Light in the darkness; no room for despair or anger

Daniel 2:1-23

Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him. 2 Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. 3 And the king said to them, “I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to know the dream.”

4 Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, [fn1] “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation.”

5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “My decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap. 6 However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.”

7 They answered again and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will give its interpretation.”

8 The king answered and said, “I know for certain that you would gain time, because you see that my decision is firm: 9 if you do not make known the dream to me, there is only one decree for you! For you have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the time has changed. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation.”

10 The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. 11 It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

12 For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.

14 Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon; 15 he answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, “Why is the decree from the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel.

16 So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. 17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20 Daniel answered and said:

​​“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,

​​For wisdom and might are His.

21 ​​And He changes the times and the seasons;

​​He removes kings and raises up kings;

​​He gives wisdom to the wise

​​And knowledge to those who have understanding.

22 ​​He reveals deep and secret things;

​​He knows what is in the darkness,

​​And light dwells with Him.

23 ​​“I thank You and praise You,

​​O God of my fathers;

​​You have given me wisdom and might,

​​And have now made known to me what we asked of You,

​​For You have made known to us the king’s demand.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Dan&c=2&v=1&t=NKJVP>

What a situation to be in!  Daniel did not despair; he turned to the Lord and engaged others’  support through prayer.

When faced with the unimaginable do we despair or do we turn to the name of God.  There is a loud sound of despair in our land right now.  Despair mingled with anger over a turn of events that is bringing forth fruit that is not of God.  Would that we would take that same energy and focus and turn it onto the name of God asking for His wisdom and intervention.

What was the response to Daniel’s choice of action?  The Lord honored his trust and request; the prayers of his friends and his own were answered.

“…O God of my fathers;

​​You have given me wisdom and might,

​​And have now made known to me what we asked of You,

​​For You have made known to us the king’s demand.”…”

And Daniel did not say a quick ‘thank you’ and go trotting off to the king.  He broke out in praise and named the supplier of wisdom, God of his fathers and blessed Him for who He is and what He does.

“…He gives wisdom…and knowledge.  He reveals deep and hidden things…He knows…and light dwells with Him….”

Do we know who He is and what He does?  Do we praise and glorify Him for what He does and who He is?  The Lord inhabits — that’s lives there– the praises of His people.  Does He inhabit those who speak despair and anger; those who criticize and speak only darkness?  Something to think about.  Does His light dwell in us?  Are we sharing His light or speaking to the dark circumstances around us?  Who is in control?  Who is our source?  Let us not dwell in darkness, let us share the light within and let God take care of the dark.  He has not left us.

​​“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,

​​For wisdom and might are His.

21 ​​And He changes the times and the seasons;

​​He removes kings and raises up kings;

​​He gives wisdom to the wise

​​And knowledge to those who have understanding.

22 ​​He reveals deep and secret things;

​​He knows what is in the darkness,

​​And light dwells with Him.

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Resolve…to stand…respectfully

Daniel 1

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.

3 Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, 4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. 6 Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.

8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. 10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”

11 So Daniel said to the steward [fn1] whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” 14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.

15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16 Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king interviewed [fn2] them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. 21 Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Dan&c=1&t=nkjvp>

“…But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself …”…during a time of  his life that he could accurately claim was a dark period, Daniel resolved/purposed in his heart, and became a light in that darkness.  His trust was not in the legal system, the political system,, the economic system; it was in the  Lord God Jehovah.  He could correctly be called a slave; he was owned by the king; he was among the spoils of war and conquest.  Yet he did not compromise even under these conditions. He did not justify going with the flow and he did not fight back.  He spoke with respect and made a request.  God honored his trust; the trust in God showed in his demeanor and attitude.  As a result, his request was granted and God’s light was permitted to shine through these young men in their dark hour.

Take away:  even though our times may seem dark, may seem as if the ‘rule’ is anti-God, we can resolve not to defile ourselves.  We can place our trust in God alone; not in mankind’s economic, political, or legal systems.  We do not have to despair but rather resolve to stand, in a respectful and honorable attitude.    The Lord delivered these men into Nebuchadnezzar’s hands; they probably voted against him, but no fear, no despair, they continued in their dark hour to stand for what was righteous and just and they did so  respectfully.

