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Clean Break

Clean Break

11 September 2010

Today’s Reading: Daniel 3-4; Psalm 81; Revelation 17

Scripture:

“So, king, take my advice: Make a clean break with your sins and start living for others. Quit your wicked life and look after the needs of the down-and-out. Then you will continue to have a good life.” (Daniel 4:27 MSG)

Nebuchadnezzar, Emperor of Babylon, the king of the known world, had a troubling dream. He knew it was a spiritual dream and that it contained a warning. The “magicians, enchanters, fortunetellers, and witches” couldn’t interpret the dream, but Daniel could. Daniel was “full of the divine Holy Spirit.”

Daniel courageously and honestly interpreted the dream and was quick and confident to advise the king on a course of action, just as Joseph had done with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, centuries earlier.

Here’s a couple of thoughts to chew on:
• Daniel and his friends used their natural talents and their spiritual gifts in the service of a pagan king. They served well by being spiritually natural and naturally spiritual. They didn’t isolate themselves and their faith in a religious ghetto.
• Someone had to hold Nebuchadnezzar’s empire together during the “seven seasons” of his madness. That same someone had to be willing to hand the kingdom back to him intact when his sanity returned. Might that person have been Daniel?
• Daniel 4:1-3; 34-37 records a poetic song of praise to God written by a pagan emperor. He sang.. “I’m singing – I Nebuchadnezzar – singing and praising the King of Heaven!

Make a clean break. Daniel’s advice to Nebuchadnezzar sounds remarkably like Jesus’ advice to the people of his generation and God’s advice us today. Over and over I’m reminded that for kings and paupers, ancient and modern, what God wants for us and from us is not complicated and it doesn’t change… “Make a clean break with your sins, start living for others, quit your wicked life and look after the needs of the down-and-out. Then you will continue to have a good life.”

Prayer:

Father, Please forgive me for my selfish sins and my sins of selfishness. I purpose to look out for the needs of others as I move through this day. Help me to do better at living for others. Thank you for being patient and not giving up on me. Amen.

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