As our trip through Northern Europe continued, we arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark for two days. Up until today, I was very ignorant about Denmark – especially Copenhagen – and I really wasn’t very interested, thinking to myself, “You know, this is just going to be another city…what is really special about this place?”
A last minute change in plans and some miscommunications left us with our second day in Copenhagen completely open. Now, I thought I had pretty much seen everything I wanted to on our first day in the city and had no idea what we were going to do for that second day. So, I began to do a little bit of research and I have to tell you, I was pretty surprised!
Guess what I found out? I almost robbed myself and my children of an amazing experience, just because I was completely ignorant of a lot about the history and area around Copenhagen. Let me just say, ignorance really isn’t bliss! Now, I really don’t know all that much about this country, but I can tell you that I could have missed an experience today that was both tremendously humbling and encouraging.
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We set out to explore Copenhagen and went to an area just outside the center of the city to visit Rosenborg Castle. It was built and expanded over many years, as more and more areas just kept getting added. Now, while touring this castle, I took particular notice of King Christian IV. He really stands out among the portraits of the other Danish kings. It could be because he was quite overweight in comparison to rulers both before and after him. I mean, he was a big, big man.
While looking at that king, my mind began to wander. Just let me say, it’s so easy to jump to conclusions that are just completely rooted in ignorance. And I did. I jumped to an ignorant conclusion as I wondered what it would be like to be a commoner in his kingdom. To look up at this king in this castle, with all these crown jewels and all this art and all this luxurious china and silver and gold-plated this and solid gold that, along with what appeared to be an overfed, overweight ruler, sent my mind to what I’ll admit was a pretty terrible place.
And, I’m sorry to say I completely misjudged this king. I did. And I didn’t even know it until a few hours later! After we finished touring Castle Rosenborg, something just led me to find out information about the Danish and the Jews. So, I hired a guide to help my sons and I learn anything about the Jewish history in Copenhagen.
I don’t know how much you know about me and my family, but I have a deep love for many different cultures of the world and especially cultures that have been so brutally mistreated. And, the Jewish people happen to be among them; there’s just always been a special place in my heart for Jews. If you also think about how close this area is to Germany and all the horror that happened during World War II, I really wanted to know about the history of Jews in that area.
Here’s where it gets REALLY interesting! Remember that “high on the hog” King Christian IV? The one I had already passed judgment on? Turns out, there is a rich and deep Jewish history in Denmark and it all goes back to the time of…you guessed it, King Christian IV in the late 1500s and early 1600s!
It seems that during his reign, both Portugal – and then Spain – began to expel the Jews from their countries. King Christian IV, knowing the Jewish people were prosperous, beautifully gifted in their business abilities and well-networked throughout the world, threw open the doors to Denmark and eagerly invited them to his country.
He honored them and welcomed them! He sent the message that we would be happy to have you in Denmark and we want you to be our business people. This honorable and generous man, I was caught in the act of misjudging, thinking, “There he is sitting high on his throne and I wonder how the rest of the country was at that time.”
Well, it turns out his country was doing just fine at the time! King Christian IV and Denmark reaped the benefits of the Biblical promise: whoever blesses the house of Abraham – the Jews descended from the Israelites – they would also be blessed. And, so, at that time, there were nothing but blessings upon Denmark and this king.
Both history and people today speak so highly of this king and I’m just telling you I heard nothing but amazing things this day about King Christian IV. Learning this really opened my eyes and I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for the Danish, especially for the city of Copenhagen.
Think about this incredible history! They had different beliefs. Denmark is a Christian nation. This was a Jewish group, a small Jewish minority. They loved them; they integrated them; they honored them. And as a result, God’s promises always come through. God will protect those that protect the Jews. God will bless those that bless the Jews. God will prosper those that prosper the Jews.
Now, here’s the REAL surprise! This amazing history doesn’t stop here and I wish I had more time in The Daily Fix today. But, I don’t want you to miss out on one single moment of this truly remarkable story and rather than just cut to the bottom line, I want to share more with you! So, we’re going to leave you today to think about what my initial ignorance and rush to judgment almost cost me. And, had King Christian IV prejudged the Jewish people, imagine the effect that could have had on history for centuries to come!
Instead, I received such a glorious blessing today of this message and it brought me such encouragement. I wanted to share this uplifting message with you and invite you to pass it on to your family, friends, coworkers and anyone else. Just like King Christian IV, think global and post this on Facebook and Twitter. And, tomorrow come back to see where this story takes us next…and how ANOTHER King Christian will enter this tale of humanity and heroism!
If this isn’t enough anticipation for you…I’ll be LIVE on your televisions and radios this Sunday night at 9pm ET/8pm CT! Thanks for joining me on this awesome journey and I always look forward to visiting with you again!
In great faith,
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