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Biblical stories of eighteen New Testament women who Jesus encouraged, empowered, and loved.

When a Woman meets Jesus, BookHow could a man who had no wife, no children, no home, no job, no money, and wandered the hills of Judea with twelve men relate to women of his time, much less women in the 21st century?

That's the question that led author, Dorothy Valcárcel, to search for biblical women whose lives intersected with Jesus. As she explored the lives of every woman Jesus met, she discovered that they faced many of the same challenges women encounter today.

Available at:
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Devotional Week 22 Thursday

“He found him in a desert land, in the howling void of the wilderness; He kept circling around him. He scanned him penetratingly. He kept him as the pupil of His eye. As an eagle that stirs up her nest that flutters over her young, He spread abroad His wings and He took them, He bore them on His pinions. So the Lord alone led him; there was no foreign god with Him.”

Deuteronomy 32: 10-12

Amplified Bible

 

The Pathway of God

 

“The feet of Jesus trod.

O bliss to leave behind us

The fetters of the slave,

To leave ourselves behind us,

The grave-clothes and the grave!

 

We follow in His footsteps.

What if our feet be torn?

Where He has marked the pathway

All hail the brier and thorn!

Scarce seen, scarce heard, unreckoned,

Despised, defamed, unknown,

Or heard but by our singing,

On, children, ever on!”

Tersteegen

Today’s Study Text:

“Now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then Daniel answered and said before the king, ‘Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.”

Daniel 5: 16, 17

K.J.V.

 

“Earthly Power Versus Heavenly Purpose” Part 11

“Keep Your Bribe”

 

“Nobody can fight properly and boldly for the faith if they cling to a fear of being stripped of earthly possessions.”

Peter Damian

 

Have I ever declined to do something on behalf of my heavenly Father because I feared that I might lose some of the things on earth that I hold dear?

 

What do I think it meant to the drunken crowd in King Belshazzar’s hall when Daniel told the king, “I won’t take your bribe”?

 

“Avarice is generally the last passion of those lives of which the first part has been squandered in pleasure, and the second devoted to ambition.”

Samuel Johnson

The god of greed is a cheat. His delights have the power to dazzle and excite but they can satisfy nobody.”

John White

 

            Babylon. It was a country which spread its tentacles throughout the world. With this great power also came great wealth. Whenever I hear the word Babylon, the visual that comes to my mind is of a large idol, constructed of pure gold. And gold it was that represented the excess which blinded King Nebuchadnezzar as well as the successive generations who came to inhabit the earthly throne after him.

 

            The words of poet Thomas Hood, penned in the 1800’s, could have been the mantra for Babylon, city of gold:

 

“Gold! gold! gold! gold!

Bright and yellow, hard and cold,

Molten, graven, hammered and rolled,

Heavy to get, and light to hold;

Hoarded, bartered, bought and sold,

Stolen, borrowed, squandered, doled;

Spurned by the young, but hugged by the old

To the very verge of the churchyard mold,

Price of many a crime untold.”

 

            Despite Babylon’s history and the God of heaven and earth’s great patience, we find that the excesses of a profligate King Belshazzar, who fed at the table of plenty in a country that ruled the world, did nothing to save the king from being murdered at the hand of a ruler that God had foretold through His prophet Daniel would come after the rise and fall of the Babylonian Empire.

 

            It was illuminating for me to uncover the fact that the words Daniel used to renounce King Belshazzar’s sorry attempt at “greasing” Daniel’s palms, so to speak, relate directly to the use of the word “gifts.” I believe that when Daniel got the call to rush to the king’s feasting hall for an interpreter was needed ASAP, that this “Beloved man of God” recognized that God had a very direct message He wanted conveyed to the godless Belshazzar as well as all the other celebrants who were enjoying the evening’s festivities, completely unaware of how that night would end.

 

            So without hesitation, not only did Daniel immediately go to the banquet, but he also purposed in his heart that he would deliver God’s message in an uncompromising manner.

 

            In blunt terms, Daniel began his speech to Belshazzar by saying, “You may keep your ‘gifts’ for yourself and give your rewards to someone else” (Daniel 5: 17, N.I.V.). Just so I understood the real intent of Daniel’s words, I checked for the Hebrew meaning of the word “gifts” as used in this verse and it can mean, in a “good sense,” a “sacrificial gift” which was not the way the king meant for his words to be conveyed. However, the Hebrew meaning also reveals that in a “bad sense,” the word means “a bribe.”

 

            In other words, Daniel made it clear, “I won’t take your bribe. Instead, I’ll tell you exactly the message God has sent to you.” I’m not surprised at the boldness of Daniel’s speech to the king. He has been God’s mouthpiece to Babylonian royalty before. He was God’s trustworthy messenger whose unvarnished integrity had made such an impression in the courts of earthly power there was no doubt a heavenly purpose was being carried out in all Daniel did and said.

 

            I don’t know if when you were a child you may have sung a song entitled, “Dare To Be A  Daniel.” It’s the chorus I remember, as in my mind’s eye, I picture the 90-year-old Daniel bearing witness to the God he not only served, but to the God he dearly loved:

 

“Standing by a purpose true,

Heeding God’s command,

Honor them, the faithful few –

All hail to Daniel’s band!

 

Dare to be a Daniel!

Dare to stand alone.

Dare to have a purpose firm.

Dare to make it known.”

Philip bliss

1873

 

            Years later, when Jesus was on earth, we find what seems to be a repeat of the Belshazzar behavior when a very rich young man asked Jesus, “What can I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus’ answer was actually very similar to Daniel’s. “I don’t take bribes. Possessions don’t matter in my kingdom. Get rid of all you have. Then you are ready to be one of my disciples. Come follow Me.”

 

“A certain ruler asked Him (Jesus), ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’…Jesus said, ‘One thing you still lack. Sell everything that you have and divide the money among the poor, and you will have rich treasure in heaven; and come back and follow Me, become My disciple, join My party and accompany Me.’ but when he heard this, he became distressed and very sorrowful, for he was rich – exceedingly so.”

Luke 18: 18,22, 23

Amplified Bible

 

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Matthew 6: 21

Amplified Bible

 

I Shall Not Pass Again This Way

 

“The bread that bringeth strength I want to give,

The water pure that bids the thirsty live,

I want to help the fainting day by day;

I’m sure I shall not pass again this way.

 

I want to give the oil of joy for tears,

The faith to conquer crowding doubts and fears,

Beauty for ashes may I give always;

I’m sure I shall not pass again this way.

 

I want to give good measure running over

And into angry hearts I want to pour

The answer soft that turneth wrath away;

I’m sure I shall not pass again this way.

 

I want to give to others hope and faith;

I want to do all that the Master saith;

I want to live aright from day to day;

I’m sure I shall not pass again this way.”

Ellen H. Underwood

1845-1930

 

Your friend

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author

When A Woman Meets Jesus

Dorothy@TransformationGarden.com

 

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