Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 81
DANIEL’S PRAYER AND PROPHECY – 3
Okay, it is good once again to have you all back after another coffee break. For those you out in television, this is our third program this afternoon. Remember, we do four; and we would like to invite you from the Tulsa area to come in for the afternoon. It’s on a Wednesday afternoon, usually, that’s why we see mostly older folks. You know, that’s the big question that comes in, “Why don’t we see any young people?” Well, it’s a working day, and it’s not easy for young people to get off work and come in for something like this.
But anyway, for those of you that are here, we always appreciate you coming in. And again, for those of you out in television, we just want to thank you over and over for your prayers and your financial help and your letters of encouragement.
All right, we’ve only published one book over the years, and it’s been going out almost like tracts, because we send them out for $11.00 flat. We don’t charge any postage or handling. I had a fellow down in Louisiana a while back, and he said, “Les, I carry a stack of those books on my pickup seat, and if I talk to somebody that’s got any kind of spiritual interest, I just give them one of the books.” Well, we’ve got a lady in Indiana—how many has she given, Honey? Oh, sixty or seventy of them, at least. She just hands them out like tracts. It is an informative book that has 88 questions, and the answers have been taken from previous programs.
Okay, we’re here for Bible study and we’re going to get right back where we left off in Daniel chapter 9; remembering, now, that Daniel is praying on behalf of the nation. They’ve already been uprooted from their homeland for well over seventy years, but it hasn’t had any spiritual affect, evidently; so he still prays. Then, you remember, in my last program I said just lay America side-by-side and we could be praying almost these same things on behalf of our nation as we see them go so deep into unbelief, which is always the basic problem. All right, let’s drop in where we left off, and that’s in Daniel chapter 9 verse 9.
“To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;” Now you want to remember, God is always ready and willing to forgive—whether it was Israel or whether it’s us nationally or individually. God is a God of forgiveness. All right, now verse 10:
“Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, (See how Jewish this is? This isn’t Grace. This is Law.) which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
“Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses (See how Jewish this is?) the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.”
“And he hath confirmed his words, which he spoke against us, and against our judges (Wow. Where’s that put us? Where we are today. The same situation, it’s the higher echelons of those that are in authority over us.) our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.”
Now don’t forget what’s he talking about? The Temple was destroyed. The whole city was destroyed, knocked down to nothing but rubble, and the people all taken into captivity four or five hundred miles to the northeast to what is present day Iraq. Then it went on up later on into what is present day Iran. That was their area of the captivity. All right, verse 13:
“As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.”
Now even though we did it in the very first program this afternoon, for the sake of those who may not have heard these programs I’m going to take you back again for repetition’s sake to Leviticus 26—because I want people to understand why Daniel is, at 606 B.C., referring to the things that Moses wrote in1500 B.C., almost 800 or 900 years previously. Well, again, it just shows how providentially the Word of God has been brought together—that even Moses could warn of this Babylonian captivity. And it never hurts to repeat. My, I look at these things over and over and over, so I hope that you as my listeners can do the same thing.
Leviticus 26 verse 32, and like I said last program, I’m getting old but I’m not senile. I know we did this in the first half hour, but we’re going to repeat it. Moses is writing in 1500 B.C.
“And I will bring the land (That is the land of Israel, the homeland.) I will bring the land into desolation: (It’s going to be reduced to nothing but desert.) and your enemies (the Arabs) that dwell therein shall be astonished at it. (The desolation.) 33. And I will scatter you among the heathen,…” The Gentiles.
Now you remember in our last program, I made mention that after they were taken out to Babylon they didn’t just stay there. From Babylon they moved out into other areas of the then-known world, so that by the time of Christ 600 years later, there were Jews all over the then-known world. They had their synagogues. They had their businesses. All right, so this is all foretold.
“…your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. 34. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, (that every seventh year they were to let it lay fallow) as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then (while you’re gone) shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.”
And that’s why—now let’s just stop at Jeremiah again for repetition’s sake to see how it all fits. Jeremiah 25, because I know everybody doesn’t watch every program. Although, that is my favorite word from my listeners, “I watch you every day.”
I had a phone call this morning from up in Michigan. She said, “Les, my husband and I watch you every day.” And she emphasized the every. Well, I love that. That shows that they’re really interested in learning. Because you can’t just take this one day and skip a few—huh-uh, you might just as well not listen at all. But, oh, to get into it and just soak it up day in and day out.
All right, Jeremiah 25 once again, down at verse 11, Honey. Now, I want you to see how this fits perfectly with what Moses wrote 1,000 years earlier.
“And this whole land shall be a desolation, (same word) and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. (See? It’s perfectly exact. It’s not just somewhere. It’s perfect.) 12. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon,…” And, you know, He did. My goodness, He came down on Babylon, first Nebuchadnezzar and then his grandson. You remember that? Belshazzar—when he saw the handwriting on the wall.
“…that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. (Because, you remember, the Medes and Persians came in and destroyed Babylon.) 13. And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.” Of that then-known world.
