I meant to keep my blog full of the intrigue/ridiculousness of raising a family. I meant to keep politics and religion out of it. I meant to just be funny.
Welp, not today. For the last few weeks I have felt gently nudged to share more. I didn’t want to for purely selfish reasons. I’ll still keep my political thoughts in my brains. But here is a bit of my heart.
I was reading in Daniel chapter 2 awhile back and was struck by a series of events and how often I do not follow suit. Here’s the story:
King Nebechadnezzar (whom I shall refer to henceforth as “Neb”) had some seriously weird dreams and a hair trigger temper. Neb asked his sorcerers and peeps to tell him what it meant. Well, they just flattered him and stalled. Neb was annoyed by them and let them know that they better cut it out or he would “have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble.” (verse 5)
Well, they trembled at his word knowing how sincere he was in his threat and they let Neb know “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.” (verse 11)
Unfortunately, “this made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon.” (verse 12)
This decree would end the lives of many men, including Daniel and his friends. When the commander came to Daniel to put him to death, Daniel did not even know why this was happening. He asked the King if he could be permitted time to interpret the dream. Neb agreed.
Daniel went home to his friends and explained the peril they were in. He asked them to pray, because only God could provide the answers that would save the wise men from certain death.
“During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.” (verse 19) Only after Daniel lavishes much praise to God does he go to the executioner to ask him to stay his hand. Then he is brought before the King with the answers that had vexed Neb so.
This was so beautifully striking to me because Daniel is in truly desperate circumstance. Upon hearing he is slated for execution, he does not whine, argue, beg, or become angry. He “spoke with wisdom and tact.”(verse14) He then asked for time to interpret. He asked his friends to join him in prayer. He received the interpretation of the dream, the only thing that could spare his life, and instead of bolting out the door that moment shouting, “I know what to do! Listen to ME!!” he first praises and thanks God.
Then he stands before a pagan mercurial King and firmly says, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about,”(verse 27) (I imagine King Neb trembling with rage at this moment, ready to tear this kid limb from limb) but Daniel continues, “but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.” (verse 28)
I wondered if I would follow Daniel’s example of faith and faithfulness. Would I praise God before saving my skin? Would I stand before an angry man who regarded my God with disdain and preface my life saving testimony that the wisdom I bear could only come from my God?
No. I am afraid that my first inclination upon gaining the insight that would spare my life would not be to lavish praise upon the revealer of mysteries. I would have raced before the king and breathlessly told him how he wouldn’t want to hurt me because I have the answer. Then I would have told all of my friends and family how amazing it was to be spared. I would have gone into great detail about the peril I was in. I would have casually said, “Praise the Lord” as I shared the tale without actually offering Him any praise. After I had wept tears of joy and laughed till I was weak, I would have gone to bed and said “Thank you” as I was drifting off.
I know this is what I would do because the unfortunate and shameful truth is I do it everyday, in circumstances much less dire.
Now, don’tcha worry. In my next post the firefighter grows a mustache. And some other things happen. 😉