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    June 28, 2022

    THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 28 June 2022

    Daniel 2 describes the desperate panic that occurred when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had troubling dreams. Over a period of three years, Daniel and his friends had been trained and placed in Nebuchadnezzar’s court. They were part of Nebuchadnezzar’s administration during his troubling dreams.

    Daniel 2:1 says that Nebuchadnezzar was “troubled” by his dreams and was unable to sleep as a result. He probably had several dreams occur for several nights and was troubled. The Hebrew word translated “troubled” indicates an agitation caused by a constant rhythmic beating. Nebuchadnezzar could not find relief from what he saw in his dreams nor did he know their meaning. If the king was unable to sleep, then no one was going to rest, so he called for all his officials. The following verses emphasize the unwritten expectations that public servants have, namely to provide answers and solve problems. Daniel’s example reveals the kind of answers that a believer in public service may be expected to provide.

    Verses 2-3 indicate how the king’s trouble became troubling to the entire kingdom. All the king’s officials were awakened, informed of the king’s dilemma, and demanded to provide answers. One’s public service and personal life frequently can be impacted by an unexpected dilemma. The difference is that personal dilemmas primarily affect you and those closest to you. As a public servant, dilemmas impact all that is within one’s authority and responsibility. The pressure increases based upon the number of people who are impacted, and you feel the pressing heaviness of their expectations.

    Almost a century after Daniel’s public service, another Jew served a king (this time in the Persian government). Nehemiah was cupbearer to King Artaxerxes and it was obvious to the king that his cupbearer was visibly distressed. Nehemiah’s “sadness of heart” was due to the deplorable conditions of Jerusalem. When Artaxerxes asked Nehemiah, “What would you request?,” he said a quick, silent prayer prior to answering. What is interesting is that chapters 1—2 indicate that Nehemiah had been praying for months so that his quick prayer was on the basis of unceasing activity, which inspired his prompt reply. As a result, Artaxerxes granted Nehemiah authorization for his journey to Jerusalem with supplies to rebuild the city walls.

    Both Daniel and Nehemiah were public servants who were expected to provide quick answers. They also show that prompt, godly answers emerge from extended periods of prayer. In his model prayer, Jesus taught how continual prayer results in quick, godly answers. Praying “Give us this day our daily bread” is an expression of trust. The Greek word translated “give” is a present imperative, “Give us day by day our daily bread.” Prior to the day beginning, that prayer is an expression of trust in God to provide all that is needed for one to be effective.

    In that prayer of faith is a request for divine provision, whereby one asks God for “daily bread.” What is extraordinary is that until a few decades ago, there was no other known occurrence of the word “daily” in all Greek literature, so that one church father of the 3rd century said that Matthew invented it. As a result, it was not possible to know exactly what was meant by “daily,” but then a papyrus fragment was discovered with the word on it. Guess what it was? A woman’s shopping list! She wrote a note reminding herself to buy supplies for the coming day. The petition is a simple prayer for God to supply what is needed for the coming day.

    Some dilemmas in life take days or months to resolve. Therefore, talk to God prior to starting each day. Pray regarding the tasks needing attention, conversations you plan to have, and decisions to make regarding ongoing dilemmas. Then, make one more important request. Ask God to give you the strength and wisdom needed for what He knows you will encounter this day, which would include what is planned but also the unexpected appointments and unannounced dilemmas. Praying in this manner assures you that quick, godly answers are given for both the ongoing and unannounced dilemmas that arise.

    Interim Bible Study

    REMINDER

    Capitol Commission Bible Study is next Tuesday, 5th of July (every 1st and 3rd Tuesday during the legislative interim)

    Meeting via Zoom and in 318 CLOB (Senate Committee Room) @ 12 Noon