Daily Lectionary: Daniel 2:24-49; Revelation 19:1-21
But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. (Luke 6:27–28)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Along with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Daniel was among the Israelites carried off to Babylon. These four faithful young men were specially blessed by the Lord and made good names for themselves among their pagan captors.
Now Daniel had opportunity to turn the tables on their enemies. They could pretend that there was no interpretation for Nebuchadnezzer’s dream and allow him to slaughter his advisors. Or they could use the interpretation to their own advantage, gaining favor with the king but still letting him kill many of their foe.
Daniel, however, shows the kind of mercy that we receive in Christ. Before entering the king’s presence, he first ensures the safety of the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and Chaldeans. While he knows that God will eventually judge Babylon, he refuses to join voice with those Israelites who say, “Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!” (Psalm 137:9)
Vengeance belongs to the God of Israel. Daniel won’t take part in bringing it about himself. Instead, he helps the king and protects the advisors. His delight isn’t in getting even but in using to the utmost the gifts he’s been given. In so doing, he keeps alive some who might learn of the Lord and come to faith.
We continue to live our lives, exercise our vocations, and use the gifts God gives. Christians don’t pass by needy unbelievers on the way to loving neighbors who believe as we do. If someone has a need we can meet, we try to meet it. Perhaps God will also allow us a part in the conversion of new Christians. But if not, He still allows us a part in bringing His sun to shine on the evil and the good, His rain to fall on the just and the unjust. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. -Rev. Walter Snyder
Lord, let me win my foes With kindly words and actions, And let me find good friends For counsel and correction. Help me, as You have taught, To love both great and small And by Your Spirit’s might To live in peace with all. (O God, My Faithful God, LSB 696:4)