This is written by John though we’re not positive which John. Either way, he receives a dream of the end times and shares it’s wacky contents with us. You don’t want to miss this:
Because one time isn’t enough to hear this song, enjoy the musical version of a portion of today’s psalm:
- 1-3 – Remember, Nebuchadnezzar turned his allegiance to God after witnessing the miracle of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego not burning up in the fire.
- 4-27 – The king calls on Daniel to interpret his dream and it’s not favorable. Daniel must have been understandably scared to deliver the bad news to the king.
- 28-37 – Nebuchadnezzar still takes credit for the power of Babylon, which destroyed Israel and captured their people. God humbles him and reminds him who is truly in control.
2 Peter 1:1-21:
- 3-4 – God gives us insight into faithful living and what he wants from us for our own good and so we can follow him.
- 19-21 – This confirms that prophecies were given by God through the Holy Spirit. At this point, many prophecies had come true, but this was encouragement to continue to trust those that hadn’t.
- 97-104 – The psalmist continues to show great love for God’s commands. He realizes that this is where he can receive wisdom and protection.
- 105 – A familiar and beautiful verse proclaiming the great help Scripture can give us.
- 17 – Guilt of this kind of sin cannot be taken away.
Are there things you long for? A new job? A spouse? A child? Do you long for God? This isn’t how we normally talk and maybe isn’t how we think or act either. But the cool thing is, the psalms, specifically today’s psalm, describe longing for God. This is a deep need and desire to be close to him. What might it look like for you to long for God.
- 24-30 – Daniel is careful not to take credit for the incredible act he will perform. He gives glory to God for this ability.
- 31-45 – Babylon had been a great power that had conquered Israel and other lands. God reveals that they will soon crumble despite their current might.
- 46-49 – Daniel and his friends worked for the king but still remained faithful to God.
- 13-18 – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are given another chance by the king. This is probably not an act of grace, but a desperate attempt to get everyone to do what he says. Even amidst the threat of certain death, they give a powerful response in verses 17&18.
- 24-25 – Many believe this fourth person with the three friends to be Jesus or an angel of protection.
- 24-30 – Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego’s incredible faith ends up turning even those who would openly and intensely defy God.
1 Peter 4:7-5:14:
- 8 – Ain’t that the truth?
- 10-11 – This is a great way of looking at our gifts – that they should be used to bless others. Often, we use our gifts for our own betterment or enjoyment.
- 12-19 – We are told to relish our sufferings if they are received due to faithfulness. Not all suffering is because we’ve been faithful.
- 6-11 – We are encouraged to always be ready for a time when Christ can raise us up. We must be watchful, however, for stumbling blocks along the way.
- 81-82 – People in the Bible frequently describe their desire for God as one of “longing”. We rarely long for God. We often feel as if we’re doing him a favor by praying, reading Scripture, or living faithfully. What if we saw our position more like the folks who wrote the Bible?
- 16 – Leaders are appointed to protect their people and have higher standards upon them.
Daniel and his buddies Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego remain faithful regardless of how difficult it is in Babylonian exile. You’ll recognize some of the stories, but there will be a lot you’re surprised by too. Take a look.
Are you more or less likely to live faithfully when in difficult situations? If we’re honest, most of us are less likely to live faithfully. We tend to grasp at anything that may be a way out of our current situation. But now that we’re reading Daniel, we have an excellent example of what it looks like to live faithfully in the worst of circumstances. We can learn a lot from this book.
- 1-2 – This is to set the scene that this story will happen while the Israelites are in exile.
- 8-16 – Like in many other stories in Scripture, it is important to trust in God for provision and not to rely on others in any way. Eating the king’s food and drinking his wine would have been a way of relying on and trusting in the Babylonians.
- 8-9 – The king asks the wise men to tell him what his dream means, but he refuses to tell them the dream.
- 20-23 – Daniel’s prayer is one of humility and seeking God’s wisdom and provision.
1 Peter 3:8-4:6:
- 13-15 – The way we live our lives is a big part of our witness. We must live righteously so people don’t have anything to question, but if they do anyway, we must be ready to share the gospel.
- 1-6 – As believers, we are called to live like Christ and leave behind our old ways.
- 67 – When we encounter God, it should show through a change in our lives.
- We harden our hearts through perpetually choosing sin over faithfulness. Perpetually choosing sin is guaranteed to destroy us.
- 17-32 – As Joseph makes clear in yesterday’s reading in verse 16, Joseph is not responsible for the interpretation, God is. Joseph is just the vessel.
- 32 – As we’ve said before, when things are repeated, it means it’s important and should be paid attention to. This is no different with Pharaoh’s dreams.
- 37-45 – Joseph’s faithfulness in the midst of adversity pays off.
- 45 – Potiphera is not the same as Potipher whose house Joseph served in and was falsely accused in.
- 1 – This is Jacob, Joseph’s father.
- 4 – Benjamin was still young and Jacob had already lost the only other son of his favorite wife, Rachel.
- 6-10 – Joseph’s dreams that frustrated his brothers when they were young, were now coming true. Joseph recognizes his brothers but they don’t recognize him because there is no way they could have imagined this scenario.
- 12-17 – Joseph uses this ruse because he wants to see his younger brother.
- 24-30 – A very powerful parable! God could have destroyed all the people who did not believe in him at any point, but he chooses not to because the destruction of all of them would certainly damage the faith of many believers. We see this even in reading Scripture and feeling sorry for the wicked people in Noah’s day who were drowned. We wonder why God had to destroy them. So God allows believers and non-believers to prosper even if it might make it more difficult for believers.
- 31-32 – Mustard plants grow quickly and are wild plants.
- 33 – Clearly Jesus wanted to describe the many intricacies of the kingdom of God. The fact that there are three parables describing the same thing means he wants you to take special note of this.
- 44-46 – It is unprecedented for a theme to be repeated five times so quickly. The order of the kingdom of heaven was necessary to understand.
- David attempts to describe the power of God and how he comes to our aid when we earnestly cry out for help.
- Solomon doesn’t just ask the reader to take from his lessons, he too took the lessons from his father, David.
- 1-6 – Joseph’s life was a series of extreme ups and downs. He was the favorite son and had dreams of ruling over his family, but then was sold into slavery, but now has risen to power in his master’s house. There is more to come.
- 7-20 – This is one of those rare times when you’re punished for something you are completely innocent of. Joseph must have wondered where God was and what he was doing in this situation.
- 21-23 – But it is made clear that God had not forsaken Joseph, but sustained him throughout his time in prison.
- 20-23 – Joseph’s dream interpretations were accurate, but the chief cup bearer not remembering him must have been disheartening.
- 16 – The Lord has been with Joseph throughout his ups and downs and even though he has experienced some pretty low lows, he continues to give the glory to God and to rely on him.
- 46-50 – Jesus is showing that following him is the most important connection people can have. Commitment to Jesus even trumps the bonds of blood relatives.
- 10-15 – To some degree, there is protection in not understanding the truths of Jesus’ identity and importance. With knowledge comes responsibility to act accordingly.
- 18-23 – Jesus explains the parable to the disciples, which rarely happens.
- This Psalm shows David’s extreme trust in God. Phrases like, “I call upon you, for you will answer me,” and “Hide me in the shadow of your wings,” indicate his steadfast trust in God in the face of trials and enemies. This assures us that God is trustworthy.