Daniel: Day 8

The Everlasting Kingdom

by

Today's Text: Daniel 2:1-49, Isaiah 44:6-8

My reign as a bossy big sister began at two-years-old.

I was all corkscrew curls and chubby cheeks, and I was thrilled over my new brother’s birth—or rather, my rise in ruling status to that of “big sis.” Upon returning from the hospital, my mom rocked the blue bundle that was baby brother while my dad cradled a cake, the celebratory centerpiece of our party of three-turned-four.

Dad turned on the video camera to capture the occasion, but my attention had already been taken by the yellow and green flowers on the cake. Were they real? A bouquet of flowers on a cake? I had to find out!

My eyes gleamed with delight as I seemingly reached for my baby brother, but instead took a sharp nosedive into the lovely bouquet of of flowers that, whaddya know, came straight from a tube of icing. The whole scene was captured on camera: horrified toddler, messy hands, confused parents, screaming baby.

I continued to establish my dominance as bossy big sis throughout toddlerdom, but I didn’t get any better at ruling. In fact, one day I decided to extend my authority to the preschool playground by announcing my attack on the nearby anthill. Armed with my weapon of choice (light-up sneakers), I began to stomp on the anthill, yelling all the fight words I had learned from The Lion King. You can guess how that turned out.

My power was limitless in my own imagination, but in reality I was easily defeated by my own weaknesses— like my notions of grandeur on the playground and my insatiable love for cake.

Nebuchadnezzar had some notions of grandeur of his own. Arguably the most powerful man of his time, the Babylonian king had the world at his fingertips—which is why he could say things like this: “If you don’t tell me [my] dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be made a garbage dump” (Daniel 2:5). Yikes.

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in question, in Daniel Chapter 2, did more than confound the king; it exposed his vulnerabilities. Daniel—relying on wisdom from the Lord, the true King—interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, explaining that the large statue made of various metals represented the four dominant kingdoms at the time: Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and Roman. Daniel also explained the dream’s punchline: all these powerful, earthly kingdoms would crumble under the kingdom of God.

Those listening, the mighty king himself included, must have thought this sounded like crazy talk! In the midst of rising and falling kingdoms, they couldn’t comprehend a time where not one of the competing powers was on top. The constant need to gain and maintain power was their utmost goal, but it was also their greatest weakness. Daniel, however, spoke of a different kind of power, one that was not of this earth and would never falter. “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44).

Earthly power will never reverse our inherent flaws. We’ll see Nebuchadnezzar continue to learn this difficult lesson. Our weakness ultimately cannot be strengthened by anything on this earth—not power, not position, not morality, not our own attempts at justification— only Christ (Romans 4:25).

Apart from the Kingdom of God, we’re just playing Goldilocks in temporary realms, trying to find a place where our sin fits just right. Unless we house our souls in the Everlasting Kingdom of Heaven— the Kingdom ruled by the God who reveals all mysteries (Daniel 2:28)— we’ll always walk away with messy hands, a false sense of control, and possibly a whole lotta ant bites.

Friends, let this be our cry today, as we proclaim from the bottom of our weakness our allegiance to Christ the King and His Kingdom:

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

SRT-Daniel_instagram8

  • Juliefay

    Only Christ can set us free. Lord give me the desire for You!

  • Praying Hannah

  • "Apart from the Kingdom of God, we’re just playing Goldilocks in temporary realms, trying to find a place where our sin fits just right. Unless we house our souls in the Everlasting Kingdom of Heaven— the Kingdom ruled by the God who reveals all mysteries (Daniel 2:28)— we’ll always walk away with messy hands, a false sense of control, and possibly a whole lotta ant bites."

    This reminded me of the time before my husband and I were married. We had planned to wait a year and a half to have the wedding, and move in together in the meantime. I talked about it constantly, trying to justify it to anyone who would listen – particularly my disapproving family. But really, I was just trying to justify it to myself. I was miserable. Finally, one night in May (we had been engaged in February, and were planning for an October wedding the following year, already signed a lease to start when my current lease ended in July), the Holy Spirit convicted me and lead me to scripture that pointed out the fallacies in my justifications. In prayer and tears, I called my then-fiance and pleaded God's case for us to change our wedding plans – "I have vacation time at the end of this August – let's get married this summer, instead!" And so, we took the leap and planned our wedding in a short 10 weeks!

