God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 15 - Daniel 4-6: Daniel's Steady Trust in God Inspires His Kings to Trust God

Today’s Reading: Daniel 4-6

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

While the kings of Babylon were taken out of power because of disobedience, Daniel continued steady, non-compromising faith.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Nebuchadnezzar praised God:
"I had another troubling dream. Daniel said God would remove me from power because of my ego. Soon enough, I believed I created Babylon and lived among animals for seven years. God returned me and I praise Him!"
Nebuchadnezzar's son Belshazzar, who inherited Babylon, outdid his father's arrogance. God presented a public vision against Belshazzar. That night he was killed and Darius took over.
Darius made Daniel a high leader. Daniel's enemies conspired to execute him. Darius was forced to throw Daniel in a lion's den. God protected him. Darius then decreed that God would be worshiped.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

All three kings (Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius) were caught by their egos.

All three believed they were gods. Two needed to be disciplined by God. The third would learn from his mistake because of its consequences. Beware of power—it can make you think more highly of yourself than you should.

Daniel's power came by giving glory to God for his great works.

Nebuchadnezzar knew Daniel was not the source of his power. He knew Daniel's power came from Daniel's God. Since Daniel did not claim God's Work as his own, God was praised. God greatly blessed Daniel and Babylon in return. When we give glory to God for our good work, others will understand God's Goodness and God will bless us all.

Daniel never tells the kings to stop worshiping their gods.

Nebuchadnezzar gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar after his god. Nebuchadnezzar was not fully dedicated to worshiping God; however, Nebuchadnezzar was not a Chosen Person. Daniel never told Nebuchadnezzar to become a Jew or offer sacrifices to God. He told the king to set things right in the kingdom and God would keep him in power. Why did Daniel tell the king to set things right instead of being circumcised? God wants to set all things right, not create religious people. Don't get me wrong—religious people setting all things right is God's ultimate goal. But he prefers people to set things right instead of being religious.

The kings praised God because they saw His Work through Daniel.

We saw part of this yesterday. Nebuchadnezzar tells a story praising what God did for him—including his punishment. Darius, after decreeing no one could pray to any god except him, told the kingdom to worship Daniel's god. Belshazzar made Daniel the third-highest leader in Babylon, although only for a few hours. When non-Chosen People see God's Chosen People giving credit to God, they praise Him, too.

Daniel's problems came because he was loyal to God.

Considering all of the problems Israel and Judah had with loyalty, Daniel serves as the complete opposite of his people. Daniel's loyalty gets him into hot water with the other governors. The entire plan was to kill Daniel. Notice that because of Daniel, Darius trusted in God to save Daniel from the lions, "Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this" (6:16, The Message). Loyalty to God does not ensure a quiet life. Loyalty to God ensures a life others cannot speak against.

Do non-Chosen People praise God because of His works through you?

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