Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Welcome to Day 254 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Daniel 1, “Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”
Daniel 2:11, “What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men.”
(Except Immanuel… “God with us!”)
“Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.”
37 “The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory.”
48 “Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men.”
In this chapter the full outpouring of wrath upon the enemies of God is depicted. The seven angels with the seven bowls pour out “the seven last plagues” (15:1). Notice that these are not partial judgments, as with the seven trumpets described earlier (chapters. 8-11). In the pouring out of these plagues “the wrath of God is complete” (15:1).
9b “…but they refused to repent and glorify him.”
There is quite a contrast today between Daniel and Revelation. Daniel is shown favor and is exalted to a high position… while in Revelation, God’s wrath is being poured out upon the earth.
I love the story of Daniel. It’s a great picture of integrity in the most difficult of circumstances. It’s a great picture of God’s favor and mercy on a person’s life…
Daniel could have very easily just enjoyed the king’s food and wine, instead he stays true to his heart and desire to not defile himself. Then God gave him the interpretation of the king’s dream. (Remember Joseph in prison?)
(Even if you give an accurate interpretation of a dream to the king, if he doesn’t like it, you could be killed anyway!)
There are no guarantees in any situation as to how they will play out. John the Baptist was beheaded… Peter was escorted out of prison by an angel. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and was exalted to the position of Vice Pharaoh.
But we can have hope that the Lord will free us, or give us the interpretation needed… or the strength to die well?
That’s really not the point of today’s readings… it’s about Daniel’s integrity, not wanting to defile himself and how one can maintain their integrity in the most difficult of circumstances. Although Daniel wasn’t in prison, per se, he was in captivity and forced into the king’s service. (Prep time alone was three years!)
I’m so glad to be in the book of Daniel and that the destruction of Jerusalem is now behind us, even though they are in captivity… We get to see how God deals with Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon.
Lord, that I would have integrity like Daniel to stay true to you in difficult circumstances.