From: Rich Carlson
Date: March 3, 2020
Subject: It's March 3; Good Morning Union



“I took my stand to support and protect him….”       Daniel 11: 1

Let me tell you about my journey this morning. After finishing Philippians last week I have not yet found a clear direction in which to focus my morning musings with God (and inflicted on you in GMU!) This morning I even sat down and had no idea where to start so I actually prayed my tradition opening prayer, “God, what do you have for me this morning that I can share with my school family?” and then just randomly opened my Bible. Not a very strategic or systematic way to enter Bible study but that’s were I was this morning. I opened to the book of Daniel, of all places, and the first thing I saw was the big “11” in the middle of the page so I started right there.

Chapter 11 verse one says, “And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.” My first thought was, “ok, maybe I’m supposed to write about supporting our government leaders no matter who they are.” I mean Darius and his army had just defeated the Babylonians who held Daniel captive! Not the ideal situation but maybe that’s my ah-ha for today. I can’t say I was excited about the idea but I always try and go with what appears to be the answer to my morning prayer.

So I decided I better read around the text a bit and check out the “context” and that’s where I realized the importance, as I have taught many times in class, not to use chapter or verse markings as my dividing criteria for truth. The end of chapter 10 has, what I saw this morning as, the explanation to chapter 11; God encouraging and strengthening Daniel after the leadership transition between the two powers that are ruling his life and subjugating him to a perpetuated servanthood, explaining prophetically that Babylon fell to the Medes and the Medes are going to fall to the Greeks and the Greeks will ultimately fall apart, and on it goes. And then a parenthesis starts a sentence, that sounds like words that are coming from God that says, (“No one supports me against them except Michael-[another name for Jesus- your prince.]) THE PARENTHESIS continues into 11:1 which is my verse for today; “(And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.)” end of parenthesis!

My ah-ha?! For whom did Daniel “take his stand to support and protect?” NOT Darius, NOT the Medes, NOT Greece. He took his stand to support and protect the name of God and Michael His Prince! In the parenthesis is God who expresses His concern that no one was taking their stand for Him. And Daniel said, “I WILL!” With all the challenges and upheaval in government and politics and culture the decision of Daniel, for his spiritual survival, was NOT to focus on those things but to recommit himself to “taking his stand” to focus on God and His ultimate purpose in life. The only real government that God is concerned with is the Kingdom of Heaven! I have to deal with the rest of them in their ebbs and flows, in their transitions, in their decisions- good and bad. But I’m taking my stand again today to not be a liberal or conservative, democrat or republican, but to be a follower of the King of the universe, first and foremost.

So to modernize my verse for today… “In the fourth year of Donald Trump, and whatever happens in November, I’m taking my stand to support and protect the freedom I have to vote my conscience. But before that, and more importantly, I’m taking my stand to support and protect my God, His Prince, and His kingdom which rules forever! And that’s as political as I’m going to get, on Super Tuesday, or whenever!!

 

Have a great day not getting distracted on Whom to support and protect, and what to take a stand for,

Pastor Rich

 

Quote for the Day:      “Kindness is a language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.”

 

PS        Christ on Demand- 7:30pm in Rees Hall Chapel. Join Amber and friends for 30 minutes of praise and the Word. This week Pastor Gua will be speaking.

PPS      Remember a few weeks ago when a family close to Union had a house fire and we raised money to help them? You all gave $750 and today I got the nicest note from the family, “Thank you so much for the money you all so kindly donated to us. It will be very helpful as we’re working on replacing our things.” Signed Emily, Zach, Elizabeth and Kory.

Thanks Union for yet another way that YOU practiced your Christianity by caring for those in need.