Who He is and What He does…

Ezekiel 48:13-22

“Opposite the border of the priests, the Levites shall have an area twenty-five thousand cubits in length and ten thousand in width; its entire length shall be twenty-five thousand and its width ten thousand. 14 And they shall not sell or exchange any of it; they may not alienate this best part of the land, for it is holy to the LORD.

15 “The five thousand cubits in width that remain, along the edge of the twenty-five thousand, shall be for general use by the city, for dwellings and common-land; and the city shall be in the center. 16 These shall be its measurements: the north side four thousand five hundred cubits, the south side four thousand five hundred, the east side four thousand five hundred, and the west side four thousand five hundred. 17 The common-land of the city shall be: to the north two hundred and fifty cubits, to the south two hundred and fifty, to the east two hundred and fifty, and to the west two hundred and fifty. 18 The rest of the length, alongside the district of the holy section, shall be ten thousand cubits to the east and ten thousand to the west. It shall be adjacent to the district of the holy section, and its produce shall be food for the workers of the city. 19 The workers of the city, from all the tribes of Israel, shall cultivate it. 20 The entire district shall be twenty-five thousand cubits by twenty-five thousand cubits, foursquare. You shall set apart the holy district with the property of the city.

21 “The rest shall belong to the prince, on one side and on the other of the holy district and of the city’s property, next to the twenty-five thousand cubits of the holy district as far as the eastern border, and westward next to the twenty-five thousand as far as the western border, adjacent to the tribal portions; it shall belong to the prince. It shall be the holy district, and the sanctuary of the temple shall be in the center. 22 Moreover, apart from the possession of the Levites and the possession of the city which are in the midst of what belongs to the prince, the area between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin shall belong to the prince.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=48&v=1&t=NKJVP>

These words indicate the wishes of the Lord God.  They are stated with conviction and remain in future tense.  They are not wishful as in …”I would like you to…” but…”this is how it will be…”  We see the care of all the people taken into account.  The Lord is our leader, our ruler.  He plans and does all things well.  We learn about Him through His word.  Who He is and What He does appears from the words shared with us.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Yahweh Shammah

Ezekiel 48:23-35

“As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side to the west, Benjamin shall have one section; 24 by the border of Benjamin, from the east side to the west, Simeon shall have one section; 25 by the border of Simeon, from the east side to the west, Issachar shall have one section; 26 by the border of Issachar, from the east side to the west, Zebulun shall have one section; 27 by the border of Zebulun, from the east side to the west, Gad shall have one section; 28 by the border of Gad, on the south side, toward the South, [fn1] the border shall be from Tamar to the waters of Meribah by Kadesh, along the brook to the Great Sea. 29 This is the land which you shall divide by lot as an inheritance among the tribes of Israel, and these are their portions,” says the Lord GOD.

30 “These are the exits of the city. On the north side, measuring four thousand five hundred cubits 31 (the gates of the city shall be named after the tribes of Israel), the three gates northward: one gate for Reuben, one gate for Judah, and one gate for Levi; 32 on the east side, four thousand five hundred cubits, three gates: one gate for Joseph, one gate for Benjamin, and one gate for Dan; 33 on the south side, measuring four thousand five hundred cubits, three gates: one gate for Simeon, one gate for Issachar, and one gate for Zebulun; 34 on the west side, four thousand five hundred cubits with their three gates: one gate for Gad, one gate for Asher, and one gate for Naphtali. 35 All the way around shall be eighteen thousand cubits; and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.” [fn2]

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The Lord cares for His own.  He honors them as His.  He provides for all.  And He is with them.  The same can be said for those who have a relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.  He cares for us, He honors us, He provides for us and He is with us.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.  Yahweh Shammah

THE LORD IS THERE!

click and worship with Chris Tomlin and Christy Nockels:  Where the Spirit of the Lord Is

Honor and faithfulness rewarded…

Ezekiel 48:

1 “Now these are the names of the tribes: From the northern border along the road to Hethlon at the entrance of Hamath, to Hazar Enan, the border of Damascus northward, in the direction of Hamath, there shall be one section for Dan from its east to its west side; 2 by the border of Dan, from the east side to the west, one section for Asher; 3 by the border of Asher, from the east side to the west, one section for Naphtali; 4 by the border of Naphtali, from the east side to the west, one section for Manasseh; 5 by the border of Manasseh, from the east side to the west, one section for Ephraim; 6 by the border of Ephraim, from the east side to the west, one section for Reuben; 7 by the border of Reuben, from the east side to the west, one section for Judah; 8 by the border of Judah, from the east side to the west, shall be the district which you shall set apart, twenty-five thousand cubits in width, and in length the same as one of the other portions, from the east side to the west, with the sanctuary in the center.

