Week Thirty-two — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Studies in Daniel — Daniel 7: 26, 27

Note: In Daniel 7 we find the first of several dream visions that relate to the kingdoms of the earth.  The four beasts relate in succession to the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires.  The ten horns relate to the 10 Roman emperors.

Sunday

Daniel 7: 2,3 Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea.  Four great bests, each different from the others came up out of the sea.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we become so attuned to your voice that we hear you clearly in all your messages.

Thought for the day:  Hearing without listening has little value.

Monday

Daniel 7: 7,8 After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth best – terrifying and frightening and very powerful.  It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different for all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

Prayer:  Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, you know all the mysteries of all the ages, and before you all creatures must humbly bow.

Thought for the day:  The child of God knows they have in God a fearless Father who can stand up to any enemy.

Tuesday

Daniel 7:9, 10 As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat.  His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool.  His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were ll ablaze.  A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him.  Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.  The court was seated, and the books were opened.

Prayer:  Almighty God, in all your glory and all your splendor how awesome you are.

Thought for the day: The songwriter asked, “Is your name written there on the page white and fair?  In the book of the kingdom, is your name written there?”

Wednesday

Daniel 7: 13, 14  I my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.  He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Prayer:  O Lord God, in faith may we see the glorious kingdom of Jesus, the Son, who rules forevermore.

Thought for the day:  Daniel’s vision will be one of two things for one and all: a glorious foresight, or a foreboding hindsight.

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Week Thirty-one — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Studies in Daniel — Daniel 6: 26, 27

Sunday

Daniel 6: 3, 4 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.  At this, the administrators tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so.  They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.

Prayer:  Lord God, may our godly service to you give witness to your goodness and your love.

Thought for the day:  You may be the only Bible and the only sermon some individuals shall see and hear.

Monday

Daniel 6: 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

Prayer:  Lord God, may our lives be so holy that we bring you glory and honor all our days.

Thought for the day:  Holy lives are joyful lives that demonstrate the love and mercy of God.

Tuesday

Daniel 6,7  So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: “O King Darius, live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governs have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that any one who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.

Prayer:   Lord God, may you confuse the works of unbelievers who would ridicule your children.

Thought for the day:  We all must be builders or destroyers.

Wednesday

Daniel 6: 16, 17 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den.  The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”  A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring, and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we in faith be your light in a dark and confused world.

Thought for the day:  Someone said, “You better stay prayed up.”

Thursday

Daniel 6:19, 20 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den.  When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you form the lions?”

Prayer:  Lord God, while the world looks on in wonder, we know of your mighty power to save.

Thought for the day:  Follow the Daniel example:  have enough faith in God to see the light of a new day.

Friday

Daniel 6: 21, 22 Daniel answered, “O king, live forever!  My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions.  They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.  Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.”

Prayer:  Almighty God, you send your ministering angels to care for your children.

Thought for the day:  God’s messengers are near for those who believe.

Saturday

Daniel 6: 26, 27 “I [King Darius] issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.  For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom ill not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.”

Prayer:  O God, may our living in faith give light to those who know you not.

Thought for the day:  When you have faith, you are on a missionary journey for God.

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Week Thirty — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Studies in Daniel — Daniel 5: 29, 30

Note: Several years pass between chapters 4 and 5.  The son of Nebuchadnezzar has succeeded him as ruler of Babylon, but that will shortly change.  In this chapter Daniel interprets the “handwriting on the wall.”  It should be no surprise that Daniel understands the language, since it is Aramaic.

See: Proverbs 16:11, 29:23, Deuteronomy 6:15, 29:29; 2 Peter 3:16; Ezekiel 22: 7, 8

Sunday

Daniel 5: 5,6 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote.  His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we be ever watchful to see and hear the messages you send to us today.

Thought for the day:  Someone will be lost without the message of hope that you carry.

Monday

Daniel 5: 7, 8 The king called out for the enchanters, astrologers and diviners to be brought and said to these wise men of Babylon, “whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”

Prayer:  Lord God, in your holy word is the wisdom of the ages.

Thought for the day:  When you hold a Bible in your hands, you are holding a miracle made possible with the blood of many martyrs.

