Friday: Psalm 78 & Daniel 4:28-37

From Chris Dodds

Psalm 78: How do we raise our children in the faith? The Psalmist is adamant that we must pass down the things we have heard and known through our fathers (v2-3), that we must not hide these things, but instead must testify to a future generation the wonders of the Lord (v4). The object is that each generation might put their confidence in God, not forget his works, but keep his commands (v7). As with the father in Deuteronomy 6, the commands are always to be understood in the context of story – the story of God’s incredible faithfulness despite the constant rebellion, unfaithfulness, forgetfulness and testing of His people who didn’t believe in him or rely on his salvation (v22). God delivered his people from slavery in Egypt and provided for them in their wanderings in the desert, and established a shepherd, David, to lead and guide them (vv70-72). In Jesus, he has delivered us from our greater slavery to sin and death and Jesus is the true shepherd who now leads us and who we are to make known.

Daniel 4:28-37: In last week’s sermon we heard the warning against saying to yourself “my own power and ability have gained this wealth for me” (Deut 8:17), in this text we see a prideful King claiming just that (v30). False Gods seduce us and promise that something apart from God will enhance us (you will be like God) and not diminish us, but to worship something less than God is to become something less than in his image, something less than fully human. Here, far from displaying his “majestic glory” (v30), King Nebuchadnezzar becomes beastly, like the cattle and eagles (vv32-33). It is only in turning back to the Most High God and honoring and worshipping him as the one worthy of honor and glory that his sanity (and full humanity) returns to him (vv34-36). This is Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony of how he was saved from the pride of self-worship to the worship of the King of Heaven who has an everlasting Kingdom (v34) as opposed to Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom that God could take away in an instant (v31). God is able to humble us when we walk in pride (v37), but will restore us if we will turn back to him and acknowledge him as God.