“Sparrows”

“In the third year of Darius the king of Persia a thing (message) was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar( the name his captor’s gave him); and the thing was true but the time, but the time appointed was long (of a great conflict): and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.

In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, until the three weeks were fulfilled (fasted for three weeks).

And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel (The Tigris):

Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and beheld a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins (waist) was girded with fine gold of Uphaz; His body also was like beryl, and his face the appearance of lightning, and his eyes lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice(sound) of a multitude.

And I Daniel alone saw the vision; for the men that were with me saw not the vision, but a great quaking (terror) fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

Therefore was I left alone, and saw the great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness (vigour)was turned in me into corruption (frailty),and I retained no strength.

YET heard I the voice (sound) of his words; and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.

And behold, an hand touched me, which set me (trembling) upon my knees, and upon the palms of my hands (helped him set up).

And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man GREATLY beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: For unto thee am I NOW SENT. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel; For from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten (humble) thyself before thy God, thy words WERE heard, and I am come for thy words. ” Daniel 10: 1-12

You may recognize that as being the account of Daniel’s fasting and praying for twenty-one days to understand the end time vision that had been given him, and the next verses explain that even though the answer had been on the way, the forces of hell where doing their best to prevent Daniel from receiving his answer so they literally had to be fought through in order to reach Daniel.

And to really grasp what a battle this was, think about this, it was the Lord and Michael the archangel fighting those powers that did not want Daniel to receive that answer.

And right about now you may be asking, What does all this have to do with sparrows? So glad you asked 🙂 It has everything to do with them!

Daniel was horrified and the vision had left him completely shaken, I have said this before and will probably say it again, but I really can’t imagine what it would have been like for Daniel, not only seeing all the end time destruction but to see the depravity of mankind, that he could not have possibly imagined in his time period.

But this is not about all that, this is about what was told to him,  the conversation starts off with him being lifted up, reassured by name, that he is loved, not just loved, greatly loved, and  to not be afraid, and that he had not been left abandoned alone to understand this vision, but from day one he had been heard.

So why do you think Jesus would care so much to expressly say all of these things to Daniel? Because he loves him, and when you love someone and you know that they are scared and hurting, you want to reassure them and let them know that they are not alone and Jesus feels that same way about all his children, he feels that same way about you. That is just another beautiful aspect to the innumerable beautiful attributes that make Jesus who he is

Sometimes when we go through a dark place and we feel like we have prayed endlessly, it does not mean that he is not there, nor does it mean that he does not care.

Quite the opposite. he loves us enough to have came to this earth and died for us

And then going on to give us this blessed promise after he resurrected, …and, lo, I AM with you alway, even the end of the world.” 

Romans 5:8:”But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

I’m part of the crew that loves to point out the fact that God created everything, and created us and simply because he wanted to, and when the fall came he could have very well decided to destroy us all and even create something completely different, not even put humans back into the equation, but he didn’t do that, and he didn’t do that because he loves us!

He loves us not because of who we are, what we do, or don’t do but because we are his creation, just as parents love their children, but God even more so because humans do not even possess the level of love that Jesus has toward us.

So I wanted to remind you of that today, that your Father loves you, and he loves you more than you could ever, ever imagine and when life or people or circumstance starts kicking you down, think about Daniel, think about the moment he lifted up his head, and lift your head and look up toward your Father and rest in these verses.

Before you read these bear in mind that today a farthing would be one tenth of an american cent.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing (1/16th of a denarius) and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your father. But the very hairs on your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye ARE of more value than many sparrows.”Matthew 10:29-31

Luke words it like this:

“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore: Ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6,7

God knows every single bird on the earth at any given time, every single member of every species on earth and knows the exact moment one falls and never forgets even one of them and that is what he is conveying to us, that in all, how could we ever believe that he could forget one of his children?

He will never forget you, he knows your name, where you have been, where you are right now, and where you are going, He knew your birth before your birth and he knows the moment he will take you home and that is our comfort, he is always there, and I just want you to know that he will not let you fall and will not let you suffer alone.

We’ll end it here, Luke 11:9-13: “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he taht seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Ask him for his presence and his comfort and rest in him and he will see you through!

Love & Peace to you till next time! Thank you for sharing a moment with me and thank you for reading!

Φλογιζω 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

If you have never heard this song check it out, I think it will uplift you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“In the den”

“Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion (reason to accuse) against this Daniel, except (unless) we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Then these presidents (overseers) and princes assembled together to the king, and said unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statue, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save (except) of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

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 altereth not (does not change). Wherefore king Darius signed the writing (written decree) and the decree. Now when Daniel knew the writing had been signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber (room) toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime ( as he had been doing before this). Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

Then they came near and spake before (spoke to) the king concerning the king’s decree. Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee (except you), O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?  

