Pentecost 25 – Thursday Devotion

Readings:  Daniel 6:1-28 and Revelation 22:1-21

Additional Reading:  Daniel 9:1-27

Daniel 6:21-23:  Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever!  My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”  Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den.  So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

Revelation 22:17-21:   The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.”  And let the one who hears say, “Come.”  And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.  I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.  He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.  Amen.

 

“The End”

The reading selected for today is the last chapter in the last book of the New Testament.  There is the gracious invitation to ‘Come.’  Why?  God has something in store for those who have heard the Gospel and received that faith so richly promised.  Those who believe in Jesus Christ as their only Lord and Savior will not perish but have eternal life.  

As we finish the last chapter in Revelation as well as concluding these devotions, the reading gives us this peek into heaven.  No more thirst, no more tears, no more pain…all foretold in this prophecy.  Now in these concluding words, we hear the prayer of the Church:  “Come, Lord Jesus!”  We often pray that even today in the midst of this pandemic, haven’t we?  

Think of Daniel sentenced to share living quarters with the lions.  They were hungry for a good meal.  The men who laid the trap for Daniel waited to see how much of Daniel would be left in the morning.  Daniel was hoping his one-night stay in this motel of lions would come to a quick end, just as we pray the Coronavirus would have its end.

By morning we hear the results, much quicker than we were waiting for election results.  Daniel emerges victorious.  God’s angel shut the lions’ mouths.  As we hear the rest of the story, the men who laid this diabolical trap for Daniel received the next night’s stay, but they didn’t make it past breakfast.  

We yearn for the release from our ‘lion’s den’ of this pandemic and quarantine.  We realize it is one way to stay safe from the virus, but we are social people,  wanting to be with others to celebrate joys and help heal the hurts.  Our national Day of Thanksgiving offers us a time to pause and thank God for what He has given, rather than complain about those things which we desire but do not have.

Perhaps this is one lesson we have learned thus far this year.  Daniel thanked God for his release.  We look forward to our Lord’s return in glory to judge the living and the dead.  We will soon begin the Season of Advent, a time of preparing for celebrating our Lord’s birth.  Jesus would take on human flesh and enter this ‘lion’s den’ of the world, but the mouth of that roaring lion Satan will prowl around seeking Jesus’ body to devour on the cross.

But recall that Jesus would exit the den of death as Daniel exited his den.  So will we!  Until that day, we continue to hold God’s Word sacred and gladly learn everything He has inspired and written for our learning of all that Jesus has done for us and our salvation.  To Him be the glory, now and forever.  Amen.  

 

Let us pray:  O Lord, we thank You for all You have given us this year.  We lament the loss of loved ones and lost opportunities to gather as family and friends.  Yet we know You have been active in Your love for us, continuing to bring us the saving Word of Life from our Lord Jesus.  Forgive us for our times of doubt and when we have despaired over things in this world.  Help us to focus on what You have promised.  Send Your angels to hold Satan’s mouth shut so he may not devour us.  Let us hear Your gracious call to come to You for our eternal rest.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Our Father…

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.  Amen.