DayBreaks for 7/19/17 – The King Has Spoken

DayBreaks for 7/19/17: The King Has Spoken

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2007:

Daniel 3:28-29 (NIV) – 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. 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.

Nebuchadnezzar is such an interesting character.  He is the prototype of the ancient Middle Eastern despot.  One moment, he’s trying to kill God’s servants for their defiance of his order, and the next, he’s praising their God and honoring them for their steadfastness!  Perhaps we can learn something from this man:

FIRST: we are fickle.  Depending on what happens to us and around us, we can quickly shift from rebellion to praise.  Nebuchadnezzar didn’t have to give praise to God – he didn’t know Him (although he may have known about Him) at all at this point (and arguably never did truly know Yahweh.) 

SECOND: the king changed his tune because of amazement at seeing the hand of God at work.  Why aren’t we so filled with wonder and awe when we see His hand at work?  It seems that we really don’t see it – if it turned a pagan king into a God-praiser, why do His people struggle so much to find praise in their lips and hearts more often?

THIRD: good old King Neb (that’s much easier to type than his full name!) did, in the end of this passage at least, get it right: “no other god can save in this way.”  Has any other god ever been able to deliver His adherents from a fiery furnace?  No.  And it is interesting how God delivered them – He joined them in the fire and was their shield and protector.  It shouldn’t surprise us that He did this – God has always been about delivering His children from famine, flood or fire – whether it was the fire of a furnace or hellfire.  And in all cases, He does it by coming to join us and to keep us from even the hint of smoke!

Although Neb knew about God after this experience, he still didn’t get it.  God is a deliverer – a Saver.  Neb wanted to cut up and burn down the houses of those who spoke against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  If that’s how God was, there certainly wouldn’t be any overpopulation in this world, would there?  But, glory hallelujah!, that’s not how God is!We might be tempted to listen to worldly kings as they ruminate about life and power.  Whatever we do, let’s be sure and hear the Voice that spoke the world into existence, and to do His will!

PRAYER: Jesus, make us bold in the confidence of Your power and especially in Your power to save.  Turn us into those who praise You at all times!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 8/24/15 – Unbearable Circumstances

DayBreaks for 8/24/15: Unbearable Circumstances

The astrologers replied to the king, “No one on earth can tell the king his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer! The king’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.” The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed. And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends.Daniel 2:10-13 (NLT)

Have you ever had a dream that really troubled you? The greatest king of the ancient Babylonian empire did…more than once. After the first dream, the king sought an explanation for the dream…but he wasn’t willing to tell his dream to anyone. His advisors had to not only explain the dream, but to tell the king what the dream was! Impossible? Humanly speaking, it was. The great king was incensed and decreed the death of all the wise men.

You know the rest of the story – how Daniel prayed and God revealed all that was hidden, and by telling the dream and its meaning, the lives of the wise men was spared.

It is easy to miss the point: Daniel and his friends were under a death sentence. Was what the king asked fair? Of course not. But it was the king’s prerogative. And Daniel and his friends found themselves in a situation that was blatantly unfair and unjust. Daniel and his friends who were to be executed had done nothing to deserve this death sentence. Something horrible had happened and Daniel had no idea how it would end.

If you’ve drawn more than one breath on this earth, you know how that feels – the sense of impending doom and despair. How do you react when faced with circumstances that do not seem at all fair? Do you rant and rave and belly-ache about it? Do you scream and yes and tell everyone how miserable you are and how unfair it all is?

What was God doing in this situation? Was God seeking to glorify Daniel? No. He was seeking to bend the will of a pagan king to acknowledge that the God of heaven is the King of kings and that He alone is the Supreme One.

Rather than moaning and groaning in such circumstance, what if we took a different approach and asked ourselves this question: What if God is using this event in my life to showcase His Sovereignty? How might your response differ? Bear in mind the things you know of God: He is kind, He is loving, He is gracious and full of mercy, He cannot do wrong or make mistakes, He only does what glorifies Himself and is best for His children. It may not make the circumstance any less hard, but it may make it bearable knowing that He is good and that He loves you.

PRAYER: Father, even when we feel things are unfair and that what has happened to us is unfair, let us seek You glory above all else! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 05/08/13 – The Myth of Invincibility

DayBreaks for 05/08/13 – The Myth of Invincibility

NOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25.  Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence!  Thank you…I cherish your prayers!  You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) until I’ve returned.

supermanDaniel 3:9 – “They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever!

I have always found king Nebuchadnezzar to be an interesting character.  It seems that the ancient kings, Nebuchadnezzar included, surrounded themselves with those who would encourage them to “Live forever!” as if it wishing would make it so.  The pharaohs of ancient Egypt were believed to be divine, and their loyal servants believed that they would live forever in the afterlife.  That is partly the reason that they placed ornate furniture, incredible drawings and even food into the burial chambers with the king.

I remember when I was younger.  I couldn’t conceive of what it meant to grow old.  I couldn’t imagine the day ever coming when I would be old enough to get my driver’s license, let alone be out of school, go to college, get married, have children.  Now (where have all the years gone?) I’ve been out of school far longer than I was in school, not only have I gotten married, but so have two of my three children, two of them have graduated from college, and I’m racking up the years faster than a NASCAR car can rack up the laps.

I once thought that perhaps I’d give Methuselah a run for the longevity record.  Honest!  But now I know that I shall not challenge his venerable record – I’ll not even come close.

As Christians we talk a lot about eternal life – and that is as it should be.  We were created for a life without end.  Our Father lives that way.  And it is what we desire, what we long for.  Yet sometimes we can lose our heads in the clouds of eternity and we forget that we have a mortal life that we must live first – and that the mortal life means exactly that – it will end.  We will die.

Within the past week, my wife’s aunt died.  We didn’t even know she was sick.  Then, at church this Sunday, I found out that an acquaintance of one of our elders (he’s into racing small trucks at the local raceway) was killed in an accident at the race track.  This man never went to the track expecting to not get home to his wife and children again.  He never thought he’d not celebrate another birthday or celebrate Father’s day with his kids again.  Yet he is gone.

Our enemy wants to delude us into thinking we are invincible.  The myth of invincibility suggests that if we are going to die, that it will be at some far distant date in a far distant future.  And that may be right.  But we never know.  We can’t let our enemy fool us into complacency in this life.  There is only so much time to do what God wants us to do.  We are not invincible…and we never will be.  There is only One who is invincible.

Isaiah 46:9-10 – “9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.  10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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