Saturday, July 19, 2008

Loving Daniel Part 1

I've been reading through the book of Daniel. Really it's the first time I've read it all the way through. I am sad to say that is true of many books in the Bible. But the Lord is leading me through each one that I've neglected, in His order. I'm not sure yet which Old Testament book is next but I think it is Hosea. That seems to be what He keeps leading me to.

But I digress. I wanted to share with you some verses from Daniel that really touched my heart. Some have me pondering them still, waiting for some revelation from God, if He wants to do so. I'm going to list the verse(s) (all are NKJV) and my observations. Feel free to comment with your own "takings away" if you will :)

We'll do this in two sections since Daniel has 12 chapters. We'll do chapters 1-6 today and 7-12 tomorrow. Shall we begin?

"Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs" (1:9)
"As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams" (1:17)
Daniel didn't need to figure out how to get in the chief of the eunuchs good graces. There was no planning or plotting to be done. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego did not have to figure out how to study and what to study or get in a study group with the other young men. Daniel didn't have to check out a book on how to interpret dreams and visions. What was required? Trusting God. God took care of the rest. This is a life lesson I've relearned over and over. I pray I stop circling the mountain like the Israelites and just TRUST HIM!

"So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven" (2:16-19)
Three things stood out in these verses. First Daniel didn't immediately petition God for revelation. He asked for time. With important decisions, don't be hasty. This leads to the next point. Don't forget your prayer coverage. Daniel got his friends together to pray for this request he needed to make of God. Yes, God hears our prayers and He answers. But there's something to be said for many of us to be knocking at the gates of heaven in one accord. Daniel knew this and God answered Yes. Finally, Daniel did another important thing. He praised God. May I never forget to give Him the praise when He responds to me.

"But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart" (2:30)
One word - humility. "Umm, king it's so not about me. God did this." It whispers to me, Mari point to Jesus. Every time, point to Jesus.

"The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure" (2:45)
It was certain and sure because of it's source. God is certain and He is sure. He's never going to change His ways. So anything that comes from Him is believable. You can "take that to the bank".

"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” (3:16-18)
You might be familiar with this set of verses. I've read these verses before. What struck me deeply this time was the spiritual maturity of these teenagers. They knew God was able to deliver them from this situation, the burning fiery furnace. But they also acknowledged that rescuing them might not be part of God's plan. They were prepared to accept that. They were going to be faithful to their God, my God, regardless of God's actions. In my sanctified imagination, I can just see in my mind that if they had perished in that furnace, they'd have gone to heaven with praise on their lips. Am I that mature in my trials? Every time? Are you?

"Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.” (3:29)
I wrote one word in the margin of my bible - AMEN!

"Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down" (4:37)
God had demonstrated to Nebuchadnezzar that he can bring down those who are prideful. I never want God to have to "put me down". I want to already be down on my knees praising Him. I want to already be bowed in reverence to Him. I'm not always in this position, but that is my desire. And I know it is His as well.

"I have heard of you, that the Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you." (5:14)
When we have the Holy Spirit in us, actively working and reigning on the throne of our heart, it is evident. See what God provides through the ministry of the Holy Spirit; light, understanding and excellent wisdom. I love that he doesn't just say wisdom. He qualifies it as excellent wisdom. What makes it excellent? It comes from one who is excellent - God Almighty.

"I make a decreethat in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.

For He is the living God,
And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,
And His dominion shall endure to the end.
He delivers and rescues,
And He works signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. " (6:26-27)
I can't even add anything, except my one word again - AMEN!

Be blessed by The Living God!

1 comment:

Runner Mom said...

And Amen! Mari! Thanks for this post! I have never read through the Bible...confession! This post was awesome, girlfriend! Can't wait to read the next one. Hope your Sunday is wonderful! Miss you!

Love ya, Susan