Daniel answered, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are his. Daniel 2:20

Daniel 1-2

Daniel 1

Daniel Removed to Babylon

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with part of the vessels from the house of God, and Nebuchadnezzar carried them into the land of Babylon to the temple of his god. He brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

3 The king spoke to Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in some of the Israelites, from the royal offspring and from the nobles; 4 youths in whom was no defect but nice looking and skillful in all wisdom and endowed with knowledge, understanding science, and with the ability to serve in the king’s palace, and that he should teach them the language and literature of the Chaldeans. 5 The king appointed for them a daily portion from the king’s food and from the wine which he drank, with which to nourish them for three years, at the end of which they should stand before the king.

6 Now among these were descendants of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 The chief of the eunuchs gave names to them: to Daniel he gave the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

Daniel’s Faithfulness

8 But Daniel determined in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, nor with the wine which he drank. Therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God caused Daniel to find favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs. 10 The chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the other youths your age? Then you would endanger my head with the king.”

11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 12 “Test your servants, I beg you, for ten days let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our faces be examined before you and the face of the youths who eat of the king’s food, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” 14 So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of ten days, their faces appeared healthier, and they were fatter than all the youths who ate of the king’s food. 16 So the steward took away the food they would have eaten and the wine that they would have drunk and gave them vegetables.

Daniel’s Wisdom

17 Now as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all kinds of literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

18 At the end of the days which the king had appointed for bringing them in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and among all of them was found no one like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they were appointed to stand before the king. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding, concerning that which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his entire royal domain.

21 Daniel continued to the first year of king Cyrus.

Daniel 2

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

1 In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamt of things that troubled his spirit, and he was unable to sleep. 2 Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be called to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. 3 The king said to them, “I have dreamt a dream, and I am deeply troubled to know the meaning of the dream.”

4 Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in the Syrian language, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.”

5 The king answered the Chaldeans, “This is my final word: If you don’t make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be cut in pieces, and your houses will be turned to rubble. 6 But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me, gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.”

7 They answered the second time and said, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.”

8 The king answered, “I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see my word is final. 9 But if you don’t make known to me the dream, there is but one decree for you, for you have prepared false and corrupt words to speak before me, until the situation changes. Therefore tell me the dream, and I will know that you can show me its interpretation.”

10 The Chaldeans answered before the king and said, “There is not a man on the earth who can fulfill this demand of the king, because no king, lord, or ruler, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, or enchanter, or Chaldean. 11 It is a difficult thing that the king requires, and there is no other who can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortal flesh.”

12 Because of this, the king was fiercely enraged and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13 So the decree went out, and the wise men were to be slain. Daniel and his companions were sought for execution.

The Dream Revealed to Daniel

14 Then, with counsel and prudence, Daniel returned an answer to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 He answered Arioch the king’s captain, “Why is the decree so urgent from the king?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. 16 Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, and he would show the king the interpretation.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 so that they would seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this secret, that Daniel and his companions would not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision during the night, and Daniel praised the God of heaven. 20 Daniel answered,

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
for wisdom and might are his.

21 He changes the times and the seasons.
He removes kings and sets up kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise,
and knowledge to those who have understanding.

22 He reveals deep and secret things.
He knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him.

23 I thank you, and praise you,
God of my fathers,
who has given me wisdom and might,
and have now made known to me what we desired of you;
for you have made known to us the king’s dream.”

Daniel Interprets the Dream

24 Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said this to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon. Bring me before the king, and I will show to the king the interpretation.”

25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king and said this to him, “I have found a man from among the exiles of Judah who will reveal to the king the interpretation.”

26 The king answered Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to reveal to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?”

27 Daniel answered before the king and said, “The secret which the king has demanded cannot be shown to the king by wise men, enchanters, magicians, or soothsayers, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions in your head as you lay on your bed, are these:

29 “As for you, O king, your thoughts came to you while on your bed, what should happen in the future; and he who reveals secrets has made known to you what will happen. 30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me through any wisdom that I have above anyone alive, but for this purpose, the interpretation may be made known to the king, that you may know the thoughts of your heart.

