Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, March 9, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 103

Prayer Point. Are looking for a reason to praise God? Psalm 103 gives you a number of options. Concentrate on two or three and offer your own prayer of praise.

John 12:44-50

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following background to guide you.

Background. What does it mean for Jesus to be the light of the world? What does his light illuminate? Who does he point us to?

When we believe in Jesus, we also believe in _____________________.

When we see Jesus, we also see _______________________.

Jesus came to save the world. Who judges those who hear Jesus’ words, but do not keep them? Who directs Jesus’ mission and guides his words? What is the purpose of God the Father’s commands?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Hebrews 2:10-18

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following background to guide you.

Background. How are we all brothers (including women) of Jesus? Why did Jesus become our brother, and share in our humanity “Abraham’s descendants” was a Jewish way of referring to God’s people. Through the coming of Jesus Christ, all those who put their faith in Him are considered to be descendents of Abraham and heirs to the promises that God had given him. For more on these promises see Genesis 12:1-3. What new role has Jesus taken on because he became a human being? In what two ways can Jesus now help us with our struggle with sin?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Daniel 9:3-10

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

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Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, April 20, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 42

Prayer Point. Spiritual dryness and general sadness can either drive us to our addictions that dull our emptiness, or we can allow that thirst to fuel our pursuit of God. Pray Psalm 42 today, that the emptiness and brokenness in your life will drive you to Jesus.

Luke 5:27-39

Background. Tax collectors were not good disciple material because they were regarded as the most sinful class of Jewish society and with good reason. They worked for the Roman occupiers and became rich by inflating tax bills and pocketing the difference.

You can imagine Levi’s shock when Jesus greeted him the words that rabbis used to accept potential disciples, “follow me.”

Pay close attention to …

  • Levi’s response to Jesus’ call and compare it to the response of Peter, James and John (Luke 5:11).
  • How the Pharisees and teachers of the Law are scandalized by Jesus’ behavior.
  • Why Jesus eats with tax collectors and what it says about us.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

3 John 1-15

Background. 3 John is a short personal letter from the Apostle John to a Christian named Gaius.

Pay close attention to …

  • The positives in Gaius’ life, what he is to continue doing.
  • Whose example he is emulate and whose example he is to shun and why.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Daniel 6:16-28

Background. Daniel is moved by his own personal integrity into a position which puts him at odds with his king, thanks to his enemies.  They maneuvered the king to issue a decree for the sole purpose to discredit Daniel and to get him out of the way.  The sentence for disobeying the decree was to spend a night in the (presumably hungry) lions’ den.  This incident parallels slightly an event in the life of Joseph.  He was falsely imprisoned as well and only had his faith in the God of his father to keep him going.  That’s all that Daniel had.

Pay close attention to …

  • The king’s plight (v. 18 )
  • King’s voice the next morning (v. 20 )
  • Daniel (vv. 21- 22 )
  • The false accusers (v. 24 )
  • The new decree (v. 26-28 )

This story of Daniel in the lions’ den is a favorite for children because it speaks of bravery in the face of certain death.  To adults this story should speak to our hearts with respect of the faith that Daniel had displayed against such overwhelming odds.  This was the very same kind of faith displayed by Daniel’s three friends Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego when they faced the fiery furnace.  This is the season of Easter so such examples are meant to encourage us as we face our daily trials (which, I’m sure, don’t measure up to either the lions’ den or the fiery furnace).

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Daily Bible Readings – Friday, April 19, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 105

Prayer Point. Psalm 105 is a call to remember, thank, and praise the God who saves us.  Verses 10-45 tells the story of God’s faithfulness to Israel, but what is God’s story with you? Take time to remember those times when God saved you, offer him thanks and share that story with someone in your life.

Luke 5:12-26

Background. Lepers were outcasts in Jesus’ day. It was a highly contagious and fatal disease whose devastating effects on the nervous system was only surpassed by the loneliness of those who were afflicted by it.  Lepers had to leave their families and live outside the city.  They had to declare themselves to be “unclean” to all those who approached them.  To touch a leper made one unclean and placed them at risk of catching the disease.

