Who warned us, and why? When the film “2012” hits theaters this November, I’m sure we’ll hear a whole slew of opinions about the Mayan calendar, prophecy, and the end of the world. To me, it’s not a two-hour movie but something I’ve considered for years. For more on my views, see my posts Always on the Watch Part 1, and Part 2.
In the Bible there’s that one BIG warning to all mankind, about the return of Jesus and the destruction of earth. If this doesn’t put everything in perspective, I don’t know what will.
But throughout history God has also warned humanity in smaller ways, working in the lives of individuals, groups, and entire nations through both prophets and His Word. Biblically speaking, the first warning comes when someone turned away, and God wants them to turn back.
Consider King Nebuchadnezzar (“N”), who ruled Babylon during it’s most prosperous and powerful years. A bit full of himself, King N regularly looked over the kingdom from his palace, marveling at what he had done. One night he had a very disturbing dream, about a beautiful tree that had been cut off at its trunk. When nobody in his courts could interpret the dream, he sent for God’s prophet, Daniel. (You can find this whole story in Daniel 4.)
Daniel interpreted the dream and said “You, O King, are that tree!” Unless King N promptly acknowledged God’s sovereignty, he would become “like the wild animals” and feed on grass in the fields for seven years, until he repents. This is the WARNING!
Daniel then says that maybe this doesn’t need to happen. Maybe King N can avoid the judgment, so Daniel says “Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”
But King N didn’t repent, and in the following year a severe mental illness seized him and he was driven away from the kingdom and ate grass like cattle. One day seven years later he looked up, and humbly acknowledged God’s power. Then God restored his sanity.
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”
More to come in Part 3…