Archive for September 3rd, 2007

The Writing on the Wall

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Today’s scripture: Daniel 5:1-12 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Squire):

I went to a Christian high school, and one of the requirements was Bible class each day. That may seem fantastic or ghastly, depending on your point of view, but it was fine for me at the time. I got a lot from the classes, and carry a lot with me even today. I think it’s good to know where you come from, spiritually speaking.

For several of those years, my teacher was Mr. Smith. He had been a missionary to Japan, and you couldn’t imagine a nicer, more sincere Christian. His teaching style, however, was dull as dirt. Mostly he tested on “just the facts, ma’am,” which included lots of dates, names, places, and historical trivia.

I think too many of us read the Bible — especially the Hebrew scriptures, or Old Testament — that way. We pick up a few facts, but don’t go too deep. And that’s a shame.

Some scholars believe that the book of Daniel should be read as a novel — others believe it’s historical fact. But whichever it is, the stories in the book are there for a reason. The author had a point to make, beyond writing the dry details of history.

In this story (which will be continued in tomorrow’s reading) it seems to me that the author is reminding us that our oppression won’t last forever. The disrespect the King showed for Israel’s God — and the Hebrew people — would come to an end. It may take a generation or two, but God is still on our side.

So where do you feel oppressed — wronged, put-upon, discouraged? Take a minute to name it and picture it in your mind. Then hold on to the promise from this ancient story — God hasn’t forgotten you. Your oppression will not last forever.

Thought for the day: God hasn’t forgotten me.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
Be still and know… is proudly powered by WordPress.