Sunday, January 04, 2015

Insights and Applications from Daniel 2:20-21

Last week I posted a blog on the 2015 Fighter Verse program in which I quoted Daniel 2:20-21, the first memory verses of the year. Daniel writes, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding…”

I also asked you the questions, How many insights can you draw out of these verses? How do your insights apply to life with God and others?, and I told you that this week I would share my own insights and applications. So without further ado, here is what I see in Daniel 2:20-21.

(1) These words came as an explosion of praise, just after God had done the impossible for Daniel, specifically, God revealed to him a dream of King Nebuchadnezzar along with its meaning. They had prayed and begged God for this result, but when the answer came so did a flood of joy and of praise which Daniel begins to express in the words before us. The application/lesson: praise for God has its source in God. It doesn’t come out of nowhere, it arises from specific content or circumstances. Praise is a fruit, not the root.

(2) Daniel’s expression of praise begins with the hope that God’s most sacred name would forever blessed in heaven and on earth. The application/lesson: the focus of true praise is always about the exaltation of God’s great name. The cry of the true worshiper’s heart is that God would be known and loved as he is. Self-centered or self-exalting praise is no praise at all.

(3) Daniel confesses that God holds absolute sway over wisdom and strength. None of the other holy or wise men of Babylon could tell the King his dream or its meaning, and frankly, neither could Daniel. He was consciously aware of this fact, and so he sought God and asked for wisdom and insight. God granted his request and Daniel quickly and humbly acknowledged that the insight he had gained were owing the infinite resources in God, not in himself. The application/lesson: we must learn to give credit where credit is due. We must learn to see God as the Source of all our wisdom and strength, and explicitly acknowledge the same in our attitudes, words, and actions.

(4) Expanding on this affirmation, Daniel then acknowledges that God holds absolute sway over times and seasons; over kings and kingdoms; over wisdom and knowledge. He is absolutely sovereign over absolutely everything, and the granting of this dream and its meaning was evidence of the fact. The application/lesson: learn to see and savor the sovereignty of God and give him the glory that is due his name. As we gain new sight of the heights of God’s sovereignty, we will enter into new depths of worship and praise.

On another note, this is why I love Bible memorization. It’s not just about putting words in our minds, it’s about gaining rich insight that gives rise to worship and wisdom in life. So join me this year in memorizing the Word of God. Join me is savoring his wisdom and applying it to life. May God greatly increase our joy, as we grow in love for his will, wisdom, and ways.  

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