    So far, we have enjoyed an amazing 4 years of marriage, and I truly believe God has blessed us for our obedience to him. I had been trying to find a place where my sin fit in, instead of looking for God's approval. When I start seeking God's approval instead of man's, life changes dramatically for the better. He is constant and true to His Word – He will never forsake us!

  • Kasey Summers

    Love these lyrics –> On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand. — Jesus is the only thing in our lives that remains constant!! He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith!!

  • I’ve never noticed Daniel’s prayer in verses 20-23. So beautiful! Almost reads like a Psalm.

  • Anybody willing to pray, please pray for my Senior year. I joined ROTC as a senior believing that that was what God was calling me to do but in bombarded all the time with disapproval. For those of who don’t know, ROTC is for the “weird” people. My first day of school was spent with people comparing their schedules to mine to find out at the end that I did something strange and would respond “ohhh, why are you in ROTC?” Not in a nice way. Now I’m second guessing myself. It’s uncountable but he doesn’t call us to comfort. He calls us to himself and if that is where he is at, I need to believe that that truth is for me. That he has plans to grow me, good plans to prosper me in that awkward place. Whether or not I end up in the military, school is my mission field and there is one specific person that comes to mind. She changed her name to James. Please keep her in your prayers that God would open her heart and I would be willing to speak to her on his behalf because I am able. It’s going to be a tough year and I want it to be a good one with God first. I’m being called many names: friend, daughter, cadet, coworker but the biggest one needs to be Christ’s.

    • Sarah_Olsen

      I will be praying Hannah. I pray for you to have a fruitful senior year with Christ as your backbone. I pray that you will be able to shine light in someone's darkness and that you find joy in the discomfort of being in ROTC.
      You seem to already know the Truth, dear Hannah, but I would love to be a gentle reminder that Jesus calls us to pick up our cross and follow Him. At the time of this statement the cross was a torture device, so it is clear that Jesus expects us to endure some discomfort and to not love the things of this world. If we stand out from the crowd, we are doing something right. We are called to be like Christ, followers of Jesus, not called to be like the world.
      I love you, sister!

    • Beth

      Praying for you Hannah! And for this person in your circle. Praying for God-given wisdom and strength

    • Sarah

      Praying for you Hannah!

  • Sarah_Olsen

    That is so awesome!

  • I love this site and all of you ladies pouring over his words! We are blessed to have such a tool!

  • G'day Lassies!

    Here's something our discussion hasn't touched on yet: the importance of Daniel's companions. And where else could this be more relevant than in a great community of scripture study like this one? When Daniel finds out Nebby's nefarious plan to kill all the advisors, he goes right to his friends for mutual counsel and support:

    17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to eHananiah, eMishael, and eAzariah, his companions, 18 fand told them to seek mercy from the gGod of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not hbe destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in ia vision of the night. Then Daniel jblessed the gGod of heaven.

    What's notable about this is that he wants to protect them from destruction, but then after they pray — together– God answers those prayers and delivers them all through Daniel. Aside from Daniel serving as a prefigurement of Christ saving us, this is really cool because it drives home the idea that we're in this together. We have to make each other aware of the dangers around us and then we have to pray and seek God's mercy together to be delivered from those dangers. Daniel isn't acting in isolation.

    In the end, his companions are lifted up and promoted with him even though they didn't do any of the actual interpretation. To me, that reinforces the power of the prayer. Perhaps God is trying to tell us that when we serve as spiritual support for each other, we share in the good that they do. Pretty powerful!

    I came up with some other study and reflection questions for this chapter that I'm posting on my blog so I can journal on them later. Help yourself if you're hungry for more! =) Happy studying!

  • Sarah_Olsen

    May I currently back track to our Weekly truth and verse we were to memorize! "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king, But if nto, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Daniel 3 17-18 KJV
    This applies very literally to today. Even if God does not deliver me from hell, I still choose to serve Him. I serve Him because he is faithful and just and my Creator. I do not serve Him for my salvation, but rather because I choose to serve a God who is real and faithful.
    How amazing is this revelation!
    Sorry for side tracking ladies, let's continue with today!

