Tabernacle Tuesday
~ Week Two ~
June 16, 2020
Daniel ~ Chapter Two
"Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
for wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding.
He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
and light dwells with Him."
(Daniel 2:20-22)

Morning Meditation : Read Daniel 2:1-16

Daniel and his three friends had just passed their first test in the king's three-year training program with flying colors. Although it was a test of their own design, developed with godly wisdom, it proved they could resist being controlled by external forces of the pagan culture they were forced to dwell in because their lives were controlled by a greater power from within. Instead of being changed, they were the ones who did the changing, and God used them to transform the minds and hearts of pagan rulers and bring glory to His name in an idolatrous land. From the very beginning, they were set apart, giving themselves wholly to the Lord, even in their diet, while being gracious toward those in authority, always acting like gentlemen and excelling in their studies. They were dedicated students while being required to master Chaldean literature and language that they might be better suited to serve the government; and although their secular education contradicted all that they believed, they were diligent in their studies and excelled more than all the other students, distinguishing themselves and honoring the Lord their God above all others. Daniel and his friends were living far from their homeland and being re-educated to think and act in a manner far different from all they had ever known, but their willingness to abstain from the forbidden food of the heathen banquet table equipped them for illustrious service in the courts of the King of kings, who richly rewarded and blessed them, having providentially placed them in royal position for such a time as this to provide a powerful testimony of the sovereign power of God Most High during an important epoch in history!

From the opening chapter of Daniel's story, we are brought face to face with the despot king of Babylon, who seemed to have unlimited power and authority, until Daniel's narrative continues to unfold with the unrolling of this ancient scroll, revealing the One who is truly in control - the God of Israel. Nebuchadnezzar had everything a person could desire, yet he lacked the one thing his wealth and power could not buy him - peace. "Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, [he] had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him" (v. 1). He was deeply distressed over the future of his kingdom, and he took his anxieties to bed with him. Nebuchadnezzar was much like the other Gentile rulers we read about in Scripture who were troubled in their dreams because they troubled God's people (read about Pharaoh in Genesis 41). It was not unlike the Lord to communicate His truth to pagan Gentile kings and use His providentially positioned servants to interpret those dreams (i.e. Joseph and Daniel) in order to accomplish His purposes for His people. "Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). The king knew this dream was too important to overlook, so he called for the "wise men" to come and interpret his dream, demanding on threat of death, that they first tell him the contents of his dream. "The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, "My decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap" (v. 5). Showing the true colors of a tyrant, the temperamental king shut his ears to reason, speaking death over his humiliated counselors, while unconsciously opening the way for Daniel to exalt the true King who had given him the dream and who alone knows the future. The impossible challenge was disputed by the Chaldeans, who, with their next breath, confessed to their counterfeit profession, exposing the foolishness of human wisdom and the powerless of their occult practices (v. 11). "Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" (1 Corinthians 1:20).

"It is a difficult thing that the king requests,
and there is no other who can tell it to the king
except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh."
(Daniel 2:11)

The king's penalty was extreme and cruel, but the charlatan Chaldeans were deserving of the death sentence for their deceptive works; however, Daniel and his friends, who were lumped in with these pretenders, were not. The enemy had lost round one in his attempt to destroy the testimony of the Lord's faithfulness towards His people, when Daniel and his friends resolved not to defile themselves with the king's delicacies and drinks; in this second attempt, he was willing to sacrifice all his servants just to destroy the faithful four; but Daniel stood in the gap on behalf of all the wise men. "Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king's guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon; he answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, "Why is the decree from the king so urgent?" Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel" (Daniel 2:14). When the opportunity presented itself, Daniel, once again, had the grace and wisdom to guard his speech (Daniel 1:12-13). He did not panic, as the executioner stood at his door, but responded with discretion and discernment. "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe" (Proverbs 29:25). This was a life or death situation, but Daniel stood firm in the hour of crisis, and boldly went before the king and submitted his request, courageously asking for the very thing the other wise men had asked for, which had initially incited the king's merciless death decree . "So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time , that he might tell the king the interpretation" (v. 16). Daniel exhibited poise under pressure, remaining cool, calm, and collected in the midst of an impossible crisis situation; and remarkably, the king permitted his request for a postponement. Truly the favor of God was upon His servant, protecting him and providing even greater opportunities to show Himself strong and mighty on his behalf. In times of crisis, our true character is revealed. Let us pray, that, in difficult times, we may be found to be more like Daniel, who demonstrated strength and stability, wisdom and tact, as we learn from his life how to exert influence without physical force. Recognizing that our prayers transcend time, influencing and impacting future generations long after we are gone; as Solomon's prayer for the captive people did 300 years before Daniel. "Grant them compassion before those who took them captive, that they may have compassion on them" (1 Kings 8:50b).

