Journal Entries
Every weekday you will find a journal entry here from someone different in our church family. 
 
Click the scripture title and scroll down to see a comments section where you can ask questions, share insights and post your own SOUL Journal entry for the day!
 

Nahum 1

 

Scripture

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.

Observation-What does it say?

Why does Nineveh sound familiar? Because we read about it yesterday. That is the place that God called Jonah to. Even though Jonah was disobedient and swallowed up by the whale, he eventually obeyed and went to Nineveh. As a result, Nineveh turned from their wicked ways. However, in this chapter of Nahum, a prophecy was given to Nahum concerning Nineveh. Nineveh was going to return to their vomit (Prov. 26:11), rebelling against the Lord and choosing a life of wickedness once again. This chapter shows God’s righteous anger towards them.

“Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Exodus‬ ‭34:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”” 2 Peter‬ ‭2:20-22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Understanding-What does it mean? 

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” ‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God’s character is a combination of love, grace and patience, coupled with righteousness, jealousy and anger. He doesn’t let the guilty go unpunished according to vs. 3.

Although there is grace, there is also judgment and consequences for rebellion. We like to focus on His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy, yet forget that He gets angry too and the consequences of getting Him angry is a place no one wants to be.

Life Application

The Godhead of grace, love and mercy is the same Godhead who created the Universe and burned with intense anger towards the nations and people that turned their face from Him. He deserves even more fear and respect than we give to our spouses, parents, bosses or anyone else in human authority. He is not just Savior, but Lord!

I vividly remember the worse season of rebellion I had towards the Lord 15 years ago. You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to return to that time. I felt every single one of those consequences, from lost relationships, to lost of respect, to hurt and pain and even separation in fellowship from Him, as I stopped praying for awhile. Looking back, He was disciplining me because of how much He loved me and was also fighting for me to return to Him. It’s not a fun place to be, in rebellion towards Him. It’s easier to do things right the first time instead of learn the hard way and experiencing His disciplinary correction as a result. Being an enemy of God and testing His patience is not a place I want to return to.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs‬ ‭9:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew‬ ‭10:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Sounds hopeless and impossible because we have all fallen short of His grace. (Ephesians 6:10-18) However, the good news is that we have His Holy Spirit and His Word to protect us from the evil one and keep our hearts pure. We have victory over sin because as Christ followers, we are no longer slaves to it! (2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 6).

Thank You Jesus that You are a God who loves and forgives and never gives up on me. Thank You for also disciplining me when I rebel and sin to get me back on the path that I was meant to be all along. You know and want what’s best for me and I praise You for that! I pray for more of Your Holy Spirit to protect us and lead us away from our evil human desires that gives birth to sin.  We cannot do it without You Holy Spirit. Amen!

“And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.” Hebrews‬ ‭12:5-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi
 


Jonah

 

Scripture

Jonah 1:1-2

“The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

Observation-What does it say?

Jonah gets instructions from God to go to the city of Nineveh and to tell them that God’s wrath is out to destroy them because of their sinfulness. This makes Jonah anxious because Nineveh is Israel’s enemy.  I mean, who wants the task of going to your enemy’s home turf, tell them that they are a bunch of wicked and sinful people, and that God is going to destroy them all because of it? Needless to say, Jonah tries to flee from this task that God has given him. He then boards a ship to try to “hide” and “run” from God. He gets thrown overboard and swallowed by a big fish. Jonah, while inside the fish’s belly, prays to God.  God hears Jonah’s prayers and then has the fish spit out Jonah onto dry land. God instructs Jonah a second time to go to Nineveh and tell them what is coming for them. This time Jonah listens. The people of Nineveh get the news from Jonah, and believe him. So all the people and animals of the land wore sackcloth, began to fast, and the people turned away from their evil ways. When God saw this, He relented from bringing the destruction He had threatened. This angered Jonah. You see,  Nineveh was Israel’s enemies, and Jonah kinda wanted God to wipe them off of the face of the earth. But God chose otherwise. His grace chose to save and not destroy.

Understanding-What does it mean?

