you like Daniel to say no to mind stripping.

by Jay Mankus

 

Miner 34

As I child, I remember hearing the Old Testament story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  Despite threats from King Nebuchadnezzar, these 3 men were willing to face death rather than break the first commandment, Daniel 3:17.  While in a fiery furnace, a 4th figure appeared, resembling the son of God, Daniel 3:24-25.  However, until today, I was not aware of the modern miracle of Miner 34.

On Thursday, August 5th, 2010, a mining accident in Copiapo, Chile, trapped 33 miners nearly a half mile beneath the surface of their San Jose mine.  Despite the initial cave in, all 33 men survived 69 days in darkness, banding together as a close knit community.   During this ordeal, each man was given a task that they were responsible for until their rescue.  Jose Henriquez was delegated the man of prayer, the only Christian miner.  Gathering around a pole, Jose introduced his co-workers to Miner 34, praying to the Living God.

Although not accepted by everyone, Jose’s words pierced the hearts of several men on the verge of death.  When a drill reached their location 17 days later, food, water and Bibles were dropped into their small living quarters.  Once Jose began to quote God’s words to his fellow miners, a revival broke out 2,400 feet under the earth’s surface.  Thirty two men entered this mine without plans for eternity on August 5th.  On October 10th, when these men were extracted from this mine, 22 men were reborn, dedicating their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 10:9-10.  Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, these 33 miners were visited by Miner 34 until their rescue was complete.

Please share any other miracles you’ve experienced, heard or seen with your own eyes.

by Jay Mankus

 

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