The king answered and said, This thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth (changes) not.

Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore (greatly) displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured (strived) till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statue which the king established may be changed.

Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast (tossed) him into the den of lions, Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou serve continually, HE WILL DELIVER THEE.

And a stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet (signet ring), and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel (that they could not accuse the king of changing the order).

Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of  musick (musical instruments) brought before him: and his sleep went (fled) from him. 

Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable (pained) voice unto Daniel: and the king spake, and said unto Daniel, O Daniel, O Daniel, SERVANT OF THE LIVING GOD, IS THY GOD whom thou servest continually, ABLE TO DELIVER THEE FROM THE LIONS?

Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency (innocence) was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt (wrong).

Then the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up OUT of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him (he was completely unharmed)  BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IN HIS GOD.

And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them (overpowered them) and brake all their bones in pieces, or ever they came at the bottom of the den (before they ever hit the bottom of the den).

Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree. That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for HE IS THE LIVING GOD, AND STEADFAST FOR EVER, AND HIS KINGDOM THAT WHICH SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED, AND HIS DOMINION SHALL BE EVEN UNTO THE END. HE DELIVERETH (delivers) AND RESCUETH (rescues), AND HE WORKETH SIGNS AND WONDERS IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH, who hath DELIVERED Daniel FROM THE POWER OF THE LIONS.” Daniel 6:5-27

Love this story, how could anyone not? I especially love the terms of his enemies referring to him as “this” Daniel and “that” Daniel. We are all at some point a “this” Daniel or a “that” Daniel. The this that the enemy desperately wants out of the way and the that that the enemy thinks he has out of the way.

We are all faced with those lions of life and we are all faced with circumstances we just really do not want to be in. And those roaring lions which Jesus so described the devil as are quite intimidating sometimes as they seek to devour us because those roars that we hear in the distance proves to warn us of impending doom and certain destruction can be more horrifying than the final bone crushing bite.

 Those are the times that we need a friend to be outside that den, Darius could NOT go back on his own decree and he could NOT find any way of getting around the fact that Daniel had no choice other than go into that den, He could NOT actually go inside the den and face the lions with Daniel but what he COULD do is SPEAK and REASSURE Daniel that His God WOULD DELIVER HIM.

He COULD fast and pray all night on behalf of Daniel. Everyone needs a friend but we all especially need a friend when you are in a lion’s den and you know that even though you must hear those roars and face the fear of them head on, face to face, knowing someone else is outside the den having faith and keeping vigil can give courage and hope even in the most hopeless of circumstances.

I snagged a verse from the sermon at church Sunday night to carry my family through a little something…. it is just part of the verse but so powerful when you let it sink in…  and I want to share it for anyone who is facing uncertainty:

Romans 4:18: ” Who AGAINST HOPE (contrary to) BELIEVED IN HOPE…..”

That is even the face of hopelessness, with absolutely NO REASON to hope, to STILL BELIEVE IN HOPE. And Daniel BELIEVED in that hope, even though he was already slated for slaughter, HE BELIEVED IN THE HOPE OF DELIVERANCE BY HIS GOD.

Daniel believed God would deliver him and his friend king Darius believed God would deliver him and we need to also to BELIEVE that today more than ever.

Know that if you are in the den God has someone ALREADY positioned outside on your behalf having faith on your behalf, keeping vigil through that night and if you are outside don’t forget to keep vigil for another whose faith my be wavering for fear that those lions could devour at a moments notice.  Darius made the new decree that ALL should tremble before the LIVING GOD. 

Darius also twice referred to Daniel as having served the Lord continually, continually striving to that standard of God, as we lift our lives up into the hands of God and into His care and the standard He has established, He will in turn lift up a defense, his war banner, on our behalf against our enemies, whether spiritual, physical sickness, or emotional or financial burdens, that we are His and He does fight on our behalf, as in that verse, He will work wonders in heaven and in earth.

Isaiah 59:19: “So shall they FEAR the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun, WHEN THE ENEMY SHALL COME IN LIKE A FLOOD, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SHALL LIFT UP A STANDARD (banner) AGAINST HIM.

 Peace and love till next time! Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017 

This song is really too peppy for this post.. but I do love it and it is really upbeat and I don’t know what the deal is with the name but the lyrics say it all!