Tuesday

Daniel 5: 21, 22 He [Nebuchadnezzar] was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle;  and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes.

Prayer:  Lord God, we give thanks this day for clarity of mind and thought given by you.

Thought for the day:  Clarity of mind is a gift of God.

Wednesday

Daniel 5: 24, 25 Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription.  This is the inscription that was written:  Mene Mene, Tekel, Parsin.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we be ever watchful for the messengers and the messages you send to us.

Thought for the day:  Listening for the voice of God is an art.

Thursday

Daniel 5: 26 This is what these words mean:  Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.

Prayer:  O God, Everlasting One, surely our lives are but a moment of eternity before you.

Thought for the day:  We may only live one day at a time.

Friday

Daniel 5: 27, 28 Tekel: you have been weighted on the scales and found wanting.  Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.

Prayer:  O God, at the end of our days may we have lived faithfully for you.

Thought for the day:  What way will the scales tip when your life of good and bad deeds is weighted?

Saturday

Daniel 5: 29, 30 Then at Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was clothed in purple, a gold chain was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom.  That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.

Prayer:  Lord God Almighty, truly you are the king eternal and ruler of all.

Thought for the day:  In the end your relationship to God determines your rising or falling.

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Week Twenty-nine — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Studies in Daniel — Daniel 4: 36, 37

Notes: This week we study about another dream of Nebuchadnezzar foretelling that he will lose his mind temporarily. See also: Proverbs 16:18; Genesis 11: 6,7; Psalm 11: 4,5; Psalm 45: 2, 3; Mark 5:15; Colossians 1:21, 22; Romans 1: 28.

Sunday

Daniel 4: 4, 5 I Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous.  I had a dream that made me afraid.  As I was lying in my bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we ever be prepared to heed the messages that you would send to us.

Thought for the day:  There is a message from God waiting for you today.

Monday

Daniel 4: 8, 9 Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)  I said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you.  Here is my dream; interpret it for me.

Prayer:  Lord God, for every godly man and woman who have come to share the Gospel with us we give our thanks.

Thought for the day:  God’s messengers are ready to speak to you, if you are prepared to listen.

Tuesday

Daniel 4: 24, 25 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king:  You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven.  Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of me and gives them to anyone he wishes.

Prayer:  Lord God, we say thanks for all those days we have enjoyed presence of mind.

Thought for the day:  Presence of mind is a great blessing.

Wednesday

Daniel 4: 26, 27 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.  Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice:  Renounce your sins by dong with is right and your wickedness by being king to the oppressed.  It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”

Prayer:  Lord God, in the dark hours of life we look to you for the hope you would give.

Thought for the day:  The light of a single star has proved sufficient to guide many mariners to safe waters.

Thursday

Daniel 4: 29, 30 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty.

Prayer:  Lord God, may you forgive us if we have ever forgotten to give you the praise you are due.

Thought for the day:  If the angels rejoice to give God praise, why can’t we?

Friday

Daniel 4: 31, 32 The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar:  Your royal authority has been taken from you.  You will be driven away from people and will live with wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle.  Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.”

Prayer:  Almighty God, Our Heavenly Father, truly we live at your mercy.

Thought for the day:  Keeping one’s sanity is no small achievement.

Saturday

Daniel 4: 36, 37 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom.   My advisers and nobles ought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just.  And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Prayer:  O God, we humbly acknowledge that you are Lord and king forevermore.

Thought for the day:  Any day you can give glory to God is a good day.

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Week Twenty-eight — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Studies in Daniel — Daniel 3:28, 29

Note: This week we continue our studies of Daniel. Daniel’s friends face the problem of idolatry.  For more on this problem see the following: Exodus 20: 3, 4; Deuteronomy 4: 15-19; Ezekiel 6: 12, 13; Psalm 106: 35, 36; Acts 7: 42, 43; I John 5: 21

Sunday

 Daniel 3: 12, 13 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – who pay no attention to you, O king.  They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  So these men were brought before the king.

Prayer:  Lord God, it is you we worship though the world knows you not.

Thought for the day:  The world wants to know if your worship is true.

 

Monday

Daniel 3: 14, 15 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?  Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good.  But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace.  Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?