  • Sarah_Olsen

    I think this is an amazing message. The comments you sisters have made, only help aid in my learning.
    Daniel was so quick to thank God for his revelation of the dream, as a matter of fact, he did not even slightly hint that it was because he is special. He made it very clear that it was not because he is any wiser, but because God is God.
    I need to work on giving all credit to our Lord. I fail in this miserably because I'm afraid of the looks I will get, and maybe even because my selfish fleshy idea, is to give credit to me. I may try and throw God in there somehow, saying something like, "God really helped me today. If it wasn't for him, I would not have had the idea to give that gentlemen some food who was standing on the side of the road. Praise God that I am so worthy of understanding. I must really deserve this." I don't deserve anything from God. That is what makes him so gracious and so absolutely amazing.
    I really enjoyed the commentary that stated: "Our weakness ultimately cannot be strengthened by anything on this earth", this is so true, yet I look for ways to strengthen my weaknesses here on earth. I need help with over-eating, so I look for calorie counting apps or books to help motivate me to eat less and more healthy foods when really I should be looking to God. That was just one example to prove the point, God is the answer. To everything!
    Praise God and all He does.

  • Going into exile and practically enslaved by a heathen nation seems like judgement and hopelessness. But even in such circumstances, God could raise Daniels and give them power and influence so that His people would be taken care of. God is good indeed and never would forsake His own. When I think of Daniel’s wisdom, I believe it was given to him for this purpose, just like Queen Esther was placed in the position to help the jewish people. In the end, it all boils down back to : it is not us but God. Were there no other faithful Jews during the time of Daniel? I am sure there must hv been other faithful and obedient ones among all the exiles. Yet Daniel and his friends were chosen and given the grace to do exactly what God intended to do. All the favours and wisdom come from Him alone, by His grace alone and not because we are holier or more obedient or more faithful than others.

  • scootermae

    I am struck by Daniel's confidence in The Lord. He went to the king and asked for time that he might interpret the dreams. Then he prayed during the night and had the answer inthe morning. When the answer was received, he praised God. He did not test the waters first and see if he might get an interpretation. no, he knew he was going to get the interpretation. How often do I approach God with this confidence in my prayers?
    And again, Daniel was but a youth. I keep thinking about Joseph too, young men that had a heart for The Lord. (Makes me smile as a mom of my huge responsibility and potential impact.)

    • Kristi

      Thanks for this reminder of the joy and responsibility in parenting!!

    • Donna

      Yes, am struck by their youthfulness and their confidence in God which can only come from a deep and abiding relationship with God. I love that and aspire to be more like Daniel and his friends, for God to be always the first one I turn to in any situation.

  • What struck me the most about this passage is how Daniel immediately praised God after He revealed the king's dream to Daniel. So often I ask God for this or that, and sometimes He, in his mercy, grants me the request that I make. However, unlike Daniel, I'm quick to forget that God Himself was the giver of whatever good gift I asked for, and instead I take credit for it all on my own, almost like a "I deserved this" kind of attitude. Thank you SRT for this wonderful study, I am truly learning so much. May we all this morning take Daniel's example of humility and immediately praise God for all of the good things he blesses us with.

  • Caroline

    SO thankful HE is the only solid foundation around us! And, He allows us to build our rocky lives upon Him! Truly amazing
    http://www.in-due-time.com

    • Kendra

      …I think the word in the quote picture above is “steries” instead of “stories”

      • Pam B

        It’s mysteries :-) I thought it said stories too and then looked at it closer after reading your comment.

  • This hymn came to mind after this devotional today, that it is only through Christ alone that we have our hope. He alone is our solid rock!

    “In Christ alone my hope is found,
    He is my light, my strength, my song;
    this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
    firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
    What heights of love, what depths of peace,
    when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
    My Comforter, my All in All,
    here in the love of Christ I stand.”

    • Carolyn

      Perfect! One of my favorites!

    • Ioneem

      We sang that very song yesterday at our church. Powerful words. Thank you Jesus.

    • Hannah

      “What fears are stilled when strivings cease”

      Boy is that line so true! I can recall many times that he has stilled my fears when I let go of my false sense of control over a situation.