God’s love extends beyond Israel. His love is for all nations.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28:19-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God desires for everyone to know Him and have a relationship with Him. He chose Jonah to partner with Him to save the people of Nineveh. He calls all His followers to go out into all the world and preach the gospel to ALL people. God’s love is for all who are willing to accept it. 

Now Jonah may have been angry with God’s decision to spare the people of Nineveh because of his own personal feelings against them, but it is God who has the final say. It is God who shows grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness to all those who believe in Him and repent from their sinful ways. 

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬ ‭

Life Application

Today I choose to pray for those who oppose me or persecute me because of what I believe.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” ‭Matthew‬ ‭5:43-45‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Heavenly Father, I pray for my enemies today. I pray for those who mock me for my beliefs. I pray for those who who put their faith and trust in false things and teachings. I pray that You may one day open their heart to the truth. Help me Lord to live a life in such a way that can point them to You. Give me opportunities to share with these people the Gospel. Please give me courage and strength to see it through. And Lord willing, when that time shall come, may You give me the words of truth to speak into their lives. I pray these things in Your name Jesus, Amen.

 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Daniel 12

 

Scripture

Daniel 12:8-9, 13
I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”
He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end…go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”

 Observation

Daniel is given prophetic insight concerning the end times:

  • A time of trouble destined for Israel, the likes of which the world has never before seen; a time about which Jesus himself prophesied                 (Matthew 24:21)
  • A promise of deliverance for true Israel
  • The resurrection of the dead and the eternal destinations for the righteous and the wicked
  • A command to “shut up the words” and to “seal the book until the time of the end.”
  • A 3-1/2 year timeline for this “time of Jacob’s trouble’ (Jeremiah 30:7) – the second half of the seven year tribulation period, known as the           Great Tribulation – the end of which that will culminate in the return of the Messiah and the establishment of His kingdom.
  • A promise for those who persevere
  • A personal promise and encouragement for Daniel

 Understanding

I find great solace in knowing that even Daniel, the great seer of visions and interpreter of dreams, did not understand all that he heard. During our introduction to the Book of Revelation at Higher Learning, I cautioned us all that there will be much that we will read that we may not ever really understand; at least to our understanding. What intrigued (and encouraged) me was the angel’s answer to David’s question; he said, “Go your way, Daniel.” God had said all He was going to say to Daniel. Daniel was not to hold out until fuller revelation came and all his questions were answered. He was commanded to walk in obedience to the revelation he received and trust God for the rest.

 Life Application
 
 I am reminded that “The secret things belong to the Lord our God…” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Part of my faith is to trust that God has a plan and that He chooses to reveal only a portion of it to his children. This partial revelation forces me to continually rely on Him in the midst of the places where the road is not clear before me and to show my faith by obedience even when I don’t fully comprehend the what, where, why and how of the matter. As the angel instructs Daniel, so the word of God instructs me not to demand complete revelation before I move forward serving God but, rather, press on, go on my way, continue to walk in the revelation that I have and trust that God is leading me on the road that He has ordained for my life.
 
Psalm 139:16
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
-Gary Parker


Daniel 11

 

Scripture

Daniel 11:32-35

32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.

33 “Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. 34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.

Observation                                      

Rei’s real talk here…my only observation as I read this was that kingdoms run without God are a hot mess.

We see a lot of rise and fall of kingdoms throughout this chapter; but you’ll note there’s not mention of God (until vs. 32); in fact, more than once, it speaks of kings and invaders “doing as [they] please” (v. 3, 16 and 36).  And…the outcome is, well, messy!

Understanding

In short, people had become selfish, self-promoting and seemed to be acting without a true sense of purpose.  However, even in the midst of the seeming madness, the people of God were set apart.  They were able to resist the flattery (v 32).  If/when they stumbled, it was that they may be “refined, purified and made spotless” (v 35).

As I look around current day affairs, the picture doesn’t seem too different.  Would you agree?  There’s a lot of self-promoting going on…a lot of people “doing as they please.” I can admit that I’ve even shared in those sentiments with phrases like “be true to you!”  Granted, as Christ-follower I believe that we are created uniquely with God-given gifts to use for His honor and glory; but that can quickly get side swept if there’s not relationship with God and regular accountability with fellow Christ-followers. Without Christ at the center, though, we can quickly find ourselves in the same hot mess (if you will) that we see throughout this chapter – fallen, deceived, riches stolen and dispersed, betrayed and destroyed.

