29 November 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading from Daniel 6, Daniel is made one of three governors over the 120 satraps in Darius’ administration. The satraps persuade Darius to sign a decree saying that anyone petitioning a god or man, other than Darius, will be thrown into a den of lions. Report reaches Darius that Daniel has prayed to his God. Daniel is thrown into the lion’s den. The king fasts that night and Daniel is found alive the following morning. Darius calls Daniel the servant of the living God. Those who accused Daniel are thrown to the lions, along with their families, and killed. Darius decrees that all must honor the God of Daniel. Daniel prospers.
6 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred twenty satraps, who should be throughout the whole kingdom; 2 and over them three presidents, of whom Daniel was one; that these satraps might give account to them, and that the king should have no damage. 3 Then this Daniel was distinguished above the presidents and the satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. 4 Then the presidents and the satraps sought to find occasion against Daniel as touching the kingdom; but they could find no occasion nor fault, because he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then these men said, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. 6 Then these presidents and satraps assembled together to the king, and said thus to him, King Darius, live forever. 7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the deputies and the satraps, the counselors and the governors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a strong decree, that whoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, except of you, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which doesn’t alter. 9 Therefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. 10 When Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house (now his windows were open in his room toward Jerusalem) and he kneeled on his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did before. 11 Then these men assembled together, and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God. 12 Then they came near, and spoke before the king concerning the king’s decree: Haven’t you signed an decree, that every man who shall make petition to any god or man within thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which doesn’t alter. 13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Judah, doesn’t respect you, O king, nor the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day. 14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was very displeased, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored until the going down of the sun to rescue him. 15 Then these men assembled together to the king, and said to the king, Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians, that no decree nor statute which the king establishes may be changed. 16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. The king spoke and said to Daniel, Your God whom you serve continually, he will deliver you. 17 A stone was brought, and laid on the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep fled from him. 19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 When he came near to the den to Daniel, he cried with a lamentable voice; the king spoke and said to Daniel, Daniel, servant of the living God, is your God, whom you serve continually, able to deliver you from the lions? 21 Then Daniel said to the king, O king, live forever. 22 My God has sent his angel, and has shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not hurt me; because as before him innocence was found in me; and also before you, O king, have I done no hurt. 23 Then was the king exceeding glad, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 The king commanded, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions mauled them, and broke all their bones in pieces, before they came to the bottom of the den. 25 Then king Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages, who dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, that in all the dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel; for he is the living God, and steadfast forever, His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed; and his dominion shall be even to the end. 27 He delivers and rescues, and he works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. 28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
2 Peter 3
3 This is now, beloved, the second letter that I have written to you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by reminding you; 2 that you should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior: 3 knowing this first, that in the last days mockers will come, walking after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth formed out of water and amid water, by the word of God; 6 by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. 7 But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore since all these things will be destroyed like this, what kind of people ought you to be in holy living and godliness, 12 looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, which will cause the burning heavens to be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, seeing that you look for these things, be diligent to be found in peace, without defect and blameless in his sight. 15 Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you; 16 as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing these things beforehand, beware, lest being carried away with the error of the wicked, you fall from your own steadfastness. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
129 Your testimonies are wonderful,
therefore my soul keeps them.
130 The entrance of your words gives light.
It gives understanding to the simple.
131 I opened my mouth wide and panted,
for I longed for your commandments.
132 Turn to me, and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
133 Establish my footsteps in your word.
Don’t let any iniquity have dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from the oppression of man,
so I will observe your precepts.
135 Make your face shine on your servant.
Teach me your statutes.
136 Streams of tears run down my eyes,
because they don’t observe your law.
137 You are righteous, Yahweh.
Your judgments are upright.
138 You have commanded your statutes in righteousness.
They are fully trustworthy.
139 My zeal wears me out,
because my enemies ignore your words.
140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested,
and your servant loves them.
141 I am small and despised.
I don’t forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness.
Your law is truth.
143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold of me.
Your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever.
Give me understanding, that I may live.
145 I have called with my whole heart.
Answer me, Yahweh!
I will keep your statutes.
146 I have called to you. Save me!
I will obey your statutes.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help.
I put my hope in your words.
148 My eyes stay open through the night watches,
that I might meditate on your word.
149 Hear my voice according to your loving kindness.
Revive me, Yahweh, according to your ordinances.
150 They draw near who follow after wickedness.
They are far from your law.
151 You are near, Yahweh.
All your commandments are truth.
152 Of old I have known from your testimonies,
that you have founded them forever.
21 To show partiality is not good;
yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread.
22 A stingy man hurries after riches,
and doesn’t know that poverty waits for him.