  • Melanie @ Gather for Bread

    My favorite part of that whole chapter is verse 14 Which says “Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.” I wonder how many times I miss out because I don’t handle things with the true wisdom from God. Because Daniel did seek Him, God revealed the meaning. And it all worked out according to His will.

    Truths to walk in today.

    Happy Monday friends!

  • Father God, You are my Strength and My Salvation. In You I live and find who I am. All that I am or ever accomplish that is eternally profitable is by YOUR strength and wisdom. Not by my might nor my strength but by YOUR Spirit… "Our weakness ultimately cannot be strengthened by anything on this earth—not power, not position, not morality, not our own attempts at justification— only Christ." Thank you, God, for the weaknesses that make a way for your Spirit of grace, mercy, and reconciliation with You, our loving, living, all-powerful God. You know the beginning and the end, and ALONE are worthy to be praised!

  • Only Christ’s power. Needed that reminder!

  • There are so many rich lessons from this passage! Two things that are jumping out at me this morning:

    “He said, “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.” ‭‭Daniel‬ ‭2:20-21‬ ‭NLT
    — This gives me such peace. Current events, politics, and world issues seem so overwhelming sometimes that I usually avoid learning details about them. It feels like there's nothing that I can do to affect any change outside my tiny little circle of influence. But God "controls the course of world events". He's got this! Even the capture of Jerusalem and all these young men being taken- it must have seemed like the end of God's people to those walking through it, but God had it all under control.

    And Daniel 2:28 "But there is a God in heaven…" Oh, how we can use this statement with any situation that seems out of control, impossible or just unreasonable. I can't do it on my own, but there is a God in heaven that can! Praise the Lord!

    • rachel

      i feel the same way! i avoid watching the news because it's too depressing, and to be honest, i couldn't care less about who's running for president! (probably still not the right attitude to have, but anyway) God's in control, and nothing i do or don't do can stop things from going His way. and i loved vs.28. anytime i see the word "but" in scripture i'm stopped in my tracks. it's just three little letters but what a world of difference they make!

      • Amy J

        I never thought about that word – but – but I will now.

        I'm grateful, Rachel, for that insight.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      I really like that reminder….."But there is a God in heaven….." I may have to stick that up near my computer at work :) A good reminder thru the day!

  • God is the only person we can lean on to make things better. Nothing else in this life can bring us as much joy and contentment.

  • Praise be to the name of God forever and ever. Wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells in Him. Daniel 2 :20-22

  • I am reminded of a favorite passage, Jeremiah 33:3 … "Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own." – The Message. As this scripture states in verse 2, "This is God's message…" I do believe this is significant in our relationship with Him. Daniel didn't stutter, he had such confidence in God that he requested time to tell the King BEFORE he even knew the answer. In calamity, he immediately knew the resolution to his problem was God. He understood that if he sought answers in prayer and asked others to seek God's mercy, that God would come through for him. His confidence wasn't in his abilities, in his wisdom, in his interpretation or standing … it was in God's alone and he did the one thing God tells us to do when we are in need, pray. So simple, yet so difficult for us. To pray with the heart of Daniel, believing full well that God would come through. Having confidence before even beginning prayer, beautiful. God tells us time and again that if we just ask, He will reveal.

    Prayerful that we will have confidence in God like Daniel, that we know that God is with us and that on Him we can rely. That if we ask, He will answer. That our instinct becomes to pray immediately in any circumstance. That we humble ourselves to God's great power and mercies and know without a doubt He IS our rock! ~ B

  • Kelly_Smith

    "Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any." As foolish as it is, I often pull a Nebuchadnezzar and try to act like the supreme ruler of the world. I, too, am the oldest and being bossy seems to be a part of my DNA. I boss my kids around, boss my husband around, boss the clock around. I get irritated just like ol' Nezzar and start issuing ultimatums and foolish decrees.

    Power is found in humility. Daniel rose to power, but only through prayer and humble obedience. He aligned himself underneath the power of God, allowing himself to be used for His glory and His purposes. I carry that challenge with me today–to be under the control of God's power instead of struggling to take control and wield my perceived power.

    • Katherine

      Kelly, if you don’t mind, I’m gonna join in on your challenge today. To be under the control of God’s power. Absolutely perfect objective as it’s pretty much out of my hands anyway, because he’s GOD and his will be done. Why should I drive myself and those around me crazy today, as I struggle to control every moment, no matter how caring my intention, I’m not God. Thank you for inspiring me with your challenge Kelly, I’ll be praying for us.

