July 25 – Bless the God of Heaven

King Nebuchadnezzar, as we will find out, is an interesting character in God’s Story. At first glimpse we might stereotype him as the bad guy for he powerfully ruled an enemy kingdom.  Nebuchadnezzar ordered that the smart and handsome young men of Judah’s royal family be taken captive and trained to serve in his palace in Babylon.  Daniel was one of the Southern Kingdom’s elite and he was selected for this role.  Early on he resolved not to defile himself in this new environment and instead remain faithful to God.

Daniel was given an opportunity to declare the power, wisdom and goodness of God when he volunteered to interpret a disturbing dream that bothered King Nebuchadnezzar.  Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.  Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might.” Daniel did not take the credit himself but gave credit where credit was due: to God.

What we resolve to do, or not to do, says so much about us.  Living faithfully in that steadfast resolve builds character, and God uses people of character to communicate to others that they too can know God and grow in His good character. That is the way He does it; don’t we need human examples of godly living? Healthy teaching coupled with learners who desire to mature, is like seeds falling on suitable soil; growth will happen.

During the end our last year of living in Thailand, Russell taught the book of Daniel at our house church.  Each Tuesday the ladies of our church gathered to discuss the lesson and study more verses from Daniel. We prayed together and helped each other with individual applications.  Like Daniel, we wanted to live out our resolves.  Because I knew the year before us would be filled with lots of transition and lots of uncertainty, my resolve was to live presently and thankfully each day.  To make this resolve more concrete, I chose to take at least one photo a day and then journal why I was thankful.  God gave Daniel the ability to interpret dreams for the king.  He gave me peace and gratitude as I lived trusting in Him with resolve through a very unresolved year.

Daniel 2:19-20 ESV