A clean man who touched someone who was unclean, became himself unclean and needed to undergo an elaborate ritual in order to be eligible to enter the temple and worship God.  With Jesus this is all about to change.

The second healing in today’s reading is all about Jesus’ authority.  The Pharisees and teachers of the law have gathered from all around Israel in order to evaluate Jesus who brought with him new teaching with an authority that not been seen before.  They want to know where he received his authority since he had not been trained by any of the rabbis of their day.

Pay close attention to …

  • The method Jesus uses to heal the leper and what it says about his power, authority, compassion and courage.
  • Why the Pharisees and teachers of the law are so angered when Jesus forgives the sins of the paralyzed man.
  • Jesus’ purpose in healing the paralyzed man.  Note that “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself that conveyed his divinity and power.  It is a reference to Daniel 7:13-14.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

2 John 1-13

Background. While at first glance 2 John appears to be a personal letter to a woman and her family, it is far more likely that “the chosen lady and her children” is a reference to a local church and its people. We say this for two reason:  one, the church is often referred to as the ‘bride of Christ’. Second, ‘your chosen sister’ in 2 John 13 appears to be a description of the church John was staying with when he penned this letter.

Pay close attention to …

  • The source of John’s great joy.
  • The command he gives this church.
  • The false teaching of the deceivers that John warns against.
  • How the church is to treat false teachers.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Daniel 6:1-15

Background. A week ago (Thursday of last week) we examined Nebuchadnezzar’s first dream, the one where he wanted the magicians, soothsayers, astrologers and seers first to tell him his dream and then to interpret it.  In that dream Nebuchadnezzar saw a giant statue with a head of gold (that was Nebuchadnezzar, of course) and next was a chest of silver (the Medes and Persians) followed by thighs of bronze (Greeks) and finally legs of iron with feet made partly of iron and clay (Roman).

One down three to go!

Yesterday we saw the fall of the Babylonian Empire to the Medes under Darius.  With the advent of a new ruler, people have to prove themselves yet again.  Darius had installed 120 satraps (something like a governor) who themselves were supervised by three administrators; one of which was Daniel.  At this point Daniel is getting rather old and yet envy among his enemies has reared its ugly head.  Daniel’s administration was without flaw so his enemies sought to trap him by using his God as a catalyst.

Pay close attention to …

  • The strange law of the Medes and Persians (v. 8 )
  • The decree itself (v. 7 )
  • Daniel’s behavior (v. 10 )
  • Darius’ regret (v. 14 )
  • The enemies’ victory (v.15 )

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, April 18, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 37

Prayer Point. Wicked men and women will continue prosper in our world and wield power.  That will not change until Christ returns.  What must change is our response to it.  Psalm 37 lists several sinful responses to the presence of evil. Repent by confessing to God the ones you see in your life.  Pray for the faith to trust God, delight in him, commit ourselves to following him and to place matters of justice into his hands.

Luke 5:1-11

Background. The highest calling in Jesus’ day was to become a rabbi’s disciple with the dream of one day becoming a rabbi: not unlike the prestige of getting into Harvard today.  Only those with the sharpest intellect and highest moral character received the privilege of being a disciple.  Those who didn’t make the cut returned home and worked the family trade which is what we find Peter, James and John doing.

Pay close attention to …

  • Jesus’ unusual choice of disciples.
  • The ease by which Jesus provides for his disciples.
  • Peter’s reaction to the miracle catch of fish. Compare this to Isaiah 6:1-8.
  • How the life direction of Peter, James and John is forever changed by their encounter with Jesus.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

1 John 5:13-21

Background.  As John brings this letter to a close, he wants to remind his readers of the purpose of his letter and give them some final instructions.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why John wrote this letter to “those who believe in the Son of God.”
  • The confidence that comes with this eternal life and how it impacts our relationship with God.
  • What one should do if he sees a fellow Christian sin. Note that the definition of a “sin that leads to death” has been hotly debated throughout history. Most likely John is referring to a final and complete rejection of Jesus.  (See 1 John 4:2-3; 3:15).
  • What is true of those who are born of God with regard to sin.
  • Who controls the world we live in.
  • The Son of God we should cling to and the idols we should avoid.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Daniel 5:13-30

Background. While the Bible is not clear how much time has passed between Chapters 4 and 5, we learn that the king referred to in Chapter 5 is not Nebuchadnezzar but someone named Belshazzar.  It turns out that this Belshazzar is either Nebuchadnezzar’s son or, more likely, his grandson.  [The term ‘father’ as used here is not unlike the same use of father in the expression of “king so and so did evil in the sight of the LORD and was not like his father David…”  David was referred to as the ‘father’ of virtually every king in Judah.]  The upshot is that Daniel is not known by this king and there is speculation that Daniel was quite old when this event took place.