Life Application

Dear God, forgive me for the times I take you off the seat of the throne of my heart to do as I please.  May I be as consistent in the way that I seek and serve you as you are in the way that you love me…remembering that even when I stumble, you can refine me, purify me and make me spotless. 

Purified and refined, may my life be a witness to those who have not yet made a decision to follow you. 

Love you lots!  Amen. 

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.

– Rei

 
 


Daniel 10

 

Scripture

Daniel 10:12

Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.

Observation – What does it say?

After having a troubling vision that he didn’t understand, Daniel humbled himself before God and spent three weeks mourning and seeking God for understanding. At the end of the three weeks his answer came via a messenger from God. This messenger explains that as soon as Daniel began to seek God, he was sent in response. But, he encountered opposition by an evil spiritual power he refers to as “the prince of the Persian kingdom,” delaying him 21 days.

Understanding – What does it mean?

This is a fascinating chapter, and I probably have more questions than answers after reading it. However, this one thing stood out to me: Daniel’s prayers were heard and his answer was sent immediately, although he had to wait 21 days before it arrived.

Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew 7 to “Keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking.”

I wonder how many times we pray about something and lose all faith when we don’t see an answer within 24 hours. The “keeping on” is the achilles heel of our prayer life. There are things going on in the spiritual realm we have no idea about. I imagine many times we fail to “keep on knocking,” giving up and walking away when God’s hand is reaching for the handle on the other side, to open the door. Daniel teaches us in this passage to continue seeking without giving up.

Life Application

Keep seeking! For the people I’ve been praying for to come to know Christ, for breakthrough in relationships and in our community, for a powerful move of God in our city.

God, I believe that you hear our prayers and the moment we speak out our prayers the answer is set in motion! I trust that even when I don’t see much happening in the natural, there are things in the spirit that are shifting, angels engaging in battle, hearts being prepared and people being positioned. I believe you meant it when you repeated the promise 7 times, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Fill us with faith and grant that we may be ones who persevere in prayer. Amen.

– Levi Thompson

 

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.

 



Daniel 9

 

Scripture

Daniel‬ ‭9:13, 17-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.””

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭9:22-23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

The first half of this chapter is Daniel’s prayer of confession and intercession to God on behalf of the Jews regarding their captivity, according to his knowledge of what the prophet Jeremiah said in the Scriptures (vs. 2).  The last half of the chapter is God’s answer to Daniel’s prayer (delivered by the Angel Gabriel) which talks about the end times and how the Messiah, Jesus Christ was going to redeem the nation of Israel and restore their relationship back to God. Matthew Henry Bible commentary says verses 24-27 “is the clearest, brightest, prophecy of the Messiah, in all the Old Testament.”

Understanding-What does it mean?

Jesus is the answer!

I notice a theme running through this book and that is the victory of Jesus Christ! His victory over sin, over a rebellious nation, and His power to restore people and nations back to Himself.

Life Application

Victory comes through Jesus Christ alone.

Salvation comes from Him. Victory over sin comes from Him. Restoration with the Father comes from Him. He is the answer. 

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 15:57

Thank You Lord Jesus for the victory You have given us over sin, hell and the grave. I pray for Your heart in us to continue making Christ followers everywhere as we await Your victorious and glorious return. Amen.

 To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi


Daniel 8

 

Scripture

Daniel 8:27

“Then I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for several days. Afterward I got up and performed my duties for the king, but I was greatly troubled by the vision and could not understand it.”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

Daniel had another one of his terrifying visions of the world’s end. This vision entails a ram and a goat, (of course everything in Daniel’s vision symbolizes something or someone else). Daniel was unable to understand and interpret the vision he just had. So God sent the angel Gabriel to help Daniel understand the meaning of it. In a nutshell, the vision Daniel had was regarding the end times and how the Antichrist will assume power during these times. In verses 21-25 it explains how the Antichrist is destined to do evil, is dramatic in appearance, dynamic in leadership, demonic in power, destructive in reign, deceitful in practice, will deify himself, will disguise cruelty with peace promises, and ultimately will be destroyed supernaturally. The vision as a whole had Daniel feeling sick for days.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Although the end times may seem grim, and the enemy may seem overwhelming, our God is in control, He is almighty and powerful, and will not forget His children.‬‬

Like Daniel, (and many of us), I too was terrified and confused when I came upon these visions. I still remember when I was young and my dad was teaching a Bible study on the end times… It literally scared the hell out of me! I knew I didn’t want to be left behind during those end times. It wasn’t much later when I accepted Jesus into my life to save me from a fate like those described in Daniel’s visions (as well as John’s visions in Revelation).

