Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Advent Devotional II, for December 9

In the old testament Scriptures, the prophets were often called to be God’s messengers. They revealed God’s word, power and singular sovereignty to a rebellious and unbelieving world. In Daniel 2:20-23, the prophet praises God and gives thanks having received God’s revelation, not only of the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, but of the actual dream itself. After urging his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, to plead for Go'd mercy concerning the mystery of Nebuchadnezzer's dream, the mystery is revealed to Daniel. In chapter two verses twenty through twenty three, he praises the God of Heaven saying:
Praise be to the name of God forever and ever;
wisdom and power are His.
He changes times and seasons;
He deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him.
I thank You and praise You, God of my ancestors:
You have given me wisdom and power.
You have made known to me what we have asked of You.
You have made known to us the dream of the king.

Like other prophets, Daniel becomes the messenger. Through Daniel, the one true God is revealed to Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel announces the dream and its interpretation. Verse forty-seven shows how completely God is made known to the king. The king said to Daniel, "Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and the Revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.
We will learn in the message today how Gabriel announces Mary's pregnancy and how Mary, like Daniel, accepts God's message and path and praises God.
In his song, Mary did You Know, Mark Lowry reflects on the fact of Emmanuel humble and low in Mary's womb. He also reflects on the praises people will sing, just and Daniel and Mary have. The chorus ends with these words:
The dumb will speak the praises of the Lamb.
As we wait on the Lord, may we listen for Him in reverence and sing His praises in our hearts.

Based on Psalm 139, let us pray.
Merciful Father, Your greatness is beyond me. You know my every thought even before I think it. You have knit me together in my mother’s womb. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, because of You. Your regard, Father, is precious to me.
Oh, God, fence me before and aft, protect me and nurture me as Your beloved child. May I continue to treasure Your regard and seek Your will. I will wait on the Lord. Amen 

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