Good day 🙂 Yesterday I had surprised jury duty and it took all day. I missed reading and blogging. So today I read Psalm 94, 95, Daniel 4, 5, and 1 Corinthians 3-6.
In Daniel I read a letter written by Nebuchadnezzar. He is telling the people how Daniel predicted his future, how he would become like an animal for 7 years until he recognizes that God is the one who rules all things and is the one who has put Nebuchadnezzar in power. After all of these things happen Nebuchadnezzar seems to become a believer in God. He ends the letter, or I think it is the end of the letter anyway, with this in verse 37, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, give praise and honor and glory to the King of heaven. Everything he does is right and fair, and he is able to make proud people humble.”
Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Belshazzar, comes into power and he does not honor God. He sees a hand writing on a wall and, calls Daniel to tell him what the writing says. Daniel says his kingdom will be divided and given to the Medes and the Persians. That night he was killed and King Darius of the Medes became the new king.
Some interesting stuff is in 4:8 we are told that Nebuchadnezzar called Daniel Belteshazzar to honor his god. I see, too, that Nebuchadnezzar named his son Belshazzar, which looks similar to Belteshazzar. But maybe these are totally different names like Glen and Glenda. Or maybe they are really similar like spelling Brian like that or like this: Bryan. Anyway, it is just interesting to me. I notice Nebuchadnezzar’s wife tells her king son about Daniel, explaining how the king gave him a new Babylonian name. When he meets Daniel he actually calls him Daniel. And why didn’t he know about Daniel already? Anyway, this stuff doesn’t really matter but I find it interesting.
I wanted to mention I read Psalm 94 today and 1 Corinthians 3. They were both on the schedule to be read yesterday, so the same day! The reason I mention this is because Paul quotes Psalm 94:11 in 1 Corinthians 3:20! How cool is that!!! The verse says, Psalm 94:11, “The LORD knows what people think. He knows their thoughts are just a puff of wind.”
I also wanted to mention some things I read from Paul today. He says in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 that the foundation is Jesus and people can build on that foundation. Verse 12 says, “But if people build on that foundation, using gold, silver, jewels, wood, grass, or straw,….” He says their work will be tested with fire, and will be burned up. However, there are some that will build on their foundations and when the fire comes their building will remain standing. This next verse is an interesting and important part of this. Verse 15 says, “But if the building is burned up, the builder will suffer loss. The builder will be saved, but it will be as one who escaped from a fire.” This tells me that some who do not build a life that is pleasing to God, but still have the foundation of Jesus will be saved but will suffer loss. He doesn’t list items that would withstand the fire though. However, he does talk about it later. In 4:4 he says, “I know of no wrong I have done, but this does not make me right before the Lord. The Lord is the One who judges me.” So Paul is saying he hasn’t done anything wrong, but living a good life is not what makes him right before God. And in 6:11, I believe he explains what does make someone right before God, he says, “….You were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” So having Jesus as a foundation means eternal life and we are right with God. How we build on it does not determine if we are saved or not, but will determine whether we survive the testing fire and if we end up suffering loss or not. I believe Paul is talking about two different things here. 1. Salvation through Jesus, which makes us right with God, and his promise to give us eternal life. 2. Living a pleasing life, God likes this but it does not make us right with him. How we live when we have Jesus as a foundation will be tested with fire, it may burn and it may survive. If it burns we will suffer loss. What kind of loss? I don’t know and I don’t want to know. A life that stands that test of fire is the kind of life I want to live. One that pleases God and one that God can use. Paul says in 4:5, talking about when judgment comes, that Jesus “…will bring to light things that are now hidden in darkness, and he will make known the secret purposes of people’s hearts. Then God will praise each one of them. ”
So our motives for doing things will be part of the building materials that are tested with the fire. Wow.