Darius Prays for Daniel

Darius prays for Daniel

My name is Darius, I am rightly called king
I have total control over everything.
I have an hundred and twenty princes for me
And place in charge Daniel for all men to see.
The first of three presidents he is at the top:
And all queries and problems with him they will stop.
I trust him completely, for his spirit is true.
There is no other man that this job can so do.

I am honoured by this appointment, but recognise the hand of my God. It is He has given me all I have. Small is my duty to pray, but huge my reward. When I look towards Jerusalem it reminds me of my ultimate allegiance. I honour God with my total love and obedience, and He gives me of His Spirit. I honour Darius with my duty, and he knows he can trust me.

But I am not alert to the factions that brew
To the small-minded men that in jealousy stew.
They see Daniel a foreigner “falsely” preferred.
And they plan and they plot to observe him interred.
They flatter me greatly, and I’m caught of my guard.
So I sign their decree that would leave my life scarred.
I try to escape from this foul deed I have done.
But I’ve signed a death warrant for whom I’d call son.

How can I bow to Darius? This was not his wish, but it is now the law. It is a law based on hatred of what I represent. Do I show obedience to this law of the land, or the commandments of God? I know the consequences. I cannot forsake God, and He will not forsake me.

I knew that this Daniel would not bow to me;
His God was his God, and none else would there be.
He must have been tempted when he knelt down to pray
To do it in secret ‘til the thirtieth day!
The decree it must stand, for I signed it as king,
I cannot save him, I can’t do a thing……
I speak to him: “Daniel. Please oh forgive me!
But thy God whom thou servest He will save thee.”

I pray to God and feel His strength. My enemy catches me in his trap. But I’d rather be caught by man praying to God than be seen by God praying to man! God is watching o’er me. I am thrown down into the lion’s den, and as the stone seals me in I hear the king’s words, and they comfort me. He is forgiven. I feel no fear.

I seal with my signet the stone covering the den.
My heart it was heavy: lions hungry for men!
That night all sleep left me, for I knew I’d done wrong.
I prayed that his God was all powerfully strong.
But was he now dead, ripped to pieces, no more?
Has his God saved his life from the fear and the gore?
I rise early and call from the depth of my fears.
He answers! Alive then! And in joy I shed tears!

The leading lion stops in his tracks. We exchange looks. My innocence met by his. They all lie down, and I lie down with them, my arm around the neck of the most powerful. The den is filled with the aroma of Love. I put God first, and He has put me first.

He believed in his God, and no hurt has touched him.
He survived through the night when my hope had turned dim.
O Daniel I see now that your God is supreme
He has answered your call and defeated that scheme:
I order the death of all those that sought ill,
The lions were hungry! They’ve eaten their fill!
I sign new decree and I commit myself now:
To the one God of Israel all people shall bow!

Dan 6:25-28
Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, ………

 

Comment: When we align ourselves with God, we align ourselves with the only power there is, and the mortal sense of power is destroyed. Love knows no hate, and when we know the Allness of Love, we cannot be touched by the nothingness of what isn’t there.

The pictures of Daniel in the Lions’ Den are by Riviere.

Peace and Refuge

Peace and refuge

Peace!

Peace.

In calm trust let Love’s light welcome in, revealing no darkness.

The stirrings of false sense are stilled.
All sinful thoughts are silenced, and are no more.

For fear and sin dissolve, faced with Omnipotence,
Pain washes away, in the salve of Pure Harmony.
Belief is destroyed by God’s All-Truth.

Enfolded in the softness and strength of your Father-Mother,
Find yourself re-borne in His tender arms,
Conscious only of Her perfect Love, the infinity of “I AM THAT I AM”.

See God’s Love as the whole of your thought:
God’s Love as the very depth and activity of your being.

And that Love will reflect in your love for God, for yourself, for your neighbour.

And do you then find peace and rest?

Oh Yes! The infinite peace and refuge of God are all ours.

The Peace of God

Peace!

Peace.

Still the stirrings of false sense.
Silence all sinful thoughts.

In calm trust let Love welcome in.

Feel yourself borne in Love’s tender arms
that enfold you in the softness and strength of spiritual infinity.

Be conscious only of God, the I AM of perfect Love.

Let the beauty of spiritual harmony remove all pain,
Let fear dissolve in the face of Omnipotence.

Let Love be the whole of thought.

