Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 15, 2011 … Integrity Walks In Humility

Passage of the Day: Daniel 3: 13 – 15 … 13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?"

My Journal for Today: Nebuchadnezzar had to learn a hard lesson … the hard way. It was the lesson of Proverbs 3: 34 (repeated in James 4: 6 and 1st Pet. 5: 6) … that God ignores or rejects the proud and only gives His grace (i.e., unmerited favor) to the humble. In today’s passage (Dan. 3: 15), we read how the King’s prideful attitude toward the God of the Hebrews had gone from recognizing the greatness of the God these Hebrew boys worshipped (see Dan. 2: 47) to a prideful/haughty declaration, putting himself above the power of the one true God. His attitude was a human picture of Satan’s declaration that he was greater than God [see Isaiah 14: 13 -14].

But Proverbs 16: 5 declares that anyone with such pride in the face of God will not go unpunished; and if one reads ahead in Chapter 4 of the book of Daniel [linked here in case you want to study it], we read a letter written by Nebuchadnezzar telling of how God brought him down so completely that he, the king of Babylon, could see the greatness of the God to Whom these four Hebrew lads so humbly and faithfully worhipped.

This teaches us a lesson we all must learn … that Christlike integrity walks only as Christ walked … in humility and meekness (see Matt. 11: 29). And if we, by our choices, cannot humble ourselves before God’s throne of grace, He – our Lord – will have to do it for us; and that can be, as it was for Nebuchadnezzar, a very tough lesson to learn. A meditative re-look at Prov. 3: 34 shows believers that God really wants to pour His grace into the life of His humbled servants. However, He can only do so into lives of humble servants who worship Him faithfully and obediently.

May we be those servants?!

My Prayer Today: Be merciful, Lord, in helping me learn to be humble. Amen

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