Scripture:
Daniel 1:1-9
Wed, 15 February 2023

It Is “God Gave” Again! (1)

Observation:

What significant observations can you make about God in verses 2 and 9?

Deeper Reflection
In Daniel 1, Daniel was facing a discipleship challenge, defined by an expression repeated five times: “the king’s choice food” (vv.5, 8; 1 Dan 1:13, 15, 16). For Daniel, to eat “the king’s choice food” would result in spiritual defilement. So, having “resolved not to defile himself ” by eating “the king’s choice food”, Daniel “asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself in this way” (v.8, NIV). Then the narrator tells us what happened next: “God gave [nathan] Daniel favor and compassion” before this chief official (v.9).This is the second time that “God gave” occurs in Daniel 1. It first occurs in verse 2: “The Lord gave [nathan].” This is the central theological idea – and thus, the central theological reality – in Daniel 1: God’s supreme sovereignty. Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Jerusalem and his deporting of the vessels from God’s temple to the temple of his god, Daniel and his three friends being captured by Nebuchadnezzar and exiled to Babylon, and then being Babylonised – all these happenings are subsumed under “the Lord gave” (vv.1-7).And Nebuchadnezzar’s requirement of the Judahite youths to eat “the king’s choice food” (v.5) is also subsumed under “the Lord gave”. And it is in this “the king’s choice food” crisis that we see “God gave” again. The sovereign God is both the source of the crisis and the salvation from the crisis. “God gave Daniel favor [hesed] and compassion” points to God’s covenant faithfulness. Hesed refers to God’s steadfast covenant love. Clearly then, “God gave” is to be our theological anchor in following the faithful covenant God faithfully. 
Application:

What areas in my walk with God do I need to make up my mind for?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for leaders
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for Singapore: That God will rest His gracious and merciful sovereign hand on Singapore
  • Pray for self
 

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Daily Devo
Daily Devotional Journal
Scripture:
Daniel 10:11-12, 14-19
Tue, 26 September 2023

A Man of High Esteem

Observation:

What significant observations can you make about Daniel being called “man of high esteem” (vv.11, 19)?

Deeper Reflection
One of the heavenly beings called Daniel “man of high esteem” (v.11). This honour was bestowed on Daniel emphatically, in that it was repeated twice (v.19). This “high esteem” did not come from man, but from God Himself. God gave this honour to Daniel toward the end of his life when God called him to “enter into rest” (Dan 12:13). As a youth, Daniel “made up his mind not to defile himself with the king’s choice food” (Dan 1:8), and as an old man, he was faithful to God in spending time with Him in his “three times a day” devotion, even if it means to be thrown into the lions’ den (Dan 6:10). Daniel was finishing well in his life with “humbling yourself before your God” (v.12). When we think of finishing well in terms of successful accomplishments, we must be careful that we are not exalting ourselves.It is not for us to see ourselves in any way as a person of high esteem before God. It is for God to say that to us (2 Cor 10:17-18). Daniel never saw himself as a “man of high esteem”. A key emphasis in Daniel 10 is Daniel being greatly overwhelmed by the holiness and glory of God represented by the heavenly being with an awesome appearance (Dan 10:5-10, 15-18). And it was in this encounter with God when he was called “man of high esteem” that Daniel said, “How can such a servant of my Lord talk with such as my Lord?”50 (v.17). The man highly esteemed by God saw his unworthiness before God.
50 I have theologically translated “my lord” to “my Lord”, since the heavenly being is a representation of God.
Application:

What does being highly esteemed by God mean to me?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for pastors and staff: To be able to see oneself as God sees
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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