TODAY’S SPECIAL: Daniel 1:8-20
TO CHEW ON: "But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way." Daniel 1:8
“Can you please change the diet of me and my friends?” Daniel asked the guard. “We’d like to have vegetables and water instead of the king’s rich food.”
“You’re asking a dangerous thing,” the guard replied. “The king will have my head when the four of you look weak and get sick.
Daniel was taking a big chance by asking this favor from the guard in Nebuchadnezzar’s court. He and his three friends were Hebrew boys from Judah. They no longer lived at home but were exiles and servants in Babylon. The four boys were in special training to serve the king himself.
But Daniel was determined. He knew that the royal food was not prepared the way God had commanded in the law. He wanted to honor and obey God every way he could....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Daniel 5:1-6
TO CHEW ON: "Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking" Daniel 5:5,6.
What is the most mysterious thing you have ever seen?
I’m sure that for King Belshazzar it was the night a body-less hand wrote on his wall.
The night started out as a fun party. To make it special, Belshazzar served wine in the gold goblets brought from the temple in Jerusalem. Everyone was having a great time eating, drinking, talking, laughing, and dancing when from nowhere a hand appeared. When Belshazzar saw it, he stared. How could this be? The longer he watched, the more scared he became. Whose hand was this? The words were in a language he couldn’t read. What did they say? What did they mean?
The queen mother saw how frightened he was. “I know who will be able to read this,” she said. Then she called for Daniel....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Daniel 2:14-28
TO CHEW ON:"Daniel replied, 'No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come.'” Daniel 2:27, 28a
Arioch, the commander of Nebuchadnezzar’s guard had an unpleasant job. He was supposed to kill all the wise men of Babylon. This was because King Nebuchadnezzar had had a dream which he couldn't remember. When his wise men couldn't tell him what he had dreamed and what his dream meant, he ordered them all killed.
But when Arioch came to Daniel to give him the bad news, Daniel was surprised. He hadn't heard anything about Nebuchadnezzar and his dream problem. Daniel begged for more time. Then he gathered his friends and the four of them prayed that God would tell him what Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed and what it meant.
During the night God answered Daniel's prayer. Early the next morning he went to Arioch. “Don’t kill any of the wise men,” he said. “Instead, take me to the king. I know the dream and its meaning.”
Arioch took Daniel to the king.
Then Daniel told...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Daniel 3:1-18
TO CHEW ON: "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17,18
One day an urgent message was sent to all the provinces of Babylon: “Come to the plain of Dura. Nebuchadnezzar is putting on a special celebration.”
Daniel’s three friends Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego joined the rest of the rulers. When they got to Dura they saw a huge golden statue as high as a six-story building. An announcer was telling everyone what to do: “When you hear the music, fall down and worship the statue. Whoever doesn’t will be burned in a furnace.”
Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego didn’t want to pray to anyone but God. Yet the price of disobeying was certain death. What should they do?
Soon the music started. Immediately everyone around them fell to their knees. But Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego stayed standing. Many people saw them. Soon someone came to them and said, “Nebuchadnezzar...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Daniel 6:12-23
TO CHEW ON: “ 'My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.' ” Daniel 6:22
“Bring them in!” commanded king Darius to his servant.
The Babylon rulers smirked as they entered and bowed before the king. “We’ve found someone who broke your new law,” they said. “We caught Daniel praying to his God.”
Darius was shocked. Not Daniel! He was his favorite servant. And then he understood. The other rulers were jealous of Daniel. They wanted him gone. They knew that he prayed to his God three times a day. So that was why they had come to the king and suggested he pass the new law. It said that for thirty days it was illegal to pray to anyone but the king. Punishment for disobeying was death by hungry lions.
All day King Darius tried to get Daniel freed. But he couldn’t. “May the God whom you serve rescue you,” he said to Daniel as servants tossed him into the lions' den....
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