      • Chelsea

        I needed to hear this challenge this morning. Today we begin our first day back to homeschooling ( third grade, first grade, a twenty month old, and I am pregnant with twins due in Dec) and with a toddler running around and babies mid-year it's like I already decided it would be a bad year. I have been desperately trying to control everyone so that I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed, consequently I controlled nothing. This just showed me that I haven't given this year to God. And that is what I am doing right now. He chose this schooling path for me and He knew all the challenges that would arise before I even started so I will trust that He has my beautiful crazy family in His hands and my only job is to abide in Him. Thank you!

        • MNmomma (heather)

          Thank you for the reminder to truly turn the upcoming school year over to Him……I "technically" start work on the 1st, (students return on the 8th), but am heading in each day this week to get ready……it is so easy to start worrying, setting things up for failure and feeling overwhelmed. I have to admit, I have been a wee bit stressed (I say wee bit, hubby might say otherwise- LOL!!!) funny how easy it is to forget that I have been called to serve. The school is my mission field…my little school nurse's office is His. I pray that each interaction be spirit led…..that I remained yoked to Christ…..Lord help me to not get swept up in all of the to-do's…..the paperwork. Help me to not get overwhelmed by the onslaught back-to-school time seems to bring. Help me Father to stay grounded in You…..seeking YOU….PRAISING You each step of the way…..I pray Lord that I get out of the way and that you are able to use me, according to your plan…..Amen!

          • Amy J

            I return to school today, as a grade 3 teacher. My students will join me on Wednesday. I'm surprised that I am returning with more excitement and joy than anxiety. This is new for me, and greatly appreciated. I know it is God's will, and not mine, and I am grateful.

            I hope it's okay that I join you in prayer. I pray that we not get swept up in all of the to-do's. I pray that we stay grounded in him. I pray that we get out of the way and that we are used according to his plan.

            I pray that you a wonderful school year.

      • Lynda

        I too need to join this challenge. I’m at a place in life I don’t want to be at now. I’m running around trying to figure every which way to get to the next place. I need to stop and build my future on the rock

    • Denise

      Power is found in humility. So beautiful. Thank you for that thought today!

    • MNmomma (heather)

      I too am joining you in the challenge!

    • Sarah_Olsen

      I absolutely love your take on this. You worded it so well. "I get irritated just like ol' Nezzar and start issuing ultimatums and foolish decrees". I do the same! I have just been denying this until now. Wow. I need to work on my humility. Thank you for this reminder!

  • On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand,
    All other ground is sinking sand….

    Lord God, I pray this be my prayer, today and throughout this week and beyond…Thank you for being the rock I can stand on, that I can trust and hope in…Thank you Lord for all and everything….xxxthank you…

    Happy and God Blessed Monday, Sisters….xx

  • carlybenson

    I'm struck by Daniel's humility in this passage. Although he has risen to a high position in Babylon and been so successful, he never seems to become proud or lose sight of his dependence on God. When he's faced with death, his response is to pray and to get his friends to pray and ask God to show mercy and reveal the secret of the dream- he doesn't look at it as something he deserves because of his obedience; he recognises that God is in charge.
    Then when he is talking to the king he is quite clear that his ability to tell and interpret the dream comes from God- "there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets"…" it is not because I am wiser than anyone else".
    It could have been so easy for Daniel to become proud but he constantly acknowledges that his strength and wisdom come from God.
    I'm also grateful for the reminder that God is in charge- over situations that seem impossible, over the things we don't understand, over the greatest and most powerful human authority. There is no other God- he is our Rock!

    • tina

      Amen..Carly …He is our rock…

      Blessings..xx

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Absolutely!!!!!!

    • [email protected]

      I was struck by the same thing, Carly. Even when he does begin to describe and interpret the dream (something pretty crazy and extraordinary) he prefaces it by stating "this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom…"

      Daniel very much understood his position as a vessel, a tool to be used by God. What a great truth to remember!

  • This is the perfect start for this week of mine. Thank you so much! Many blessings ladies!

  • Bind My Wandering Heart

    Wow, what a challenge! Loving this study so far!

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