Today’s readings.. (2 Chronicles 25), (Daniel 6), (Acts 5,6)

Once again our readings have several lessons we can take and meditate upon and apply to ourselves. The account of Daniel’s life jumps forward to when the Medes and Persians are in power, as with Jeremiah, the chapters are not in time order. The high esteem in which the mature Daniel is held causes jealousy and when “presidents and satraps” knew that “the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom” [6 v.3] they contemplated how they might act to prevent this, “but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.” [v.4,5] Could the same things be said about you or I?
These men “came by agreement to the king” and said that they “are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.”[v.7] The king agrees.
“When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.”[V.10]
This was Daniel’s habit – how valuable to develop good habits like this, but our world is now developing habits, not all of which are necessarily bad, but they are not good either. The habits around us influence us – unless we are strong in faith and commitment – as Daniel was. The Apostle Paul told the Romans that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” [8 v.28] Let us realise that this is for the “good” of God’s purpose, some things might not seem “good” for us – at first.
The plotters plan succeeds, but Daniel is protected by the power of God from the lions. The plotters suffer! Now we see how Daniel’s faithfulness works “for good” in another way for after Darius sees the wonder of the protection the true God can provide he wrote “to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: ‘Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth” [v.25-27] What longer term affect did this have? We meditate on the account of Queen Esther and influence of the Jews in time of the Medes and Persians. How wonderfully do “all things” work together for the good of God’s purpose.
Finally, we can visualize similar decrees going forth when our Lord returns and the marvelling of those blessed to be there – let us pray for that day to come soon – praying at least “three times a day”.

 

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