Reflections on governments (Daniel 1 – 5)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

The stories in the chapters of Daniel that we’ve been studying are all about kings and God. Today we’ll reflect on some of the themes this has raised.

Examine
Read Daniel 2:37

• What do these verses tell us about God’s relationship with earthly kings?

God is sovereign over the rulers of the earth, and so He is the one who “deposes kings and raises up others” (2 v 21). This is what we’re told in the New Testament as well: “There is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13 v 1).

Consider
Read Daniel 4:27

• What have you seen about what God wants from kings?

The thing God seems to hate most in rulers is them thinking too highly of themselves and not acknowledging Him and His sovereign rule. He wants those in worldly authority to acknowledge His supreme authority.
And if a ruler acknowledges God, this will be shown in Him doing what God wants: ruling with justice and kindness.

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APPLY
God’s people back in Israel had been ruled by kings, who were supposed to acknowledge and love God (even though many of them didn’t). This is their first experience of being ruled by a pagan king.
• What do you think they were being taught about living under such kings?
• What should we learn from their experience?
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TIME OUT… 1 Peter 2:13
• What do these verses add to your answers in the Apply section?
• How have we seen Daniel and his companions showcasing this kind of lifestyle?
Look through Peter’s instructions again.
• What practical things can you change, or do more of, in order to follow these instructions more closely?
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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Originally published February 21, 2012.

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