9 “The district that you shall set apart for the LORD shall be twenty-five thousand cubits in length and ten thousand in width. 10 To these—to the priests—the holy district shall belong: on the north twenty-five thousand cubits in length, on the west ten thousand in width, on the east ten thousand in width, and on the south twenty-five thousand in length. The sanctuary of the LORD shall be in the center. 11 It shall be for the priests of the sons of Zadok, who are sanctified, who have kept My charge, who did not go astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray. 12 And this district of land that is set apart shall be to them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=48&v=1&t=NKJVP>

This is a listing of the tribes of Israel and their portion of the promised land.  In the listing is included the portion of land set aside for the temple.  Of that portion there is a special gift given to the priests who remained true to the Lord.  Their portion is called most holy. Faithfulness is of value to the Lord and He rewards it.  Another view of this could be that, of the total, a percentage is given back to the Lord.

He has made it clear how important honor is to Him, how important faithfulness is to Him.  If you love someone and want to please them, it is good to find out what they appreciate and give that or be that to them.  We can return to the Lord for what He has done for us, out of our love and gratitude to Him, the gifts of faithfulness and honor.  We do it out of love not out of gain.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Restoration…

Ezekiel 47:13-23

Thus says the Lord GOD: “These are the borders by which you shall divide the land as an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph shall have two portions. 14 You shall inherit it equally with one another; for I raised My hand in an oath to give it to your fathers, and this land shall fall to you as your inheritance.

15 “This shall be the border of the land on the north: from the Great Sea, by the road to Hethlon, as one goes to Zedad, 16 Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim (which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath), to Hazar Hatticon (which is on the border of Hauran). 17 Thus the boundary shall be from the Sea to Hazar Enan, the border of Damascus; and as for the north, northward, it is the border of Hamath. This is the north side.

18 “On the east side you shall mark out the border from between Hauran and Damascus, and between Gilead and the land of Israel, along the Jordan, and along the eastern side of the sea. This is the east side.

19 “The south side, toward the South, [fn1] shall be from Tamar to the waters of Meribah by Kadesh, along the brook to the Great Sea. This is the south side, toward the South.

20 “The west side shall be the Great Sea, from the southern boundary until one comes to a point opposite Hamath. This is the west side.

21 “Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. 22 It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23 And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says the Lord GOD.

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What is learned of the nature of God?  He is longsuffering.  Punishment for turning away from Him to follow other gods was delayed, allowing time for them to turn from their ways back to the covenant they were party to with Him.  He is just.  They were held responsible for their actions and received punishment due for the sins committed.  He is merciful.  When they cried out to Him, He heard and gave forgiveness.  He restores.  This passage clearly shows how completely He restores.  He does not forget His promises, He remembers.  Sin demands a price but He has provided a way of forgiveness, He has granted mercy and shown grace, He has given the inheritance He pledged.  We have a part in this inheritance as God’s people, the church of Christ, His bride.  He has provided for the chosen and those living among the chosen.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

River of Life…

Ezekiel 47:1-12

Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.

3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. 4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. 5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. 6 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.

7 When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. 8 Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. 9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. 10 It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. 11 But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. 12 Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=47&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Water, the giver of life, wherever it flows there is life, food for life and healing. The fruit will not fail and the leaf will not wither.  The fruit for food and the leaf for healing.

“…Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”…”

This spiritual water flows from the temple. We receive life from our relationship with the Lord and that life bears fruit that does not fail.

“…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law….”  Galatians 5:22-23

This reminds us of  the fruit of the spirit:  love, kindness, gentleness, joy goodness, peace, longsuffering, self-control and faithfulness.

“…Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail….”

This fruit will not fail.  Let us bear this fruit and may it bring life to those who cross our paths.  This fruit is desperately needed at this time, following the elections.  May those who carry the name of believer or Christian show this fruit in their demeanor and interactions with the rest of society so that they do not fuel the erroneous image of ‘Christian’ so prevalent  today.  May this river of life flow out of us to those around us.  Blessed be the name of the Lord God Jehovah.

Click on picture and worship with Don Moen; River of Life

Another site with a post along the same line of thought:

Nature’s Scroll at:  http://greenlightlady.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/natures-scroll/