Love from the very depth of your being.

Love God, love yourself, love your neighbour.

 

And do you then have peace?

Yes, you have the peace of God.

Abigail – a love story

1 Samuel 25

NABAL:
I am rich.
I have three thousand sheep, a thousand goats.
That sets me well apart from other people.
My money lets me buy and get myself out of any problems.
What I think and do is all that matters,
– and that includes anything concerning my wife, the beautiful Abigail.
She loves me, as is her due, and I deserve no less.

Abigail:
I love him for his good qualities.
And I love him because he is my husband.
Sometimes, nay, too often, he fulfils the attributes of his name.
But he needs my wisdom to counteract his foolishness.
I will be loyal to his goodness, the tenderness he occasionally shows.
But I shall have respect to my virtues
And seek to instil them in my man because I love him.

NABAL:
A band of ten young men have sought my presence.
As something to do, I deign see them, these servants of this David.
I have heard of him, but I shall nevertheless demean him in their eyes,
Make him out as nothing, a nobody, and them therefore as worthless knaves.
They seek to share my riches! Let them grovel with their empty request.
The custom of hospitality is for fools.
I shunt them away with my words.
One of my servants dares approach to speak on their behalf. I know his face but not his name. He is a slave, nothing more. I wave him away with a flick of my hand and snap my fingers for my wine cup to be filled.

The insult enrages David.
Four hundred men get themselves armed
Gath’ring their pace towards Nabal
For he and all his will be harmed.

Abigail:
One of our servants, Shammah, comes running to me, bows and begs my attention.
His words run through me like a sword. Oh Nabal! Nabal!
We are all in peril for our lives.
There is no time to lose.
I order a feast of supplies, done quickly, sent on before me.
There is no time or wisdom to tell Nabal. The servants leave. I follow.

An angry David leads his men
Their swords are drawn and blood-ready
But laden asses cross his path:
Abigail’s resolve holds steady.

Abigail:
Gifts from our best produce mellow his wrath.
I meet the proud David, falling at his feet, beseeching him.
I take upon me full responsibility for all that has made him angry,
Offering my life to spare the foolish life of Nabal.
I appeal to his reason, to his innate sense of justice and mercy.
I see in him what I would see in my own husband, despite my admission of his folly Nabal name.
An underlying strength of purpose born of love for both men flows out from my heart,
Gives me a power that seems divine and omnipresent.
It lends eloquence to my words, and a surety that he will respond truly.

Like melting mist his anger gone
Replaced as warmth of rising sun
He blesses me with generous word
And thanks me for a deed well done.

Abigail:
I return back to Nabal, – quite oblivious of what has passed, and find him feasting to glut.
He is beyond reason, senses dulled to nothingness in the excess of self-gratification.
I will tell him when he is sober what has come to pass, for it is right that he knows and understands.

And in the morning, when the sun’s rays lifted the dark, I told him everything.
As I spoke the light of Truth shone steadfastly through my words and the error of his ways touched me no more.
His heart turned to stone in the cold realization of all he had done,
And for ten long days I nursed him as one would a newborn babe.

NABAL:
…………………………………………………………

Abigail:
Ten days of utter dependence, enforced humility, his wealth irrelevant, my love all.
On the tenth day I wiped a tear from his eye, and he passed from my company.
I knelt once again before God and He comforted me.

So Abigail was left alone.
Days followed, and the news soon spread:
It reached to David, now contrite,
That churlish Nabal, he was dead.

Abigail:
I prayed for my departed husband, and I also prayed for myself.
God rewarded my prayer, for this David sought me as his wife, not in conquest but in love.
I found a richness in living that surpassed the empty richness of wealth,
In humility I was led to grandeur, and gave all I had.

So in love was tender blessing,
No more held by what was wrong
Both were blessed by love’s new caring
In deep respect, their marriage strong.

So the evil that was deadly
Overcome by action fast.
Humble love a lovely lesson
For Love won and long did last.

Never Go Back!

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:2-4

behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21 behold

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

Where’ve you been?

New Jerusalem

What was it like?

