Today’s Tasting: Daniel 1-3
Chapter 1: Daniel and three of his close friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are trained to serve the king Nebuchadnezzar. They are asked to dine with the rest of the king’s service people, but Daniel refuses to eat the King’s food and drink his wine. He asks if he and his friends can be served only vegetable and water. The chief guard hesitates, stating that he is responsible for them and that if they are not nourished enough, the king would have his head. Daniel makes a deal with him and says to see who is better nourished at the end of ten days. The chief guard saw they were much better nourished from their diet and let them remain in the king’s service.
Chapter 2: King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream and asks that his wise men to interpret the meaning. The “wise men”, were astrologers, enchanters, magicians – people that were asked these things quite often. This time, however, the King wanted them to tell him not only what his dream meant, but what his dream was. None of these men could interpret the dream. So, the King decreed that all his wise men be killed.
Daniel spoke to the chief commander and asked that he would give him the night. He interpreted the King’s dream in the hopes for the possibility to save the wise men [he and his friends included] from the King.
19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said:
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
you have made known to us the dream of the king.” [Daniel 2:19-23 NIV].
The Lord revealed the dream and it’s meaning. He went to the King and interpreted his dream for him, astounding the King and saving the wise men.
Chapter 3: The King erects a statue of gold that he commands everyone to worship. He decrees that anyone who will not worship this statue will be thrown in a burning furnace. Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to worship the statue. The King is furious and asks them “what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”.
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[i] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” [Daniel 3:16-18 NIV]
They are thrown in the furnace to experience no harm, burns, or physical danger.
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon. [Daniel 3:28-29]
Today’s Nourishment: Daniel and his friends consistently push back on the Babylonian culture. They truly believe in the power of God and trust that He will provide for them, even when they are the minority of believers in Babylon. Even in the face of death, they continue to praise Him!
When the odds seem stacked against you, hold strong to your faith. God is there with you to rescue you by either getting you through or rescuing you from the situation.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Daniel 4-6
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