Looking back now, and being more mature now in my faith, I realize that yes, these visions of the end times can be a bit scary, but only to those who don’t know the Lord. For those of us who have found our salvation in Jesus, it should be a time to be celebrated. Our King will return to bring back order, do away with sinfulness, and do away with the enemy once and for all! 

If there is one thing being a comic book nerd has taught me, it is that good will always conquer evil. And although the villain may seem all powerful and unstoppable, it is to simply paint a picture to show the reader just how much more powerful, mighty, and awesome our hero truly is. 

That is how I now see these visions of the end times. Things do look grim and scary, but I KNOW my God is good, and when all the smoke clears, and the dust settles, it is God who is victorious. It is God who saves the day and saves His people. It is God who will bring justice and judgment to all!

Life Application

Although the end times shouldn’t scare those of us who are saved, there are still scary things that await those who aren’t. 

Father God, thank You for saving me through Your Son Jesus. It’s because of Him, I am no longer afraid. I am no longer scared of what’s to come. I know You hold my future and You are in control. Father God give me a heart for the lost souls out there. Help give me courage to share the good news with them before it’s too late. Help me to not procrastinate on these things, but instead act with a sense of urgency. In Your name I pray Jesus, Amen.

 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Daniel 7

 

Scripture

Daniel 7:13-14
“…there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.
He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

Observation

Daniel receives a dream and a vision of four great beasts. He is given the interpretation of the dream and the meaning of these beasts by one of the multitude from every tribe, nation and tongue who are worshiping the Ancient of Days. The beasts represent four future kingdoms that will arise, out of which will come a future leader who will wage war against God’s holy people; defeating them until the Ancient of Days pronounces judgement against this imposing, powerful and boastful “horn”. This king will be utterly destroyed and the sovereignty, power and greatness of all of the kingdoms the world will be given to the holy people of the Most High and this will be an everlasting kingdom.

Understanding

As we began our study of the Book of Revelation in Higher Learning last Wednesday, a few people shared about why the think so many Christians shy away from reading the book; the most obvious reason being out of fear – fear produced by the vivid and overwhelming pictures of the cataclysmic and apocalyptic events of the end times. Daniel states that he was just as overwhelmed and troubled by his visions of the end times. And certainly, if both Daniel’s visions and the Book of Revelation only contained these horrifying descriptions and prophecies, then terror would be the only proper response. But Daniel’s visions, as well as the Apostle John’s visions on the island of Patmos, are accompanied with the promise of triumph, deliverance, dominion and authority for the people of God and praise, honor, and everlasting worship for God Most High! Knowing the glorious outcome from the very outset allows us to have hope and faith even as these necessary events unfold across the world stage.

Life Application

When the circumstances of life become overwhelming; when it seems that evil is triumphing, and when I am overwrought with fear, anxiety and doubt I need to remember the end of the story – that no matter what transpires, no matter who they are that sit in positions of power, no matter if all seems lost, God’s victory is preordained, my victory is assured by virtue of being “In Christ” and God will forever reign over His eternal kingdom of peace and prosperity; a kingdom of which I am already a citizen. 
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
-Gary Parker 


Daniel 6

 

Scripture

Daniel 6:20-23

20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

Observation                                      

So much great stuff in this chapter. 🙂

Daniel was kind of a rockstar. He had “so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom” (v3). This created haters – people that were jealous, people that wanted his position, people that wanted to see him fail!  In fact, they wanted to see him fail so much that they created a way for him to do so in the only way they could – by making it illegal for him to serve God.  They tricked the king, he signed a decree and Daniel continued to serve his God, landing him in the lion’s den.  But even the king wanted to see Daniel survive and put his trust and hope in God in the waiting.   