31 You, O king, looked and saw a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and its appearance was terrifying. 32 As for this image, its head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet part of iron, and part of clay. 34 You looked until a stone was cut out, not by human hands, and the stone struck the image on its feet that were made of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them. The stone that struck the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

36 This is the dream, and we will tell its interpretation before the king. 37 You, O king, are king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, and its power, the strength, and the glory. 38 Wherever mankind dwells, he has given the animals of the field and the birds of the sky into your hand and has made you rule over them all. You are the head of gold.

39 After you, another kingdom will arise that is inferior to you and another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth. 40 The fourth kingdom will be strong as iron, because iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things, and as iron that crushes all these, it will break in pieces and crush. 41 Just as you saw the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, so it will be a divided kingdom, but there will be in it, the strength of the iron because you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 As the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom will be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 Just as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay, so they will mingle themselves with the seed of men, but they will not cling to one another, as iron does not mix with clay.

44 In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, nor will its sovereignty be left to another people; but it will break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever. 45 Because you saw that a stone was cut from the mountain without hands, and that it broke the iron in pieces, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, so the great God has made known to the king what will happen in the future. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

Nebuchadnezzar Promotes Daniel

46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, worshiped Daniel, and commanded that they should make an offering and present sweet incense to him. 47 The king responded to Daniel, and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you have been able to reveal this secret.”

48 Then the king made Daniel great and gave him many great gifts and made him rule over the whole province of Babylon and to be chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon, but Daniel remained within the king’s gate.

1 Peter 4

Living for God’s Glory

1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind; for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so that you no longer should live the rest of your time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past time doing the desire of the Gentiles, and having walked in lewdness, lusts, drunken binges, orgies, carousing, and abominable idolatry.

4 They think it is strange that you do not run with them into the same excess of riot and blaspheming. 5 They will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason, the Gospel was also preached to the dead, so that although they were judged in the flesh as all men are judged, now they live in spirit as God lives.

Living for God’s Glory

7 But the end of all things is near. Therefore be of sound mind, self-controlled, and sober-minded in prayer. 8 And above all things be earnest in your love among yourselves, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.

10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good managers of the grace of God in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, let it be as it were the very words of God. If anyone serves, let it be as from the strength which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Suffering as Christians

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial which has come upon you to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you. 13 But because you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice, that at the revelation of his glory you also may rejoice with exceeding joy.

14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. On their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified. 15 For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil doer, or a meddler in other men’s matters. 16 But if one of you suffers for being a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who do not obey the Gospel of God?

18 “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will happen to the ungodly and the sinner?” a

19 Therefore let them also who suffer according to the will of God in doing good entrust their souls to him, as to a faithful Creator.

a Proverbs 11:31

Psalm 119:65-80

65 Do good to your servant,
according to your word, Lord.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
for I believe in your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted, I went astray;
but now I observe your word.
68 You are good, and you do good.
Teach me your statutes.
69 The proud have smeared a lie upon me.
With my whole heart, I will keep your precepts.
70 Their hearts are hard and calloused,
but I delight in your law.
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
that I may learn your statutes.
72 The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of pieces of gold and silver.

73 Your hands have made me and formed me.
Give me understanding,
that I may learn your commandments.
74 Those who fear you will see me and be glad,
because I have put my hope in your word.
75 Lord, I know that your judgments are righteous,
that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76 Please let your loving kindness be my comfort,
according to your word to your servant.
77 Let your tender mercies come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.
78 Let the proud be disappointed,
for they have overthrown me wrongfully.
I will meditate on your precepts.
79 Let those who fear you turn to me.
They will know your statutes.
80 Let my heart be blameless toward your decrees,
that I may not be put to shame.

Proverbs 28:14

14 Blessed is the man who is always reverent,
but one who hardens his heart falls into trouble.

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