All right, now let’s come back to Daniel and his prayer in Daniel chapter 9. Oh, let’s see, verse 13 and we’ll repeat it.
“As it is written in the law of Moses, (That’s why I went back to Leviticus 26.) all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. 14. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.”
Now as I’m reading—this is the way I teach, I can’t help it. Let’s go back all the way up to Paul’s epistles for just a moment and see the graphic difference. Even though, as I’ve already said, we could almost pray the same way on behalf of our nation. But yet I want you to see the difference in the prayer attitude of this Old Testament prophet Daniel and our Apostle of the Gentiles, Paul.
Come back with me to Ephesians. I don’t know why the Lord’s kind of bumping me with this, but evidently there’s a reason. Ephesians chapter 1 and drop in at verse 15, because this is still another biblical prayer. Only instead of under Law by an Old Testament prophet, it’s under Grace by the Apostle of the Gentiles.
Ephesians chapter 1 starting at verse 15 and I hope something comes of this. I don’t know why I’m doing it, but there must be a reason.
“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,” What does that tell you? How many church members have a real love for the Book and for fellow believers? Not many. Church is just an obligation. You fulfill it for an hour or two, and that’s all God expects for a week. But that’s not the real way. God expects believers to have a hunger for the Word and to have fellowship with like-minded believers. All right, back to where we were—Ephesians 1 verse 16 and he says:
“I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; (Now here’s the Apostle’s request on behalf of his fellow believers.) 17. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:”
Now wait a minute. What does all that mean? You see, that’s what makes us different. That’s what sets us apart—when as a believer we are constantly growing in Grace and knowledge. Not to get puffed up. Not to look down at anybody, but to just simply be a better ambassador, or reflection, of our heavenly connection. Do you see the difference in the prayers here? All right, then go on, verse 18.
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know (not hope, not think, but) know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19. And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who (Who keep the Law? Bingo! That’s not what it says. It’s to us who what?) believe,…” Believe what? That Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again, as we see in I Corinthians 15:1-4. And that is called Paul’s Gospel of Grace.
Do you see the difference? We’re people of faith. We’re not law-keepers. We’re people of faith. And when our faith is exercised, then Paul’s prayer becomes a reality. We grow in Grace and knowledge. You get to the place where people will come to you and say, I’ve got a question. Because they know that you’ve probably got the answer. That’s the result of the Apostle’s prayer.
All right, now there’s another one that I love over in Colossians. While we’re back here, we might as well pursue that one a minute. Come on back to Colossians chapter 1. Here’s another prayer from the Apostle. And I think that these are model prayers for us to use on behalf of our loved ones and our fellow believers. I want everybody to pray like this for me and for Iris and our family and for each other. This is the name of the game.
“For this cause…” In other words, because of who these Colossians are now, by their faith in that finished work of the cross of Christ. Not because they’re law-keepers; not because they’re Temple worshippers—but they have come out of Gentile paganism and they are now reveling in the Grace of God.
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;” Do you see what that is? Oh, that we become so knowledgeable in the things of God that people will just be drawn to say, “Hey, I’ve got a question. I know you’ve got the answer.” That’s where we have to be.
“That ye may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, (to those around us—the lost world as well as fellow believers. That we might be–) pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”
That’s twice in two verses that we are to gain knowledge. Well, there’s only one way to gain knowledge, and that’s what? Study. Study. That’s what your good students do. They study. Why? Because they want to be improving in whatever discipline they’re studying. All right, one more verse, verse 11:
“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with (What?) joyfulness;” Now, you know I’ve always expressed the difference between happiness and joyfulness. Come back with me to Daniel chapter 9 and we’ll continue on in Daniel’s prayer.
But let me answer my question. What’s the difference between joyfulness and happiness? Well, happiness is when you don’t have any bills or notes due. Happiness is when you are in good health. Happinessis when all the neighbors speak well of you. Your bank account is healthy. That’s happiness. But what’s joyfulness? When it just seems like the ceiling is falling, the sky is falling, but we’re still happy. Why? Because God is in control. Now that’s joy. Not happiness. That’s joy. Happiness is when circumstances are good, but joy is when we can rest on the promises of God.
For example, have you ever read the book Foxes Book of Martyrs? Oh, yeah, it’s awful. Awful! But believers suffered down through the centuries for their faith. I think one of the most heartbreaking ones I can remember out of the book was on a real horribly cold winter night in Europe they had gathered believers. Stripped them of all their clothing and had them sitting out on a frozen lake, out on the ice.
And on the shore, to just make the temptations beyond comprehension, they had bonfires burning where people could warm themselves and so forth. But those poor Christians out there in the middle of the lake were freezing to death. Finally, one of them broke out and headed for a bonfire to warm up. But the minute he did, someone on shore went and joined those who froze to death. Well, that was just one example of what people have suffered for their faith. But the book was constantly showing that they were joyful in spite of it.
