Today’s Reading: Dan 2:17–3:30, 1 Thess 3:6–4:12, Job 40:13–24
Today’s Theme: Humility, Holiness & Love
Today we see three strong themes, humility before God, living a holy / sanctified life before God and man and abounding in love for one another. All of this is underpinned by one of the main themes of the bible and the book of Daniel in particular which is the Sovereignty of God.
Humble reliance on God
Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.(Daniel 2:19, ESV)
Daniel knew he had no wisdom in himself to answer this dream, but he sought God’s mercy in revealing it to him and in his grace God did this for Daniel.
This was not a magic power or gift Daniel had, he sought God for wisdom and mercy and God answered his humble request.
God is sovereign
He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;(Daniel 2:21, ESV)
A great declaration of the Sovereignty and providence of God.
God knows everything
he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.(Daniel 2:22, ESV)
We can ask God anything, because he knows everything.
There is a God in heaven
but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these:(Daniel 2:28, ESV)
How awesome is that, this is epic… But there is a God in heaven, hallelujah, oh yes when men can do nothing, there is a God in heaven, our help comes from him…. I just want to shout out on this room now….. There is a God in heaven… Glory to His name.
To God be the glory
But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.(Daniel 2:30, ESV)
Daniel walked in true humility and made it clear that he was no special man with special powers, he gave all the glory to God.
Jesus, the true king of kings
You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory,(Daniel 2:37, ESV)
Jesus is the true King of Kings and truly receives all the power, might and Glory.
As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay.(Daniel 2:43, ESV)
There appears to be a reference to the Nephilim here, although it could be speaking of political alliances that can not hold too.
And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,(Daniel 2:44, ESV)
Christ’s kingdom is opposed to, not rising out of the kingdoms of this world.
God is Sovereign over history
just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”(Daniel 2:45, ESV)
The nature of reality means there are fixed events in the timeline of history, this is one of them, God is sovereign and has seen it all.
God is great
The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”(Daniel 2:47, ESV)
This is a great statement to the greatness of our God which proves itself as true when tested.
Victory through humility
Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.(Daniel 2:48, ESV)
This is a great victory for God and his people, through the humble faith and service of Daniel.
Peoples, nations and languages
And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,(Daniel 3:4, ESV)
Not races or colours, this is new and wrong way of distinguishing people, notice the terms peoples, nations and languages are used
Music, worship and idolatry
that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.(Daniel 3:5, ESV)
Music, worship and idolatry are linked so music can be both dangerous and wonderful
The challenge answered
Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”(Daniel 3:15, ESV)
Answer – The true God YHWH!
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.(Daniel 3:16–17, ESV)
This is radical faith, they know and trust God, they saw Daniels faith which must have been a great inspiration to them in the matter with the meat and the dream, now their own faith was put through the fire and it proved to be genuine and strong.
Faith is heartfelt trust not stroppy demands
But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”(Daniel 3:18, ESV)
This is biblical faith, not a demand to God but a heartfelt trust that he is sovereign and a resolve to honour and worship him no matter what.
Jesus can deliver in the middle of the fire
He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”(Daniel 3:25, ESV)
Jesus came and set them free in the middle of the fire, sometimes we do go through the fire and the Lord delivers us in the midst of it.
The fire has no power over us
And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.(Daniel 3:27, ESV)
The fire of trials has no power over us, we are in God’s hands.
To the glory of his name
Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.”(Daniel 3:29, ESV)
A great victory for the glory of Gods name.
1 Thessalonians 3:6–4:12
as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?(1 Thessalonians 3:10, ESV)
Paul always wanted to build up his disciples, Ask God that your gift would be used to help build believers.
Abound in love
and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,(1 Thessalonians 3:12, ESV)
We should seek to increase and abound in love, if we increase and go on to abound in love our hearts will be established in blamelessness and holiness before God.
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.(1 Thessalonians 4:1, ESV)
There is behaviour prescribed for Christians, there should be no confusion, we should live lives to please God though our walk which includes attitude, thinking, actions and motives.
God’s will revealed
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;(1 Thessalonians 4:3, ESV)
The will of God is not a mystery, God wants us to walk in sanctification and not in sexual sin, this verse alone deals with all debates on sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, cohabiting and anything other than the biblical model of marriage between one man and one woman for life.
The will of God is here revealed.
Called to holiness
For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.(1 Thessalonians 4:7, ESV)
God has not called us to keep walking in impurity but has called us to holiness, this is it, there is no confusion, those against the lordship of Christ, repentance and discipleship are enemies of the cross.
Don’t stand against God
Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.(1 Thessalonians 4:8, ESV)
Those making a stand against holy living, are actually making a stand against God.
Love each other
Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,(1 Thessalonians 4:9, ESV)
God The Holy Spirit will naturally lead us out of a holy life to love one another, we must urge one another on as Paul does to do this more and more.
Life and work
and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,(1 Thessalonians 4:11, ESV)
The godly call to life and work, we should work hard and live righteously, we should not cut ourselves of from society but work and live not as dependants but free men, able to freely share the gospel and leave no room for reproach as anything less than men… the monk idea was just plain WRONG!
Dinosaurs, created by God
“Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox.(Job 40:15, ESV)
I think this is a dinosaur / dragon, God’s quip to the future theories around these creatures is that yes He made these great majestic creatures too… Not evolution