Posts Tagged ‘daniel’

But what if, what if? Isn’t that the first thing that goes through our minds? What if the authorities are BAD. . . evil . . . self-aggrandizing? What if the leader is arrogant or narcissistic or egotistical? So much can go wrong! When was the last time you trusted, much less respected, a leader?

Romans 13:1
LET EVERY person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment.
Proverbs 8:15
By me [God], kings reign and rulers decree justice.

So, here’s the only thing that helps me get through this section of Romans: the story of Nebuchadnezzar [Daniel 3 and 4]. He ruled for 50 years and did all kinds of great things for Babylon. But he was also cruel and dictatorial and ultimately, quite power hungry. Toward the end of his reign, he went mad for seven years. He thought he was all powerful but God ultimately showed this king how small he was in the eyes of God.

Evil authorities do gain and abuse power and for us, as we live through such times, it seems like forever. But my faith is strong enough to find security in knowing that truth is still more powerful than evil. Sometimes evil is allowed to rise to bring forth the consciousness of a sleepy people.

In the face of evil leaders, it is our job to call forth the judgment and justice of God who can see the greater picture. We must not grow weary; we must not grow discouraged.

For years, throughout the sixties, seventies, and eighties… honestly, for 30 years, my mother talked about the wall coming down in Germany. She went on and on about the fall . . . someday. Oh, my brother and I would just poo-poo her. I mean, communism and its leaders were powerful beyond all measure. They used equal amounts of force, fear, and financial control over the people. It was here to stay.

But, we all know the end to this story. The Berlin wall did fall. Communism lost its grip on many countries and freedoms were returned. It’s not all goodness and light, I know that. Nor do all of these countries have the best leaders now, but there is always hope and change. We must never believe that situations are hopeless. Things can change in a day or an hour.

God is sovereign. And that’s the authority I respect above all.

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. [Romans 12:19]

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The story of Daniel has many mysteries, but one of the most well known is the revelations that God gave him about the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2). I have not had any mysterious dreams, but I do wonder today why things work the way they do. The juxtaposition of events is always a bit peculiar. This past weekend, my children all went on a Chrysalis weekend, a mountain top if not life-changing one for all of them. And then, they all got sick (virus heaven on the weekend I suppose) and then, I too, became ill, but with a more mysterious ailment than just a cold.

I am currently in a lot of discomfort along with some pain below my sternum and so far, in a week of tests and doctor appointments, no one knows the source or cause of my problem. It’s a mystery. In my heart I believe that God is in this, but I don’t know yet, in what way. In verse 2:18, Daniel says to his friends, plead for mercy from God concerning this mystery… he was asking for revelation, a supernatural understanding of what Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was and what it meant. Note… they needed to discover what it was before it’s meaning could be discerned.

There are actually many mysteries in our lives like this… and I think we don’t spend enough time asking God for the mercy of revelation. We are too busy using our own knowledge or the knowledge of others to reveal truth, when we should be asking God for it.

We don’t spend enough time identifying what is actually happening. We don’t look deeply enough into the nature of the events. We assume too much. We interpret before we know. We interpret the symptoms… the outward expressions of what is.

Today, I ask… I plead oh God, for an understanding of what is…

I remember my salvation story a true expression of this idea… when I came to the Lord, it was because a classmate challenged me to read the New Testament the same way we were being instructed in acting school to read scripts. For the first read-through, we were told to put the phrase, “If this were true…” and only after taking all the words at face value … to get the full intent of what they words actually say … could we begin to interpret. It was this reading of the Word that brought me to my knees before God, alone, on Christmas Eve, 1979.

There is a core truth to every event.

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