Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Daniel- 1st STS study of 2013

Daniel- A Great Picture of God Orchestrating the Continued Visibility of His Name
          Working through the study of Daniel 1 with our STS team and I’m excited and encouraged to continue to see how God is bringing forward His own name to people everywhere- even though His own people have not stayed obedient and loyal to His name.
          Why would a conquering king bring nobility from a conquered nation into his own palace to become his own advisers??  Maybe a strategy to keep exiled Israelites from become restless?  Maybe the exiles would follow their own who were part of the Babylonian government?
          Nevertheless… the result of this decision by the king  brings Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah into the service of the king.  As a result, God is made visible not only to the King- but to everyone in the nation as well as the Babylonian kings order their people to recognize and follow the God of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
          There are so many things to take away from studying Daniel.... one of them: seeing how God orchestrates and works to the benefit of His people and His own Name at the Micro-level (with us and our own interpersonal interactions) but also at a Macro-level.  (creating visibility and recognition of His name through the city of Babylon, the Babylonian Empire, and the world)
          Daniel and his friends must have been through quite an ordeal to be conquered and taken away into exile and also to be 'educated' in the Chaldean culture and wisdom.  Yet throughout all this... we do NOT see Daniel or his friends wavering in the commitment and loyalty to God nor do we see them losing ground to bitterness.  If we are to continue forward with God and continue with boldness, conviction, while also managing to counter the effects that bitterness can have on our lives- it will be through the recognition and understanding that God is in control AND does have the best in mind for us.

Prov 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

Rom 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.