Wednesday 6th January 2021

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Our God is a great big God and he holds me in his hand.

He’s higher than a skyscraper and He’s deeper than a submarine

He’s wider that the universe and beyond my wildest dreams

And He’s known me and He’s loved me since before the world began.

How wonderful to be a part of God’ amazing plan

(Jo Hemming, Nigel Hemming © 2001 Vineyard Songs)

Read Daniel chapter 2: verses 1-23

1] Why can’t the king’s advisers explain his dream to him? (v.10-11)

2] Why is this seriously bad news for Daniel and his friends? (v.12-13)

3] When God reveals the dream, how does Daniel respond? (v.19)

4] What truths about God are we reminded of in verses 20-23?

The advisors are unable to begin interpreting the dream because the king cannot tell them what the dream was about. When the king then decides to execute all his advisors because of their inability to describe and interpret what he dreamed, we discover that Daniel and his friends are now included within this group of consultants.

In verses 14-16 Daniel shows the effect of knowing God’s ‘shalom’ in his life. Daniel doesn’t panic, shout and scream neither does he become passive and ‘face the inevitable’. In his reaction to the King’s decision to kill all his advisors we see the peace, security and assurance – the wholeness - God wants each of us to know in our lives.

How comfortable would you feel at been grouped in with ‘magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers’ (v.2 & 10)? Daniel and his friends recognised that they were able to shine the light of God in any and every situation they encountered no matter what label was put on them by other people. They always took every opportunity to show their trust in God and that no situation is ‘impossible’ with God.

Perhaps we have had to put up with people using loathsome phrases about us because of our faith, can we like Daniel and his friends rise above the labels and brightly shine the light of God regardless of how other people refer to us?

How difficult do you find it to trust that no situation is too difficult for God and that his light can help us to see any and every situation ‘in a different light’ if we remember to ask him?

Daniel’s prayer of thanks and praise offers us glimpses into the main themes we encounter throughout this book.

# there is a wise God whose power is greater than any other we encounter

# this God graciously gives his wisdom and shalom to those who seek him

# God is trustworthy and faithful (reliable).

In v.23 Daniel refers to the ‘God of my fathers’ a phrase which recognises the faithfulness of God in past situations. Think about and perhaps make a list of situations you can recall which show the faithfulness of God – think about events we read about in the bible and also include events you have heard about more recently (such as missionary stories) as well as remembering events from your own life.

Daniel’s prayer of thankfulness focuses on who God is, his character and nature. Think about (and perhaps write down) what phrases you would use to describe God as you thank him for answering your prayers.

Use the words of this song to lead you into a time of prayer thanking God for his faithfulness to you:

Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One;

give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son.

And now let the weak say 'I am strong', let the poor say 'I am rich',

because of what the Lord has done for us;

(Henry Smith © 1987 Intergrity’s Hosaana! Music)

On Youtube listen to ‘Here’s my heart Lord – I am they’ a song which helps us to say to God that we want him to reign over every aspect of our lives. I also recommend a song which reminds us of the many ways Jesus wants to make a difference in our lives: ‘There was Jesus – Zac Williams’

You might also enjoy watching a drama series called ‘The Chosen’ by vidangel. They have their own website or you can find all eight 50-minute episodes on YouTube. It is written by Christians, so they do remain faithful to the bible but most of each episode is a fictional account of the back-stories behind those events we read about in the gospels. So, the first episode tells us what might have been going on in the lives of Matthew, James and John, and Peter and Andrew before Jesus said ‘come follow me’ and the fifth episode tell us how Mary and Jesus ended up being guests at a wedding in Cana, Galilee.

On Sunday I will focus on the second half of Daniel chapter 2, as he tells King Nebuchadnezzar what he had dreamed and what it means. So, try and read Daniel chapter 2, verses 24-49 before you listen to or read my message - Stephen

Page last updated: 10th January 2021 6:13 AM