The Gentile

Daniel 1  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
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There is something much to be observed in the opening of the book of Daniel.
It was the moment when the Gentile was receiving the sword of government from the band of the Lord: and this Scripture lets us know with what mind the Gentile did receive it; and we see that it was a very bad mind indeed.
The Gentile would never have had the sword in this way, if Israel had been true to Jehovah, and the house of David continued in their integrity. But at this moment, when the Chaldean is thus endowed, Jerusalem is a wilderness, and the glory has departed from the earth.
The Gentile, therefore, in taking the sword, should have taken it as with a burthened heart. He should, in spirit, have sorrowfully tracked the way by which power had now come into his hand, and have accepted it as with grief and trembling. This would have been the right mind in the Gentile when accepting power from God on the fall of Jerusalem and the departure of the glory.
In such a spirit David accepted power. It was Saul's apostasy that opened the passage to the throne for David. But Saul was God's anointed; and the fall of the anointed of the Lord was before David at that moment, rather than his own exaltation. He lamented with a sore lamentation over the mountains of Gilboa, where Saul and Jonathan had been slain (2 Sam. 1).
This was beautiful, and the very opposite or contradiction of Nebuchadnezzar in Dan. 1 Instead of mourning, the king of Babylon triumphs; and the very first thing he does is to adorn his palace, the seat and witness of his power, with the best-favored children he could get from among the captives of Judah.
Nebuchadnezzar should not have looked on Jerusalem in the day of her calamity. He may have been the rod of the Lord's indignation against her, but he should have used his commission with a grieved heart. The glory itself, though it had to leave Zion (Ezek. 8-11), left it reluctantly and with reserve, and, as I may say, sorrowfully.
And this Gentile should have known, also, the holiness of Judah, and how near the Lord had. been to Israel. If he never thought of this, it was because of the hardness of his heart, and he is answerable for such hardness that blinded him-as the world is answerable for not know-ing Him who made it when He was in it. The Gentile should have known that God's house was at Jerusalem; a house, too, made to be a house of prayer for all nations. All this was the witness of God's presence in that city; and the Gentile's exultation in the day of her calamity is the Gentile's wickedness.
All this condemns the Gentile from the very beginning. And when we look around and abroad, we see him in the same spirit to this day. Nay, the Gentile has this' further sin attaching to him. He is now, in Christendom, exalting himself, advancing, enriching, and adorning himself in the world, though Christ, the King of glory, like the glory of old in Jerusalem, has been grieved and sent away. The present Gentile is careless about the sorrows and the blood of Jesus, just as Nebuchadnezzar, in his day, was careless and thoughtless about the fall and the griefs of Jerusalem. The Gentile is the Gentile still; and God's indignation against Jerusalem shall end in his destruction.