Prayer: Lord God, may you give us courage when the world tests our faith.

Thought for the day:  The crowd always has a ready idol-god for you to worship.

Tuesday

Daniel 3:16, 17 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.

Prayer:  Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, our ultimate is found in our faith in You.

Thought for the day:  Jesus’ Easter resurrection is the ultimate rescue story.

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Week Twenty-seven — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Studies in Daniel — Daniel 2: 46, 47

This week we look at Daniel 2 and the interpretation of Nebuchdnezzar’s dream.  In the dream a great giant was broken to pieces by a stone.  The kingdoms of the future were Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. The everlasting kingdom to follow was the kingdom of God and the church.

Sunday

Daniel 2: 1, 2 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep.  So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed.  When they came in and stood before the king he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.”

Prayer:  Lord God, may we be prepared when others seek words of life.

Thought for the day:  Someone you meet today wants answers to life’s questions.

Monday

Daniel 2: 5, 6 The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided:   If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble.  But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor.  So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.”

Prayer:  Lord God, in the face of unreasonable demand may you give us courage and peace of mind.

Thought for the day:  If you believe the sun shines behind the clouds, you can keep looking through the storm.

Tuesday

Daniel 2: 10, 11 The astrologers answered the king, “There is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has eve asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer.  What the king asks is too difficult.  No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men.”

Prayer:  Almighty God, we believe the answers to all the mysteries of life are known by you.

Thought for the day:  Great scientists, inventors, and mathematicians believed there were answers to the questions that others could not solve.

 

Wednesday

Daniel 2: 17, 18 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.  He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wide men of Babylon.

Prayer:  Lord God, in the midst of our trials the family of faith in harmony lifts to you a prayer of deliverance.

Thought for the day:  If Daniel found a prayer partner in faith, you could too.

Thursday

Daniel 2: 19, 20 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision.  Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.

Prayer:  Almighty God, Our Heavenly Father, day after day you have answered our prayers in mighty and awesome ways.

Thought for the day:  Scripture says: You have not, because you ask not.

Friday

Daniel 2: 44, 45 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people.  It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.  This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands – a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we believe that yours is the everlasting kingdom appointed by God the Father.

Thought for the day:  The King is coming.

Saturday

Daniel 2: 46, 47 then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him.  The king said to Daniel, “Surely your god is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”

Prayer:  Almighty God, you are awesome, holy, eternal, all knowing, all powerful.  There is none like you.

Thought for the day:  God does have the answers to our deepest and most difficult questions.

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Week Twenty-six — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Studies in Daniel — Daniel 1:17, 18

Note: This week we turn our attention to a prophet who lived through the 70 years of captivity, Daniel.

Sunday

Daniel 1: 3, 4 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites form the royal family and the nobility – young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace.  He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we ever be prepared to bear our faith in the world.

Thought for the day: The world needs to hear our message of faith in God and in Christ Jesus.

Monday

Daniel 1: 5, 6 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table.  They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.  Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

Prayer:  Lord God, in all circumstances may we never part company with our faith.

Thought for the day:  Those who have faith do have an edge.

Tuesday

Daniel 1: 7, 8 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.  But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

Prayer: Lord God, may we have the courage to serve you in all things.

Thought for the day: Saying Yes to God today is easier than wishing later you had done so.

Wednesday

Daniel 1: 9, 10 Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age?  The king would have my head because of you.”

Prayer: Lord God, in faith may we see beyond the fears of others to see the joy of serving you.

Thought for the day: Someone said fear is false evidence appearing real.

Thursday

Daniel 1: 11, 12 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Dani9el, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.

Prayer: Lord God, we pray that we would live holy lives for you.

Thought for the day: Holiness is a matter of the heart and soul.

Friday

Daniel 1: 14, 15 So [the guard] agreed to this and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.

Prayer: Lord God, we praise you for all the times you have delivered us.

Thought for the day: Those who live godly lives are spared many sorrows others inflict upon themselves.

Saturday

Daniel 1: 17, 18 to the four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.  At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar.

Prayer: Almighty God, Our Heavenly Father, we affirm that knowledge and wisdom come from you.

Thought for the day: God shares classified information on a daily basis.

 

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