"Therefore, behold,
I will again do a marvelous work among the people,
a marvelous work and a wonder;
for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
and the understanding of their prudent men
shall be hidden."
(Isaiah 29:14)
Afternoon Devotion : Read Daniel 2:17-49

Daniel asked for more time from the king, so that he could ask for more help from the Lord. Instead of panicking, Daniel called a prayer meeting . "Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning the secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon" (vv. 17, 18). Daniel had been in Babylon for a couple of years now, and had been surrounded by the false teachings and deceptive practices of all the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and Chaldeans in the kings court, but he was never influenced to seek help from anyone except from the omniscient God in prayer! "Call to Me, and I will tell you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know" (Jeremiah 33:3). Daniel went to his house to be alone with God, so that he could seek His face and pray. Although far from his homeland, Daniel was never far from the Lord; and he made it his practice to be at home with God, cultivating a life with God, and claiming His promises, in the land the Lord had sent him. "When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, wherever You send them, and when they pray to the LORD toward the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name, then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause" (1 Kings 8:44, 45). Daniel prayed for wisdom and revelation, in full assurance that the Lord, who knows all and who sees all, would answer; and the Lord gave him what he requested. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, without doubting..." (James 1:5, 6a). The Lord revealed the hidden truth in the king's dream to Daniel, enabling His servant to know both the dream and its' interpretation, and Daniel responded immediately by blessing the Lord and extolling the greatness of His attributes. "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His... (vv. 20).

"I thank You and praise You,
O God of my fathers;
You have given me wisdom and might,
and have now made known to me
what we asked of You,
for You have made known to us the king's demand."
(Daniel 2:23)

God revealed His plan for the ages to His servant. He unveiled the timeline of the future sequence of the kingdom's of the world and the coming of His eternal kingdom in the latter days. When Daniel saw the extraordinary vision, He magnified and exalted the Lord, not the image. He blessed the God of wisdom and might, who is the God of heaven and the God of history; who alone, by His power, controls the events of history and controls the destiny of nations; who, in His limitless wisdom, orders the world, and who, alone, possesses the power to bring about His purposes and plans; who, not being bound to His own natural laws, changes the times and seasons as He sees fit; and, who, being the real power behind every throne, sets up kings and deposes of them as he determines. "For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge; He puts down one, and exalts another" (Psalm 75:6, 7). Daniel magnified the all-wise Lord who "gives wisdom to the wise" and who also, as the all-seeing, all-knowing Creator of both darkness and light, "reveals deep and hidden things," for "light dwells with Him." Daniel extolled the greatness of God in his private chamber, then exalted the Lord in the presence of the king. "But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets..." (Daniel 2:28a). Daniel explained to the king that the dream the Lord had given him was in fact the answer to all the king's concerns which had kept him up all night with worry. The image revealed a new period in history, "the times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24-28), inaugurated when Nebuchadnezzar had taken captive Jerusalem in 605 B.C., and consisting of four successive kingdoms, all of the same spirit aligned against the people of God and His church, which would end when Messiah returns to establish His kingdom. A period of time stretching from the time of Daniel, 600 years before Christ, to the time of His Second Advent. "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces...And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth" (Daniel 2:34, 35b). The image, though having the appearance of strength and endurance, stands on feet of clay and iron, and is in danger of falling over and crumbling at any time; ultimately at the end of the age it will be impossible for things to hold together, for iron and clay do not mix. Eventually, "the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone" (Psalm 118:22); and Christ's kingdom will be established, and all His enemies destroyed. The only kingdom that will stand forever is the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ will reign forever and ever, and "of His kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:33). Let us offer up a prayer of praise as we rejoice in the knowledge that our God has everything under control, and He will one day reign on this earth! "This was the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes!" (Psalm 118:23). "Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret" (Daniel 2:47).

"And in the days of these kings the God of heaven
will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed;
and the kingdom shall not be left to other people;
it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms,
and it shall stand forever."
(Daniel 2:44)
Evening Prayer : "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days." (Daniel 6:10)

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As we travel through the Book of Daniel
we want to focus on following the example of his faith,
but as we do, let us prayerfully consider setting aside
Tuesdays as "fast" days,
as we feast upon the goodness and grace of our Lord this summer
(consider a full day fast, a partial fast, or a Daniel fast (v.12))

"For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and His kingdom is from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand or say to Him,
"What have You done?"
(Daniel 4:34b, 35)
Scripture Meditations for the Week:

Wednesday: Jeremiah 23:28, 29
Thursday: 1 Chronicles 29:10-15
Friday: 1 Peter 2:4-10
Saturday: Isaiah 2:2-4
Sunday: Acts 4:11, 12
Monday: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Journal: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Memory Verse for the Week:

" Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
for wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding.
He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
and light dwells with Him."
(Daniel 2:20-22)
Read about 2020 The Year of Divine Government HERE

A Proclamation of Prayer for the Pandemic
(with links to the YouTube ANOINTING prayers through the Psalms)
to provide peace and to encourage faith in times of crisis
when fear, doubt, and uncertainty try to rob us of our joy!
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"Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
and your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
and let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me, hear, and your soul shall live."
(Isaiah 55:2, 3a)
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Setting the world on fire for Christ ~ One heart at a time!
TESTIFY to the gospel of the grace of God
a 12-week devotional prayer and fasting journey through the Book of Daniel
copyright (c) 2020 Traci A. Alexander. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc., and the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.