Wednesday 20th January 2021

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For he is the living God and he endures for ever;

His kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end.

He rescues and he saves; He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.

Daniel 6: 26b-27a (NIVUK)

 

Ascribe greatness to our God, the Rock, His work is perfect, and all his ways are just.

A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Good and upright is He;

(Copyright control - based on Deut. 32: 3-4 – Song of Moses)

The next portion of Daniel’s book, seems to be an insert from the personal diary of King Nebuchadnezzar. It starts with a very happy King recounting some very ‘dark’ events he had gone through, and those events include Daniel needing to have the same faith and trust in God which we saw in his 3 friends as he now faces having to give some bad news which could result in the king becoming very angry.

Read Daniel chapter 4 – if you have the biblegateway app listen to it being read to you from the NIVUK or The Message versions.

Looking at verses 1-3, how is the king’s message…

  1. Something public?
  2. Something personal?
  3. Centred on God and his kingdom

It is a proclamation to everyone in his empire, in fact he wants to tell this good news to everyone in the whole world!

This good news is about God’s personal kindness towards him.

He also wants to share good news about God and his kingdom. The king wants to tell everyone that God rescues and saves, and performs signs and wonders. The King has come to recognise that God’s kingdom is greater than any earthly kingdom and will never end. This theme reoccurs throughout this chapter, see verses 17, 25, 26, 32, 34-35 and 37

In verse1, the newer NIV translations says ‘Peace and prosperity to all.’ The book of Daniel unlike the rest of the Old Testament isn’t written in Hebrew, but in Aramaic, so the word shalom doesn’t appear, but the word which is used not only speaks of peace and prosperity, but also of well-being and wholeness – all of the qualities we associate with God’s shalom.

Daniel has now been in the king’s service for around 30 years, and from what we know about Daniel we can assume that both he and his 3 friends have been regularly praying for their king to ‘give his heart’ to God – that perhaps wouldn’t be the phrase they use, but that would be the intension of their prayers. How soon do we give up praying for someone, especially after they come very close to saying that they are going to put their faith in God, only to then go back to their old way of thinking and behaving?

After 30 years of faithfully witnessing to the king about who God is, Daniel perhaps thought that his works and actions had been fruitless, but from verses 8 & 9 we see that King Nebuchadnezzar recognises that there is something about Daniel which makes him stand out from the crowd. We should always remember that we might never know what impression we are making on other people, nor how long it will take them to recognise the One who makes that difference in our lives.   

At the end of verse 19 we see how Daniel prepares the way for giving the king some bad news, and verse 27 is how Daniel concludes the news he has brought to the king. We could interpret v.19 as Daniel’s attempt to save his own life as he tells a volatile king news he won’t be pleased to hear, but as we link it with v.27 we can see a tender compassionate heart, as Daniel pleads with the king to put his faith in God.

As we consider our relatives, friends and acquaintances who haven’t yet put their faith in the God who rescues and saves, does our hearts ache with the same compassion we see in our faithful God? Let today’s message inspire us to regularly pray for individuals to come to know and trust God.

Lord you have my heart and I will search for yours,  Jesus take my life and lead me on.

Lord you have my heart, and I will search for yours; let me be to you a sacrifice.

And I will praise you Lord, and I will sing of love come down.

And as you show your face, we'll see your glory here

Martin Smith © 1992 Kingsway's Thank You Music    

Three new prayer requests - see the full list on the church website.

#        Give thanks for the safe arrival of Ruth & Tez’s 2nd grandchild, a 7lb, 7oz baby boy.

#        Pray for Karen’s neighbour and her family as the mourn the death of her mother.

#        Lucy asks us to pray for Philip’s aunt who is slowly recovering after having become infected with the Covid virus.

If you subscribe to a service where you can chose what films you watch, you may find it interesting to watch ‘The madness of king George’, as this real event in his life seems to mirror the events we are looking at in the life of King Nebuchadnezzar.

Historians and archaeologists have noted that King Nebuchadnezzar seems to suddenly disappear from the records of the Babylonian court, only to reappear without explanation sometime later - Stephen


Page last updated: 23rd January 2021 2:31 PM