July 11, 2022 - Daniel 1-4

The book of Daniel tells remarkable stories, which are remarkable because they are stories about our remarkable God. In a time when one might have thought, with the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile, that God had lost control of history, the stories tell of God who was firmly in control of rulers, kingdoms, and events. With a simple diet of vegetables and water, Daniel and his friends thrived in the Babylonian court. When Daniel alone could reveal Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the king declared, “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” (2:47). A fourth walked in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and delivered them. After recovering from his great humiliation, Nebuchadnezzar “blessed the Most High and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?” (4:34-35). Having traveled, just now through the kingdoms of the earth, how good it is to know that this same God continues to rule!

Praise to the Lord, above all things so wondrously reigning;

sheltering you under his wings, and so gently sustaining!

Have you not seen all that is needful has been

sent by his gracious ordaining? --Joachim Neander (1680)

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