Remember Who's In Charge
And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. - Daniel 1:1-7
When we think of the book of Daniel, we may remember God's triumph over a fiery furnace and a den of lions. However, in these opening verses, we find God's people in a bleak and disheartening situation.
Finding Our Resolve
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank… - Daniel 1:8-21
In his book, The Weight of Glory, Christian author and British scholar C.S. Lewis writes, "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else."
The Great Mystery Revealer and Problem Solver
Denise J. Hughes
[God] reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. - Daniel 2:1-30
n the second chapter of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar has a problem. He has a dream that leaves him feeling troubled and unable to sleep.
Rest in His Reign
And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever. - Daniel 2:31-45
William Shakespeare said it best: "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." A king may inhabit the throne today, but his reign may be short-lived.
Our Response to God’s Undeniable Power and Revelation
Melanie Davis Porter
The king answered and said to Daniel, 'Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery. - Daniel 2:46-49
Sometimes God shows up so significantly in our lives that there is no doubt it's Him. In fact, the evidence can be so compelling that it's impossible to deny His existence.
4 Ways to Steward Your Season of Suffering Well
Daniel 1-2:49 - Weekend Teaching
And the herald proclaimed aloud, 'You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. - Daniel 3:1-7
It's embarrassing to admit, but I was once that naive gal who would watch a weary mom discipline her whiny toddler and vow her own kids would never misbehave. After two decades, four children, and a few public parenting mishaps, I cringe recalling my ignorant judgment.
A Tested Faith is a Trusted Faith
But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. - Daniel 3:8-18
It's been said that if a cause isn't worth dying for, it isn't worth living for. We see this principle clearly in the lives of the three Hebrew men in today's text. It's easy to have faith when all is well.
In the Fire
He answered and said, 'But I see four men unbound walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods. - Daniel 3:19-30
Cancer. Depression. Unexpected funerals. Unwanted pain. There is no end to the list of fires that ignite in people's lives every day. Some fires spark and rage, others smolder right beneath the surface.
You Won't Believe What Just Happened!
Kellye Schiffner Carver
It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me. - Daniel 4:1-3
Your best friend rushes forward and exclaims, "You won't believe what just happened to me!" You're probably surprised, intrigued and waiting for details, right? Nebuchadnezzar opens Chapter 4 in a similar way.
The Greatest Enemy
Sarah E. Frazer
The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. - Daniel 4:4-18
"Will you have apples before you move?" A friend recently asked as she looked at the blooming tree on the edge of our yard. After living in our home for eight years, we had yet to taste an apple from that tree.
Speaking Difficult Truth in Love
Belteshazzar answered and said, 'My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies! - Daniel 4:19-27
Many years ago, I had a boss/mentor who I greatly admired. I was excited to learn from her until I saw her in several heated situations. I watched her lie to get what she wanted. She was terribly rude to those who served us in hotels and restaurants. And she bullied me.
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. - Daniel 4:28-37
Being humbled isn't at the top of my list of favorite activities. Yet I seem to find myself in a humbled position frequently. I say things I wish I could take back.
Are You Prepared?
Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote. - Daniel 5:1-12
We knew a threat was possible. As a storm system tracked its way across my state, the weather service issued warnings of the storm's severity and path. Those warnings allowed us to be prepared for damaging winds, hail and even tornadoes.
You Knew Better
And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this. - Daniel 5:13-31
I have always thought it would be amazing for God to write a message in the sky for me. But in today's reading, the interpretation of the writing on the wall makes me question my desire. I would much rather be the interpreter than the receiver of the message in this narrative.
Finding Peace When We’re Tempted to Panic
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. - Daniel 6:1-15
Nothing can throw me into a pit quite like circumstances I can't control. It's that place where anxiety threatens to swallow me whole as my mind races through all of the fear-inducing what-ifs and unknowns.
As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, 'O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions? - Daniel 6:16-24
It was a typical coffee—shop-work-day for me until I saw an older man squinting vehemently into his laptop screen. After politely introducing myself and offering to enlarge the letters on his screen, he quickly assured me he did not desire my assistance - in the worst possible way.
Praise and Proclaim God’s Power
He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions. - Daniel 6:25-28
I'm often in awe of people who do what I can't do. I can't quiet a classroom of kindergarteners with a rhythmic clap of my hands. I can't cook fancy French cuisine and serve it with style. I can't do brain surgery or a back handspring.
The Ancient of Days
Denise J. Hughes
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. - Daniel 7:1-12
Sometimes I get tunnel vision, and all I can see are the tasks in front of me. My daily to-do list grows faster than I can check off the boxes, and before I know it, I am running around in an all-out sprint.
Waiting for Our King
Melanie Davis Porter
And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. - Daniel 7:13-14
A famous scene from J.R.R. Tolkien's timeless novel, The Return of the King, is the triumphant ending after the final battle between the forces of good and evil. The battle was for the control of Middle-earth's future and the long-awaited fulfillment of King Aragorn's kingdom.
Until He Comes