Daily Devotional for July 12 – 18
Romans 8:18 … I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which
shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the crea-
ture waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the
creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason
of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the crea-
ture itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption
into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know
that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together
until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the
firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body: in
Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad therein.
Daniel 5: AFTER the death of Nabuchodonozor, Baltassar, his grandson, ascended the throne. One day Baltassar gave a great banquet to the nobles of his kingdom, and ordered the golden cups, which his grandfather had taken from the Temple of Jerusalem, to be brought forth and used at the banquet.
The sacred vessels were brought, and the king and his wives and his officers drank from them, and they praised their gods of gold and of silver and of stone. At that moment a hand appeared, and fingers were seen writing three words upon the wall over against the king. Baltassar grew pale and trembled, for the joints of that hand were moving and wrote: Mane, Thecel, Phares. He called for his wise men, that they might interpret the writing. But none of them could do so. Then Daniel, who had received from God the gift of prophecy, together with that of explaining hidden things, came forth and spoke to the king:
“Thou hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven. Thou hast praised thy gods of gold and silver; but the Lord of heaven, who hath thy breath in His hands, thou hast not glorified. Thou knowest that thy grandfather was punished for his pride; that he was driven away from the sons of men, and that he ate grass in the field with the ox and the ass, and yet thou hast not humbled thy heart.
“Wherefore God hath sent the fingers of the hand to write, and this is the writing, and this is the interpretation thereof: Mane: God hath numbered thy kingdom, and hath finished it. Thecel: Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting. Phares: Thy kingdom is divided, and is given to the Medes and Persians.” That very night Baltassar was slain and the prophecy of Daniel was thus fulfilled. Some time after, the army of the Medes and Persians, under Darius, their great leader, took the city of Babylon, and divided the kingdom.
Blessed by the name of the Lord from henceforth and forever more.
Daniel 14: The king went every day to adore this god Bel. But Daniel adored the true God. Then the king asked him why he did not adore Bel. Daniel replied that he adored the true and living God, who created earth and heaven, and whose power extends over all things. The king, much surprised, asked Daniel if he did not believe that Bel was a living god, seeing how much he consumed every day.
Daniel smiled and said: “O king, be not deceived, for this Bel is clay within and brass without, neither hath he eaten at any time.” The king, being angry, called for the priests of the god, and said to them: “If ye tell me not who it is that eats up these provisions, ye shall die. But if ye can show that Bel eateth these things, Daniel shall die, because he hath blasphemed against Bel.” Daniel agreed to the king’s proposal.
Then the king, accompanied by Daniel, went to the temple of Bel. And the priests of Bel said to the king. “Behold, we go out, and do thou, O king, set on the meats, and make ready the wine, and shut the door fast, and seal it with thy own ring; and when thou comest in the morning, if thou find not that Bel hath eaten up all, we will suffer death, or else Daniel who hath lied against us.”
They were not afraid, because they had a secret door under the altar, whereby they entered and consumed the meats. The priests having gone out, the king caused the meats and the wine to be placed before Bel. This being done, the servants of Daniel brought ashes, and he sifted them all over the temple, in the presence of the king. Then they all left the temple, the door of which was sealed with the royal seal.
But the priests went in by night with their wives and children, as they were accustomed to do, and they ate and drank all that had been placed before the idol. The king arose early in the morning, and went to the temple with Daniel. They found the seal unbroken, and, opening the door, went in. The king looked at the table, and, seeing that all the provisions had disappeared, cried out: “Great art thou, O Bel, and there is not any deceit with thee.”
Daniel laughed, and pointing to the floor, said: “Mark, whose footsteps these are!” The king, much amazed, said: “I see the footsteps of men, women and children.” Then, examining more closely, he found the secret door, by which the priests were wont to go in and out. Thereupon the king, being enraged against the priests of Bel, ordered them all to be put to death. And he gave Bel up to Daniel, who destroyed him and his temple.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning it is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Commentary on Daniel 5: Baltassar’s sudden death was in punishment of the wanton sacrilege which filled up the measure of his sins. His day of grace was past, and God summoned him before His judgment-seat. His overthrow fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy to Nabuchodonozor namely that the Babylonian kingdom would come to an end, and that another kingdom would rise up in its place.
The sacred vessels of the Temple were consecrated to God, and might be used by the priests alone for the divine worship. Therefore Baltassar’s was a threefold sacrilege. Firstly, those who were not priests and even women, used them. Secondly, they were used for the purpose of intoxication. Thirdly, in drinking from them, the false gods were honoured and glorified.
Create in me a clean heart of God and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not from thy presence nor take thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and by thy governing spirit establish me.
Daniel 6: THE people of Babylon worshipped also a great dragon. One day the king said to Daniel: “Behold, thou canst not say now that this is not a living god; adore him, therefore.” Daniel replied: “Give me leave, O king, and I will kill this dragon without sword or club.” The king replied: “I give thee leave.” Then Daniel took pitch, fat and hair, and boiling them together, he made lumps and put them into the dragon’s mouth.
The monster, swallowing the lumps, very soon burst asunder, and Daniel said to the king: “Behold him whom you worshipped!” The Babylonians hearing this, assembled in crowds, and said that the king had become a Jew, had destroyed Bel, killed the dragon, and put the priests to death. They came, therefore, to the king, threatening and saying: “Deliver Daniel to us, or else we will destroy thee and thy house.”
Although the king loved Daniel, he was forced through the violence of the people to give him up to their fury. Immediately they cast him into a den of lions. There were seven lions in the den, to whom they gave two carcasses every day, and two sheep; but now nothing was given them, that they might devour Daniel. Yet Daniel remained unhurt.
Prayer: O give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.
Daniel 14: Daniel having been for some time in the lions’ den, needed food. Now there was at that time in Judæa a prophet named Habacuc, who carried food to the field for the reapers. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: “Carry thy dinner to Daniel who is in the lions’ den at Babylon.”
Habacuc replied: “Lord, I never saw Babylon, nor do I know the den.” Then the angel took him by the hair of his head, carried him in an instant to Babylon, and placed him over the den of lions. And Habacuc called to Daniel: “Thou servant of God, take the dinner that God has sent thee!” Daniel exclaimed: “Thou hast remembered me, O God, and Thou hast not forsaken them that love Thee.” Then he arose and ate.
But the angel of the Lord carried Habacuc back to his own place. On the seventh day the king came to bewail Daniel. And standing near the den he looked in and saw Daniel sitting amongst the lions, and he cried with a loud voice: “Great art Thou, O Lord, the God of Daniel!”
Immediately he drew Daniel out of the den, but those who had desired the prophet’s death he threw in, and they were devoured by the lions in a moment. Then the king said: “Let all the inhabitants of the whole earth fear the God of Daniel, for He is the Saviour, working signs and wonders.”
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
From St. Patrick’s ‘Breastplate’
Commentary on Daniel 6: The Omnipotence of God worked two miracles on behalf of Daniel. It was miraculous that the wild beasts should remain ravenously hungry rather than devour Daniel. It was also miraculous that Habacuc should in one moment be translated from Judæa to Babylon, and back again.
The object of miracles. God worked these miracles, firstly, in order to protect His faithful servant, Daniel; secondly, to manifest Himself to the pagans, and especially to king Cyrus, as the one true and Almighty God and Lord, and the Saviour working signs and wonders on the earth; and thirdly, so as to move the king to send the people of God back to their own country, and let them rebuild the Temple.
We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee for they great glory.