Pay close attention to …

  • What the king and his guests drink from (vv. 2-3 )
  • The added insult — whom these people praised (v. 4 )
  • What the king and his guests saw and how they reacted(vv. 5, 6 )
  • For whom the king calls in this crisis (v. 7 )
  • The task set before these magicians, diviners and astrologers (v.  7)
  • The problem (vv. 8-9 )
  • Who suggests a solution (v. 10 )
  • Daniel’s Babylonian name (v. 12 )

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 119:25-48

Prayer Point. Understanding and following the law of God (following Jesus) is very difficult.  Psalm 119 reminds us that we face formidable obstacles within ourselves and in the world around us.  Which obstacles are present in your life.  Lift those up to God and pray that he will give you the wisdom, the strength, the faith and the courage to follow Jesus.

Luke 4:38-44

Background. The central theme of Jesus’ early ministry is the power and authority of his teaching.  He speaks and demons flee.  His words cause the sick to be healed.  Those who have eyes to see recognize him to be the Christ (Messiah, the promised king sent to rescue God’s people).  Jesus silences them because his purpose is to reveal himself to the world through his crucifixion and resurrection. In other words, it’s not yet time.

You’ll also notice that the crowds wait until after sundown to gather outside Simon’s (Peter) house. The reason is that the Sabbath ran from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday and the Jewish authorities had ruled that healing was not appropriate on the Sabbath.  This will become a central point of contention between Jesus and the religious authorities.

Pay close attention to …

  • The method by which Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law and what it says about his power and authority.
  • The testimony of the demons and Jesus’ response to them.
  • Why Jesus withdraws from Capernaum even though the people there still sought him.
  • The content of Jesus’ message in verse 43 and what it says about his mission.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

1 John 5:1-12

Background. Most Jewish people in John’s day believed that membership in the children of God was a birthright. You were born into it and unless you lived an exceedingly sinful life you stayed in your entire life.  Your identity as a member of the nation of Israel was more than enough. John, who was Jesus’ disciples for three years, saw it differently.  A person becomes a child, not by birthright, but by miracle.  That person is literally “born again” or “born from above” or “born of God.”  John described it this way in the first chapter of his Gospel.

John 1:12 Yet to all who received him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

This new birth will be connected to believing Jesus is the Christ. Christ is the Greek translation of Messiah, the hope of Israel.  Devout Jews in John’s day were waiting for the arrival of this Messiah.  The Messiah was the promised king sent by God to rescue his people and re-establish God’s peace and justice on the earth.  This new kingdom was often called by Jesus, “the kingdom of God” and the “kingdom of heaven.”

John will also talk about the “water,” “blood,” and “spirit” which testify to Jesus’ identity.  The water refers to Jesus’ baptism where the Holy Spirit descended on Him.  The blood is the blood he shed on the cross.  The Spirit is the Holy Spirit which Jesus poured out on the church after he ascended to heaven.

Pay close attention to …

  • What is true of everyone who believes Jesus is the Christ.
  • What a believer will do with regards to God’s children.
  • How obedience to God and love for God are connected.
  • Why God’s commands are not burdensome for those who are born of God.  Note that the world John refers to is sinful humanity that is separated from God.
  • What three things testify that God has given us eternal life through Jesus.
  • What is true of all those who have and do not have the Son.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Daniel 5:1-12

Background. While the Bible is not clear how much time has passed between Chapters 4 and 5, we learn that the king referred to in Chapter 5 is not Nebuchadnezzar but someone named Belshazzar.  It turns out that this Belshazzar is either Nebuchadnezzar’s son or, more likely, his grandson.  [The term ‘father’ as used here is not unlike the same use of father in the expression of “king so and so did evil in the sight of the LORD and was not like his father David…”  David was referred to as the ‘father’ of virtually every king in Judah.]  The upshot is that Daniel is not known by this king and there is speculation that Daniel was quite old when this event took place.

