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Nov 13, 2017

In Daniel yesterday, we heard the famous ‘writing on the wall’ chapter. That is where that idiom in English comes from! While that was happening with King Belshazzar, the Medes and Persians were outside the wall and the prophecies of Ezekiel, Isaiah and Jeremiah all happened. Daniel was to be proclaimed the third ruler because Belshazzar was in fact the second ruler under his absentee father, Nabonidus. Then under King Darius, Daniel was thrown to the lions. I am estimating that Daniel would have been around 70 years old at that time.

Yesterday’s reading in Isaiah was not primarily dark with the sun piercing the darkness momentarily, but was a sunny psalm of praise. We heard even of the marriage supper of the Lamb, and there were glorious verses like this:

Is. 25:4 NLT But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O LORD,
a tower of refuge to the needy in distress.
You are a refuge from the storm
and a shelter from the heat.

But at the end of yesterday’s chapter, gloomy clouds blew in with a word about the nation of Moab.

In our first reading in chapter 6 we have already heard what it meant practically for Paul and his fellow apostles to be led as ‘captives’ or ‘prisoners’ in Christ’s victory parade.

2Cor. 2:14 GNT But thanks be to God! For in union with Christ we are always led by God as prisoners in Christ's victory procession. …

The Greek does not actually have a word that corresponds to ‘prisoner’, but that seems to be Paul’s meaning when one factors in what Paul said in chapter 6. So being in this parade doesn’t mean a life of ease. Even though in chapter 5 he says they are Christ’s ambassadors, they are ambassadors that carry precious treasure in earthen vessels— very aware that the earthly tent (their bodies) could be destroyed at any time. It cost them so much to deliver this message:

2Cor. 6:1 NLT As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.
2 For God says,
“At just the right time, I heard you.
On the day of salvation, I helped you.”
Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.