Understanding

While it is not stated in this chapter, it seems to me the reason Daniel had “so distinguished himself” among the 120 satraps and 3 administrators is because his lifestyle was centered around God.  As Christians, we are called to do EVERYTHING as unto the Lord. 

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. – Colossians 3:23-24

Based on everything we see about Daniel throughout this chapter, I believe he lived this out wholeheartedly.  And even when they created a decree to try to stop him, he continued to set himself apart, to worship and seek God openly – asking for help.  And it was all to God’s glory. 

Darius had intended to set Daniel “over the whole kingdom” (v3).  Perhaps he did know and understand WHY Daniel was different (I’m assuming not since he ultimately agreed to put the decree in place) but he did know that he liked what Daniel, his work ethic, what he stood for, how he presented himself…and he had enough faith and trust in him to set the intention of giving him leadership over his whole kingdom.  I think this is an example to us.  Although we should never be ashamed of our God, we don’t necessarily have to go into every situations proclaiming God with our words.  As we work unto the Lord, though, we show in our consistent and daily actions that we are trustworthy, operate with integrity, respect authority, treat others with kindness, etc.  And, as we do so, there will be opportunities to share our faith…perhaps not in a den full of lions (although I’ve been in some meetings that felt a little like that!), but in conversations with our coworkers, our boss, a colleague at lunch.  Opportunities will arise for us to glorify God.

And, as we glorify God, it gives rise to opportunities for hearts to be turned to Him – just as Darius’ was, which created a ripple effect for the entire kingdom.  This is the power and partnership that God has entrusted to us…if we are willing.

Life Application

Dear God, may I have faith and obedience like Daniel.  Obedience to serve you, even when it’s not convenient.  Faith that you will hold and protect me when I do.  May I seek you regularly, openly, devotedly.  May I set myself apart in a way that brings glory and honor to you and you alone.  As I go throughout my day, show me ways to better love you and to partner with you in ways that draw others’ hearts to seek, know and love you too. 

In your name, Amen.

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.

– Rei

 



Daniel 5

 

Scripture

Daniel 5:4

As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.

Observation – What does it say?

Between chapters 4 and 5, there was a transition of power as Belshazzar took the throne of his father Nebuchadnezzar. During his massive banquet that had a guest list of a thousand, Belshazzar had the gold and silver goblets brought that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem. As they drank wine from the goblets, in open idolatry they praised gods of these various materials. This is incredible! Why?

Belshazzar’s father had one of the most incredible journeys of discovering God and coming to worship him (see chapters 1-3). Daniel later recounts his father’s journey to him, saying, “though you knew all this” (4:22). Chances are, he had observed his father go through this journey first hand! Yet, he didn’t honor God and worshiped these empty idols.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Two things stand out to me in this, from a parent’s perspective:

  1. The parent’s responsibility is to “Train up a child in the way he should go,” (Prov. 22:6) and “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4).

Despite his amazing personal journey with God, it appears Nebuchadnezzar failed in this department. Consider in contrast King David raising Solomon to love and worship God and setting him up for success by providing all the materials for him to build the temple. And, like Proverbs 22:6 (Written by Solomon and possibly with his first-hand experience in mind!) concludes, “…even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

  1. The child’s choice is ultimately their own.

Belshazzar hadn’t just heard about his father’s journey of faith but he “knew” all about it, most likely as an eyewitness. Yet, despite witnessing the power and sovereignty of God in his father’s life, unlike Solomon he exercised his free will to turn from God to idols.

Life Application

Fulfill my responsibilities to teach my children to love and worship God.

AND

Pray that when my children grow older and are faced with the decision, they choose God.

God, what an incredible opportunity and responsibility you’ve entrusted to us as parents! Please give us wisdom to know how to train our children in the way they should go. May our example in following you be one worth imitating. Yet, we recognize that ultimately they will have to choose. Holy Spirit, have mercy and grant that their hearts would be turned toward you. Bless our children to know and rejoice in your salvation all the days of their lives. Amen.
 
– Levi Thompson
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.