Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the (child) of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.”
Isaiah 49: 15, 16
Come, Ye Disconsolate
“Come, ye disconsolate, wherever ye languish;
Come to the mercy-seat, fervently kneel;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish,
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.
Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure;
Here speaks the comforter, tenderly saying,
‘Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure.’
Here see the Bread of Life; see waters flowing
Forth from the throne of God, pure from above;
Come to the feast of love; ever knowing
Earth has no sorrow but Heaven can remove.”
Today’s Study Text:
“Daniel answered the king, ‘The mysterious secret which the king has demanded neither the wise men, enchanters, magicians, nor astrologers can show the king, but there is a God in heaven, who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what it is that shall be in the latter days.’”
Daniel 2: 27, 28
“The Furnace of Affliction: - Part 9
“There is A God in Heaven”
“God will not leave Himself without witnesses to the truth and equity of His cause, even when it seems to be most spitefully run down by its enemies, and most shamefully deserted by its friends.”
How do I see God’s hand at work in my own life?
When the world is apparently in total confusion, how do I recognize the way God still rules over all?
“God alone knows the depth and the riches of His Godhead, and divine wisdom alone can declare His secrets.”
“The sovereignty of God is that golden scepter in His hand by which He will make all bow, either by His word or by His works, by His mercies or by His judgments.” Thomas Benton Brooks
The distinct difference between the outlook shared by one of God’s heavenly-minded men and the outlook revealed by an earthly-minded man is portrayed clearly in Daniel 2: 25-28
We find that the Babylonian executioner, “brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: I have found a man of the captives of Judah who will make known to the king the interpretation of his dream” (Daniel 2: 25, Amplified Bible). This is an almost laughable claim. Look at me! Look what I found among those captives! This is the worldly way – “I, I, I!” And Arioch was just trying to take advantage of his moment in the spotlight. But just a few verses down, Daniel had a completely opposite response to the king when he asked Daniel, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and the interpretation of it?” (Daniel 2: 26)
Here’s where Daniel could have chosen to pat himself on the back. The king knew him to be ten times smarter than the run-of-the-mill Babylonian wise-men. Why not capitalize on the reputation he had to be knowledgeable about a vast array of subjects? But instead of crowing about his brilliance, Daniel had the heavenly gifts of prudence, discernment, and humility which he drew from in this time of crisis. These three gifts we are told, are bestowed upon us when we ask our Father for His wisdom as we navigate the choppy seas of life on this earth.
I want to explore these three gifts a little more so that like Daniel, when we find ourselves facing tough trials, we will ask for these heavenly treasures to be the foundation of our behavior:
Gift #1: Prudence.
Definition: Using good judgment and common sense in handling practical matters. Careful about one’s conduct.
1. Proverbs 8: 12, 13: “I Wisdom from God, make prudence my dwelling, and I find out knowledge and discretion. The reverent fear and worshipful awe of the Lord includes the hatred of evil; pride, arrogance, the evil way, and perverted and twisted speech I hate.”
2. Proverbs 14: 15: “A prudent (person) gives thought to (their) steps.”
3. James 1: 5: “If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God, who gives to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or fault finding and it will be given (them).”
Thoughts to Ponder:
1. “Titian has a painting in the National Gallery, London, called ‘An Allegory of Prudence.’ Prudence has three heads, a youth’s which looks toward the future, a mature man’s which looks at the present, and an old man’s which looks back on the past with the wisdom of experience. Titian has written over their heads: ‘From the example of the past the man of the present acts prudently so as not to imperil the future.’” Os Guinness
2. “We must not trust every word of others or feeling within ourselves, but cautiously and patiently try the matter, to see whether it is of God.” Thomas á Kempis
Gift #2: Discernment.
Definition: To perceive something hidden or obscure. To comprehend and distinctly have insight.
1. I Kings 3: 9: “’So give Your servant an understanding mind and a hearing heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and bad, for who is able to judge and rule this Your great people?’”
2. Ecclesiastes 8: 5: “A wise man’s or woman’s heart discerneth both time and judgment.”
3. Proverbs 15: 14: “The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.”
Thoughts to Ponder:
1. “God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.” Oswald Chambers
2. “Discernment is the mother, the guardian, and the guide of all virtues.” John Cassian
3. “It is discernment which in Scripture is described as the eye and the lamp of the body…The eye sees through all the thoughts and actions of a man, examining and illuminating everything which we must do. And if it is not sound…that is, if it is not fortified by good judgment and by well-found knowledge, if it is deluded by error and by presumption, this makes for darkness in our entire body.” John Cassian
Gift #3: Humility
Definition: Characterized by unpretentious behavior as well as modesty and meekness.
1. Proverbs 15: 33: “The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord brings instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”
2. Proverbs 18: 12: “Haughtiness comes before disaster, but humility before honor.”
3. I Peter 5: 5: “Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful, and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them, but gives grace, favor and blessing to the humble.”
Thoughts to Ponder:
1. “Humility is nothing else but a true knowledge and awareness of oneself as one really is.” The Cloud of Unknowing
2. “The Body of Christ is the fundamental resonance of humility, of self-giving.” Maggie Ross
3. “If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” Mother Teresa
Two men stood before King Nebuchadnezzar. One focused on “I” and the other on “Him.” One on earthly adulation. The other on Godly adoration. One pointed the worldly king to himself. The other pointed the worldly king to the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords! Without a doubt – there was a God in heaven. And Daniel made certain the king received a proper introduction to the Ruler of the Universe.
As Daniel spoke, his words reflected the foundation built by faith in the God he trusted. For Daniel answered the king:
“There is a God in heaven Who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what it is that shall be in the latter days (at the end of days)…As for you, O king, as you were lying upon your bed thoughts came into your mind about what should come to pass hereafter, and He Who reveals secrets was making known to you what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than anyone else living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king.”
Daniel 2: 28-30
No puffed-up arrogance from the prophet of God. No, “I’ve got this covered!” Instead, in the presence of the king of Babylon, God’s child gave the glory to his heavenly King, the Ruler of the Universe. No wonder after Daniel interpreted this dream along with its meaning, we are told that King Nebuchadnezzar, “fell on his face and paid homage to Daniel as the prophet of the highest God…the king answered Daniel, ‘Of a truth your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a Revealer of secret mysteries” (Daniel 2: 46, 47).
“The Lord’s presence is infinite, His brightness insupportable, His majesty aweful, His dominion boundless and His sovereignty incontestable.”
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water; He turneth it whithersoever He will.”
Proverbs 21: 1
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.”
Revelation 1: 8
“Bless the Lord, O my soul O Lord my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honor and majesty. Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment, Who stretches out the heaven’s like a curtain; who layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters,
who maketh the clouds His chariot; who walketh upon the wings of the wind; …who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever…Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over…O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all; the earth is full of Thy riches…The glory of the Lord shall endure forever; the Lord shall rejoice in His works…I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of Him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord…Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise ye the Lord.”
Psalm 104: 1, 2,2,9, 24,31, 33-35
O Worship the King
“O worship the King, all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His wonderful love;
Our shield and defender, the Ancient of days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.
O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space;
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of a storm.
Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite:
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies, how tender! How firm to the end!
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!”
Based on Psalm 104
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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