Ask God to show you clearly how he wants you to live in the world as one of his faithful people.
Read DANIEL 2:1-23
 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.”  Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”  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.”  Once more they replied, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”  Then the king answered, “I am certain that you are trying to gain time, because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided:  If you do not tell me the dream, there is just one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.”  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 ever 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.”  This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon.  So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.  When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.  He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel.  At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.  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 wise men of Babylon.  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.  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 with him.  I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did God help Daniel and his friends to escape death?
Street Pastors are Christians who work with excluded and marginalized young people. They are often on the streets at night, around bars and nightclubs, helping those who are too drunk to get home safely on their own. I’m deeply impressed. Others may say of these young people, “Serves them right! Let them learn the hard way!” Street Pastors say their role is one of “listening, caring and helping—working in an unconditional way.” Such care seems “ridiculous” to some, but seems loving and caring to me.
Daniel stepped right up when idol-worshiping, people-slaughtering Nebuchadnezzar needed to be saved from bad dreams and sleepless nights. The lives of the king’s wise men, including Daniel and his friends, were also on the line, of course (12). Daniel knew where to go for the help he needed—only God in his mercy could save them (18). And God did. He saved Daniel and, through Daniel, all the wise men of the kingdom. “All the people on earth will be blessed through you,” God had told Abram (Gen. 12:3). We’re not called just to care for nice, godly people—God’s blessing is for all people—even the “not so nice”!
Who is in your “circle of care” beyond your family, friends and church folks? How do you care for others?
Lord Jesus, You gave Your life for sinners. Help me to show Your love to all people, not just “nice” ones.
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