Well, we know even the Twelve all suffered a martyr’s death. The Apostle Paul suffered the martyr’s death. Only he was beheaded. Now, I know things aren’t always provable, but in one of the accounts I read of Paul being beheaded, he literally ran to the place of beheading. As if to say, hurry up and get it over with. I’m going to Glory.
Well, we’ve got to remember those things, because it may still happen here. I’ll never forget years and years ago, I was just a young Sunday School teacher and deacon. I asked my pastor at the time, after everybody had left. Iris and the little kids were waiting out in the car, as usual, weren’t you? Everybody had left and I said, “You know, pastor, there’s one thing that scares me and worries me.” He said, “What’s that?” I said, “If persecution should come to America, will I be able to stand it?” And, beloved, I’m going to pass it out to the millions of you hearing me. You know what his answer was? “If and when that happens, the Grace of God will be sufficient.” And that’s what we have to trust. We may have to yet die for our faith. But if we do, the Grace of God will be sufficient.
Okay, now let’s come back to Daniel, if you will, again. And continue on in his prayer on behalf of Israel. Verse 14:
“Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.” Remember, I showed you that in the last program—from Stephen in the Book of Acts—how they killed the prophets and they rejected even Stephen. All right, now verse 15:
“And now, O Lord our God, thou hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day: we have sinned, we have done wickedly.”
I think I shared with my class here in Tulsa last Friday night—what reminded me of it was Israel coming out of Egypt. What was one of the biggest miracles outside of the work of the Cross? I don’t ever put Christ in any of these areas, but outside of the miraculous power of resurrection and all that, what do you consider one of the greatest miracles in all Scripture? The Red Sea!
The Red Sea! What a fabulous miracle to bring three or four million people with all their herds and their livestock and their little kids. To bring them out of Egypt and through the horrible wilderness of Sinai was bad enough, but here they are up against the shores of the Red Sea. Not far behind are coming the armies of Egypt and all God tells Israel to do is what? Stand still. Don’t try to do anything. And what happened? The Red Sea opened up.
Now, it wasn’t just the separating of the water that I think was so miraculous, but it was the timing of it all. My goodness, after several million people had crossed the Red Sea and the last of the Jews are going up on the east shore, who’s coming in on the west shore? The Egyptians. And the timing was so perfect that by the time the last Egyptian comes in on the west side, the last Jew is going out on the east side, and what happens? The water comes back. Not a Jew was lost, yet He killed every Egyptian, including the king. Now I’m answering that because I get that question all the time, “Was the king of Egypt involved.” Yes, plain as day.
But now, here’s my point. What happened to the Nation of Israel in a matter of days or a few short weeks later while Moses was up in the mountain? Oh, the golden calf and the horrible immorality associated with it. They were dancing naked the Scripture tells us. And we know from antiquity that that was all part of pagan worship. And God actually had to put 3,000 of those Jews to death because of it.
But here’s my point: how in the world could the Nation of Israel behave so grossly immoral when the presence of God is over them in a cloud by day and a fire by night and having just brought them through the Red Sea? That’s enough to boggle the mind of anybody, isn’t it? And yet, that was Israel’s tale of woe all through history. In spite of all the miracles, they just couldn’t believe God.
And all the way up through their history—I know for years I used to think, you know, the Jews were all righteous people. No, they weren’t, only a small percentage. All the way through—you’ve heard me stress it in my seminars, especially when I’m going around the country—how did ol’ Elijah put it? Well, I’m the only one left. But what did God say? No, Elijah, I’ve got seven thousand that have not bowed their knee to Baal. Seven thousand out of seven million? That’s one tenth of one percent. And then you come up to time of Christ and He puts it so aptly. Wide is the gate, broad is the way, and many go in thereat that leadeth to destruction. They weren’t saved.
But what’s the other side of the coin? Narrow is the way, narrow is the gate, and (How many find it?) few there be that find it that leadeth to life eternal. So, it’s always been this way. But nevertheless, we still have to learn from others’ mistakes.
All right, I’ve only got two minutes left. Let’s finish the prayers, and then we’re going to be ready to look at some of the foundations of biblical prophecy in our last half hour. All right, continue on in Daniel chapter 9 and verse 16.
“O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee (I beg of thee.) let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: (That is the Temple mount as we call it today.) because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, (See, it’s been a generational thing.) Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.”
“Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate,…” The Temple that’s been destroyed up there in Jerusalem.
“O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, (There’s that word again.) and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present out supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for (because of) thy great mercies.” Now then, I’m going to close with this verse.
“O Lord, hear; O Lord, (What’s the next word?) forgive;…” Oh, Israel had been so rebellious. Israel was so steeped in unbelief, and all Daniel can plead for is that God would forgive them and restore once again the Nation to her city of Jerusalem and back to her Temple worship, so that God could continue on preparing for the coming of Messiah.
Because never lose sight of the fact—what’s in the back of Daniel’s mind? The Kingdom. When the King would come and Israel would yet enjoy that glorious Heaven-on-earth Kingdom. That’s in the back of his mind.