Pay close attention to …

  • What the king and his guests drink from (vv. 2-3 )
  • The added insult — whom these people praised (v. 4 )
  • What the king and his guests saw and how they reacted(vv. 5, 6 )
  • For whom the king calls in this crisis (v. 7 )
  • The task set before these magicians, diviners and astrologers (v.  7)
  • The problem (vv. 8-9 )
  • Who suggests a solution (v. 10 )
  • Daniel’s Babylonian name (v. 12 )

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 36

Prayer Point. David contemplates the contrast between the wickedness of the human heart and the brilliance of God’s love. In what way do you identify with the description of the wicked man?  Confess those to God and receive his forgiveness. In what ways have you experienced the faithfulness of God? Praise him for those. In what ways are you being challenged or being oppressed by sinful people? Pray for the faith to trust God.

Luke 4:31-37

Background.  Jesus looked by all appearances to be an itinerant rabbi or religious teacher.  This afforded him the opportunity to preach in the synagogues that he visited and today’s reading is one such occasion.

You also notice that Jesus does not want  it to be known that he is the “Son of God.”  This is not because Jesus was avoiding the title. It was a question of timing; his time had not yet come. He will reveal himself to the world as the Son of God, but that will come at his crucifixion and resurrection.

Pay close attention to …

  • What causes the people to conclude that Jesus is something more than a rabbi.
  • How Jesus responds to the demon who declares him to be the “Holy One of God.”
  • How the local population responds to Jesus’ authority.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

1 John 4:7-21

Background. Jesus was once asked what he thought was the greatest commandment. He replied with not one, but two commands:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul” and “love your neighbor as yourself.”  For Jesus these two commands were one because you can’t separate love for God from love of neighbor.  You see this same theme in John’s writing.

Pay close attention to …

  • The command of verse 7.
  • The source of love in verse 7.
  • What is true of those who love (verse 7) and those who don’t love (verse 8).
  • How God demonstrated love for us (verses 8-10).  Note that an atoning sacrifice (propitiation in some translations) is a sacrifice that turns God’s righteous wrath for our sin into divine favor.
  • The appropriate response to God’s love (verse 11).
  • How the invisible God can be made visible in our world (verse 12).
  • How we know that God lives in us and we in him (verse 13).
  • What does someone who lives in God and God lives in him believe (verse 15-16) and what does he do (verses 17-21). What does this say about the connection between knowing God and loving others?
  • The connection between perfect love and the absence of fear and why (verse 18).

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Daniel 4:28-37

Background. The captives were told by the prophet Jeremiah that when they entered the land of the Chaldeans (Babylonia) that they were to establish themselves by building houses and families and then they would prosper.  This captivity was the LORD’s doing, but he also wanted his people still to be attentive to his will even though they were far removed from Jerusalem (which is where they believed that the LORD made his dwelling).  They were to live as though they were still in their own land.  They had been promised that the LORD would bring them back from exile once seventy years had passed.  In the meantime, their lives were to go on as if they were still in Judah.  As though to emphasize his point, the LORD had sent Daniel and Ezekiel as prophets to these exiles.

Daniel had found great favor in the eyes of the royal officials of Babylon (especially King Nebuchadnezzar) and was rewarded with prestige and honors.  Howbeit, Daniel had interpreted a dream for the king warning him of impending disaster to himself.  The LORD was good enough to grant Nebuchadnezzar a foreshadowing of his life unless he changed his way.  Nebuchadnezzar was perhaps the most famous king in the world at that time; he is credited with building one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.  Such notoriety brings with it a great deal of pride.  Enter Daniel who said: “Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed [the captives?].  It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”  (Daniel 4:27 NIV)

Most of us don’t get such vivid warnings of the ramifications of sin in our lives — not like the one Nebuchadnezzar received.  How sad when such good advice goes unheeded.  How much waste.

