About 1 Corinthians 15-16
Paul is fairly brief in finishing up his letter to the Corinthians. After reminding them of their hope in the Lord, he tells them he plans to return again and gives them some final instructions and goodbyes.
About Daniel 1-9
Oh my, there is SO much happening in Daniel. Daniel is the author of this book writing about his experiences with various kings and giving accounts of visions. This book is all about God’s sovereignty (again) in setting up and removing kings as He pleases.
Our Hope in the Resurrection of Christ
Paul reminds the Corinthians of the Gospel and that it is the reason believers do anything. He tells them that their labor in the Lord is not in vain, because He already conquered death.
Daniel Taken to Babylon
Daniel was exiled to Babylon where he and three of his friends get brought to the palace to learn the literature and language of the Chaldeans. Daniel and his friends rejected the food from the palace that was offered to them.
The king has a dream and calls all the wise men of the land to interpret it for Him. Nobody can do it except for Daniel, as God revealed it to Him. The dream ends up being imagery of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom and the kingdoms after his. Daniel tells them they will be destroyed by a kingdom that will last forever. After this, the king promotes Daniel and proclaimed his God as the God of gods.
Nebuchadnezzar ends up building a golden image and commanding everyone to bow to it. Daniel’s 3 friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, will not bow to it and end up being bound and thrown into a super hot furnace. Soon, King Neb sees another figure in the fire and says it has the appearance like a son of the gods. They are taken out, unharmed, and give all glory to God. Neb makes a decree that anyone who speaks against their God will be killed.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream
Again, Daniel is able to interpret Neb’s dream. Daniel ends up telling him that he will be driven from among men and end up living with beasts if he didn’t break of his sins now. About a year later, Neb is bragging about his success and is immediately humiliated by God and ends up living in the wilderness, just like Daniel said.
Enter a new king who needs some interpretation. Daniel tells his that his days are numbered and he should humble himself before God. He does not, and he dies that night. Daniel still held a high position in the kingdom for the rule of the next king, Darius. The high officials and satraps want him out so they convince the king to make a law against praying. When they find Daniel praying to his own God, he gets thrown into a pit with lions for the night. He comes out unharmed as God shut the lion’s mouths. King Darius ends up praising God.
We finish this section with a lot of crazy visions from Daniel that basically point to a bunch of kingdoms rising up only to be destroyed by the everlasting kingdom that is to come. Daniel eventually doesn’t fully understand, but still continues to serve faithfully.
Thoughts to Ponder
How has the Gospel changed your life?
There are several explanations as to why Daniel and his friends might have rejected the royal food and drink, but the best guess seems to be that they did not want to be ensnared by the Babylonian culture. They wanted to remind themselves they were people of God and rely on Him fully. What do you abstain from to avoid being ensnare by our culture today? What should you abstain from more?
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are being questioned about why they won’t worship the golden image, they pretty much say, “Our God will save us from the furnace. And even if He doesn’t we still won’t worship other gods.” How do you respond when it feels like God isn’t showing up? Is it easy for you to start to worship other gods?
King Neb was restored and saved after a long time of disobeying and dishonoring the Lord. This feels hopeful to me. When do you find it hard to rely on God’s timing?
Not my favorite video, but helpful nonetheless!
Next Week (Last Week for the Semester!):
Daniel 10-12; 1 Timothy 1-6; Joel 1-3