Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 255

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Welcome to Day 255 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Daniel 3; Daniel 4; Psalms 81; Revelation 17 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

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

S cripture

Daniel 3:16, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

25 “He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 “So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for

no other god can save in this way.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.”

Daniel 4:28, “All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven…”

Psalm 81:13, “If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, 14 how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!”

Revelation 17

Many interpret “Babylon” as either Rome (with its pagan worship and persecution of Christians) or Jerusalem (with its rejection of the Messiah/Jesus. There is plenty of scripture in the Old Testament to support Jerusalem and the imagery of a prostitute. Jerusalem itself was destroyed in 70 A.D. by none other than… Rome.)

O bservation

Great passages in Daniel today! Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace… And a telling story of the prideful fall of Nebuchadnezzar. And, some incredible thoughtful imagery in Revelation!

A pplication

As for Nebuchadnezzar, ok, we get it, pride cometh before a fall. (Then he turns to the Lord!)

But the amazing story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace is an amazing testimony to faith and God’s faithfulness. But more than that is their determination to stay faithful to God by flat-out refusing to worship the image of gold.

They were “willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.” Those are the words of Nebuchadnezzar himself!

The God we serve is able to save us from it, [the fiery furnace] and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But

even if he does not,

we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.

I love the practicality of their faith. They spoke the truth, “our God is able to save us…” then covered their bases with “even if he doesn’t, we won’t bow down…”

I have mentioned many times the various results in scripture when one was thrown into prison… John the Baptist was beheaded, not rescued. Joseph spent time in prison, then interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and was promoted to Vice-Pharaoh. Peter was escorted out of prison by and angel. Paul and Silas were in prison when an earthquake occurred (as a result of their worship?), the prison doors flung open, but they stayed put and the prison guard took them to his house. (They prevented him from killing himself…)

Situations are no “one size fits all” are they? Just because we have faith, doesn’t mean we may experience our preferred outcome in any given situation.

“Our God is able to save us…”

“Even if he doesn’t…”

Peter was rescued from prison, but ultimately suffered crucifixion himself (some believe he was beheaded) but tradition records that Peter was crucified… and claimed he wasn’t worthy to die the same death as Jesus, and so was crucified upside down…

No matter, just noting that Peter could think, “Well, I was rescued from prison by an angel before, so he’ll come back for me now.” * buzzer

Wrong.

Then we get disappointed when God doesn’t do what or react the way we expect.

We should hang on to our faith “even if he doesn’t.”

He is still worthy!

He is still good!

He is still the Almighty!

“Our God is able!”

P rayer

Thank you Lord that I can trust you in any situation!

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2 thoughts on “Day 255

  1. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Daniel 4:37 “And now, I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, honor, and glorify the King of Heaven. Everything he does is right and just, and he can humble anyone who acts proudly.”

    This verse (and the life of Nebuchadnezzar) reminds me that my life needs to stripped of things at times. It allows me to be reminded of who God is. I need a daily reminder of what is important, of who I serve and what my purpose is.

    Psalm 81:8 & 13 God says “How I wish you would listen to me.”

    He knows best. If I would just listen to him and be obedient-life would be what it needs to be. He wants to take care of me and lead me. I just need to relax in his arms and submit myself to him. There is such peace in that.

    Oh, Lord, you are all that I need. Thank you for leading me and for speaking to me. Help me to listen, to slow down, to wait on you. Help me not to be distracted by this world. I am dependent on you. I love you so much.

  2. My intellectual curiosity wanted to research the significance and meaning of the great prostitute, but I had this sense that some things, especially in Revelation, are not meant to be studied and rationalized. It’s too easy for our minds to stray. Cincinnati is built on seven hills after all. Chapters like this might just need to be absorbed so that we can recognize events and patterns that lead to destruction.

    It’s more important that we understand that the great prostitute will be punished and fall along with those who hook up with her. How do I make sure that I am on the right side? Jesus is the answer. Listen to Him and obey. Stay focused on Jesus.

    Jesus, I choose You. While others die from just going near the fire, You keep us safe. Give me the wisdom to understand and not be distracted.

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