26“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
“For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed
and his dominion will never end.” (Daniel 6:26)
Happy Monday Friends! Today’s Old Testament reading takes us through two more powerful stories of the great Daniel: “The Writing on the Wall,” and the favorite of every child’s Sunday School, “Daniel and the Lion’s Den.” These two chapters feature two name drops, King Belshazzar, the last Babylonian ruler, and King Darius, the Mede. Whenever I read historic names like this I like to do my own research to check for accuracy. Most of the time, history confirms the truth of the Holy Bible, but, sometimes, research opens a rabbit hole of discrepancies. Verifying King Belshazzar and King Darius managed to achieve both of these, as Belshazzar is the final Babylonian King who falls to the Persian King, Cyrus II. However, historians agree that there could not be a King Darius in the time frame Daniel speaks of. The first Darius was the third Persian King, making Daniel’s reference of a King Darius, historically out of place. Regardless, the story of “the angel of God” closing the mouths of the lions has endured for thousands of years and remains a colorful tale to teach children, and adults, that God will always protect and rescue those who remain faithful and devoted.
I was going to wait until the end of the week to start sharing new music from Bethel’s AMAZING “Homecoming” worship masterpiece, but I can not wait anymore. I’ll sprinkle some other great singles released this week in between sharing my favorite tracks from this album. To start, here’s a perfect track to get you fired up for this week. From the first words, Jenn Johnson sings a hauntingly beautiful song:
“If it’s bandaging the broken,
or washing filthy feet,
Here I am Lord,
Reading plan: Hebrews 11:21-40
Deeper reading plan: Daniel 5, 6