In Isa. 39:6-7, Hezekiah was rebuked for his arrogance in showing all of his treasures to foreigners, thus the punishment for this kind of continued arrogance and negative attitude toward God was going to eventually end up in the overthrow of the nation. This is possibly one of the worst types of punishments a people can have thrust upon them. Being at the total mercy of a foreign power in a military conquest.
This principle also applies to individuals. Often times we might have prosperity, or even perceive ourselves as prosperous, and with the strong drive of an ego, we want to ‘show off’ our prosperity to others. This is a subtle form of arrogance wherein we wish to make ourselves appear better or higher up than others. After all they can look up to our prosperity and be in ‘awe’ of us! Or that is what we really want deep down inside.
While on the surface we might only be trying to help out others who are less fortunate than we. God has a way of dealing with arrogance of this nature. He takes away from you all that you have.
This ends up being an embarrassing time for you and certainly an ego burner. If man does not humble himself and give ‘inner’ (inside your soul) credit to God, then God will humble you in a more dramatic way. This happened to the nation of Judah. Their arrogance ran rampant for so many generations that God finally gave the nation over to an invader.
People not only lost their homes and property, but they lost their pride the hard way. Many lost their lives.
Now Nebuchadnezzar swarmed into the nation and took his pleasure from all there was. Treasures were taken as well as servants. The Israelites were totally helpless.
This occurred in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, the king of Judah. The Northern kingdom of Israel, has already fallen and long since been destroyed by invasion. Now the southern kingdom of Judah has fallen.
The people, the government did not listen to the warnings of Jeremiah or Ezekiel, or Isaiah, but continued their negative attitude toward God and consequently continued their downslide toward destruction.
Daniel lived during this time and would live through the seventy years of captivity previously foretold, and through the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and his two sons following him. Daniel will see the fall of his own nation as well as the rise and fall of those (Babylon) who enslaved his nation.
Not all of the treasures of Judah were taken, only some of them. God gives us a lot of latitude and loose rope in which we can operate our lives. He applies pressure at appropriate times to get us back on track. And even in terrible pressures such as is mentioned in this chapter, there is still light at the end of the tunnel.
If the people had turned back to God, then the rest of the treasures would not have been taken later, but they did not repent, or change their attitudes toward God, even in the face of invasion, so even more of their wealth would be removed at a later date.
Daniel and his three friends were taken from Judah, the promised land, the land of the one true God, to Shinar, the land of the false gods of Babylon.
Instructions were given to treat them with care. Teach them in the language of the Babylonians. Feed them well. And select those who were perfect in body, unblemished, and mind, a high IQ, for the service of the king.
In contrast God takes anyone who is willing to be positive toward Him, and God finds a way to teach those who know nothing, feed those who have nothing, and bring them to a high office of His choosing.
The world, in its superficiality, wants the best looking and smartest to run things in accordance with the wisdom of the world, whether that wisdom is sound or not.
The names of these four men were changed as well to get rid of the Hebrew meanings and thus attempt to get rid of the Hebrew God. Replacing them with Babylonian names and meanings for Babylonian gods.
Daniel means – God is my Judge. Hananiah means – The grace of the Lord. Mishael means – He that is the strong God. Azariah means – The Lord is a help.
This is to make then forget the former teachings. Then they were given new names of Chaldean idolatry.
Belteshazzar signifies the keeper of the hidden treasures of Bel. Shadrach – The inspiration of the sun, which the Chaldeans worshipped. Meshach – Of the goddess Shach, under which name Venus was worshipped. Abed-nego – the servant of the shining fire, which they worshipped as well.
One can paint over the truth, but one cannot eliminate the truth. Gods plan is not affected by the plans of man. God cannot be erased simply by negative attitude or by simply the refusal to acknowledge Him.
The outward appearance of man, the names by which we are called do not make or break us. The content of our soul makes the real person. The world attempts to make superficial changes and then tries to impose them on reality, decreeing that these changes are now reality. But the truth is controlled by God, and mans efforts fall far short of running things in this world much less the universe.
The Hebrew names reflected the true identities of these mens souls.
The Babylonian names reflect the whitewash of false concepts and attempts to cover the truth. Even under extreme pressure, these men would fall back on the only thing they had, Bible doctrine in their souls. Where governments failed, where swords failed, where society in general failed, Bible doctrine will always succeed.