Tuesday, March 11

And now....the rest of the story

Sorry about the lull there. I was trying to just lay the groundwork for Wednesday night's study, but, well, I got busy and never finished it.

So now, here you go:

Even a heathen King, worshipper of false gods, a man who still does not claim Jehovah as his God cannot help but worship. He bows down in reverence and awe in acknowledgment of the power of God Almighty. If he can't resist.....why do we?

Okay, that wasn't the rest of the story, just an observation.

Here's the story: (again.)

More time, more stories go by and eventually, Nebuchadnezzar has another dream. Once more, though this time he even tells them the dream, none of his magicians can interpret. Then Daniel steps in. So the king tells him the dream.

An incredibly huge tree stood in the center of the land. It was beautiful, abundant with fruit, and a shelter for cattle and birds. But a voice from heaven said 'Cut it down, trim it's branches, but let the stump and roots remain in the ground and be bound with iron and bronze. "Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live wiht the animals among the plants of the earth. Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him. The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men."

So Daniel says "Wow, this dream stinks, too bad it's meaning isn't for one of your enemies."

In the dream, Nebuchadnezzar was the tree. Yeah. Ouch.

Great and mighty, but proudly thought of himself as a god. He failed to give glory to God.

Daniel advises him to renounce his sins by doing what is right and to renounce his wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. Maybe he'll avoid total abasement.

A whole year goes by. King Nezzie is probably feeling rather safe at this point. Perhaps he did a few acts of charity to at least appear contrite. No fire fell from heaven. Life is good. In fact, life is really good. Walking on his palace roof, he looks out over his kingdom and says "Look at what *I* did! And all by myself! Aren't I cool?"

And POOF! He's a cow.

Not really.

But he thinks he's a cow. Or, at least, he acts like a cow. For seven years.

And finally, he's able to lift his head to heaven and praise the Most High, who changes times and seasons and sets up kings and deposes them. "And those who walk in pride he is able to humble."

Now, the bible study from Wednesday night:

Signs we're being corrupted by our "Babylons."

1. We lose touch with the poor.
Daniel's advice was to show mercy to the poor. Not just feel mercy, but to do something about that feeling. I doubt Old Nezzie was struggling with feeling mercy and not acting on it, but I think many of us go through the motions of "feeling" something but not feeling it deeply enough to act on it. But feelings or not, we should "show" mercy.

2. We lose touch with our own poverty of spirit.
Nezzie's mindset was "I, myself, have done this."

Basically, the way to destruction is to try to elevate yourself: The way down is up.

God is patient. But His patience is geared towards our repentance. And while His patience sets limits, so does His discipline. He loves us like a father. And like a parent, He disciplines. But the discipline will only go so far. And we can know that in the midst of it, He protects.

Next, Beth Moore dressed herself in a ridiculous hunting outfit, complete with some sort of beekeeper-looking hat/veil thingy. And then she said, "You don't dress like this on accident." Which was hilarious, but Oooh, it hit hard. We don't get dressed in the morning on accident. We put clothes on intentionally. We choose which clothes we'll put on. We are instructed to clothe ourselves in humility. On purpose. Not on accident. Huh. Wow. Those who walk in pride, He is able to humble.

Basically? The way up is down. face down. 1 Peter 5:5

1 comment:

Jessica said...

"the way up is down." indeed!

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