Pay close attention to …

  • What Nebuchadnezzar says about himself  about a year after his disturbing dream (v. 30 )
  • The voice from heaven (v. 31 )

The verse refers to “seven times”.  Some scholars think the “times” refers to years: i.e., seven years.  Seven is a number that represents completion in the Bible.  We have seven days in a week.  Peter had asked Jesus how many times must one forgive his brother — seven times?  Jesus’ response was seventy-seven times.  (See Matt. 18:21-22) So let’s allow that Nebuchadnezzar was grazing with the cattle as long as was necessary for him to reach humility and repentance, be it seven days or seven years.

  • What Nebuchadnezzar does once is sanity is restored (v. 34 )

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Daily Bible Readings – Monday, April 15, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 9

Prayer Point. Why should God be thanked and praised? Psalm 9 reminds us that he secures justice for us (we don’t do it ourselves), he protects the oppressed, provides for the needy and gives hope to the afflicted and that is just the beginning.  Read through this psalm slowly and pick two or three examples that you have personally experienced and thank God for them.

Luke 4:14-30

Background. Today’s reading marks the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry on earth.  He has just been baptized (Luke 3:21-22), tempted in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13) and now he is ready to begin.

He chooses a synagogue service for his inaugural address.  Visiting rabbis were often invited to read from the Old Testament and then sit down to explain to the congregation what had just been read.

Jesus is initially well-received, but their adulation will quickly give way to rage.  The sudden change that came over the crowd has everything to do with the stories Jesus cites in verses 24-27.   These are stories about Elijah the prophet who is forced to leave Israel and minister to its enemies because Israel had flatly refused to listen to God and his prophet.  See 1 Kings 17:7-24 and 2 Kings 5.

In other words, Israel had waited a long time for their Messiah only for their Messiah to announce that they will reject him and he will be forced to bring salvation, not to them, but to their enemies.

Pay close attention to …

  • The content of the prophecy in verses 18-19 and how it relates to Jesus’ upcoming ministry. What will the Messiah do and how does that square with how you viewed Jesus’ mission.
  • How this prophecy relates to Jesus and his ministry (verses 21).
  • Why the crowds try to kill Jesus and why they are unable to.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

1 John 3:19-4:6

Background. John wants his readers to have confidence and peace before God.  In today’s reading he will lay out the path to this destination. There will be things his readers must do and people they must avoid.

The path to peace and confidence before God and receiving from him whatever we ask, is to do what he commands.  Here is what he commands: believe in the name of his Son and love another.
Those who obey these commands live in him and he in them and this is confirmed by the Holy Spirit.

Pay close attention to …

  • What two things we must do to have confidence before God and expect to receive from him whatever we ask (verse 3:23).
  • John states that those who obey God’s commands live in God and he in them.  Who confirms to us that God is living within us (verse 3:24).
  • How one can distinguish the Spirit of God from the spirit of anti-Christ.  In other words what will teachers who are filled the spirit of God teach as opposed to those who teach according to the spirit of Anti-Christ (verses 4:1-3).
  • How will true teachers relate to the teachings of John and the other apostles as opposed to false ones (verses 4:4-6).

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Daniel 4:19-27

Background. King Nebuchadnezzar has been plagued again by yet another dream.  This time he does not fool around with his “seers” and magicians by withholding the details of the dream.  This is the one about the huge tree which gives life and shelter to all the birds and animals around.  Like the first dream, none of the king’s soothsayers, magicians and seers could probe the meaning of this dream so he sent for his “chief magician” Daniel to help unravel this mystery.  All of this is described in Daniel 4:4-18.  [You will notice that this section is indented (in the NIV) — this is only because this dream is described in a letter Nebuchadnezzar is sending throughout his kingdom.]

Pay close attention to …

  • Why we know this dream is not good news for the king (v. 19 )
  • Whom does the tree represent (v. 22 )
  • Daniel’s retelling of the dream (v. 23 )
  • The decree of the Most High (vv. 24-25 )
  • The “good” news for the king (v. 26 )
  • Daniel’s advice to the king (v. 27 )

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)