Incredible!
I was struck by the splendor of all that I saw,
Like a bride newly adorned, so radiant, pure.
And a great voice warm-welcomed all those that came in,
Saying God was our guide, let your tour now begin.
And wherever we went we had God by our side,
Before we had need somehow He did provide.
That Love seemed so natural, all loving and glad.
There was plainly never room for anything bad!
For the simple truth was, God had sovereign control.
And what we all felt was the full glory of Soul!
Omnipotent wisdom took perfect care of us all.
From that state of perfection one could never fall.
Oh could you but see the cosmic difference it made
And the wonderful thing is that feeling has stayed.
For I recognise now that God’s kingdom IS come;
And the comfort of Love has been here all along!
This is something that you may well find very odd:
I will never go back to the kingdom of God!

How do you mean you will never go back?

I never left!
God cannot be All and not be in this place,
Wherever I turn we still meet face to face,
The kingdom of God is within you and me,
You never go back when the Truth makes you free.

Zarapeth

1 Kings Chapter 17

I’m gathering sticks outside of the city,
A widow with son, devoid of all pity.
This famine has left us to starve and to die,
We have one last meal. I am too sad to cry.

All my life I’ve listened to God, and been obedient to His call. I’ve spoken to King Ahab, told him of the famine that will strike his kingdom sore. From its very start God sent his ravens to feed me morning and night with bread and flesh. Sufficient for the needs of each day, day by day. I was never in want. And now the stream that also kept me company has dried up, but not God’s care. He has sent me to Zarapeth, to watch out for a widow woman who will sustain me.
The hot air and desert dust has left me parched and dry, and the sight of the city is a welcome relief. I approach the gates, and I see through the shimmering haze a woman gathering sticks. I call out to her:

“Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.”

I see through the heat-haze a travelling man
He has need of drink; I respond best I can.
I put down my few sticks and thought he would know
That I too am thirsty. I look where to go.

I’m glad God has led me to this dear woman. She looks as though she has reached the end of her sad expectations, and yet her first thought is to respond to me, a stranger. I know she has just food left for herself and her child. But I also know that God has promised to sustain me, and in that will be her blessing too.

“Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.”

His needful request has me caught what to do:
As the Lord lives I have not the food to feed you.
Sir, all that I have will give just one more meal
For myself and my son and then death will prove real.

I give glory to God that He sent me to her, for her faith is deep but sore tested, and in blessing me God will extend that blessing to her. I know that God has already provided, and look with love and compassion into her eyes:

“Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.”

I weigh up the certainty of our last meal
Against this man’s promise the famine will heal.
To put the Lord God first is what he did say.
He must be a prophet: I tremble, obey:

My heart strangely light with the spiritual toil
I made him his cake with the meal and the oil.
Day followed day with sufficient, no waste.
Each portion I used was, as used, all replaced.

I learnt that in giving the gift did not cease,
But multiplied out to many more bless.
No matter how desperate the case to be plead,
By putting God first His Love met our need.

**

But then things went wrong! My son sickened and died
How could God do this! I was angry and cried!
So thank you, prophet, for this wintery blast!
What meaning now is there for all that has past?

You’ve given us life for these extra few years
But torn it away by this death and new tears.
What value is there if it all comes to naught,
Why didn’t you stop this with your prophet thought?!

Dear God, I thank Thee that each day our needs have been met, there’s been no want, and my prayers have reached out to you for guidance and sustenance. And now the widow’s only son has stopped breathing. And she is distraught, angry with me and with You.
I need to lift her son above and out of this condemnation.

“Give me thy son.”

My dear and lifeless son is wrapped ‘cross my chest
I hold him too tight, but he’s quiet and at rest.
Elijah the prophet says “Give me thy son”
I have nothing left. He takes him. He’s gone.

I carry him up to my bed in the loft of her house, away from her fears and accusations. I lay him down gently as if he were still alive. I challenge the common theology by asking a rhetorical question, as if God would ever slay her son! I knew God was all-powerful, that the so-called god of death, the gods of Ahab and Jezebel, had no power to kill. God would heal him. I stretch out upon him three times, – the symbol of life, for I know that God will bring him back to life in her eyes, for He is Life, and that life has therefore never left him. And came the recognition, came the recognition, came the recognition, the constant supply of meal and oil was the same as this boy’s breath, its source was unlimited, universal, day by day, that just as God is supplying the meal and oil from His ever-presence, so all life is ever-present, – and his soul shall come unto him again! The Truth of his being must necessarily be expressed in his revival. And so it is. He takes new breath, fully restored from all illness, and I take him by the hand, bring him down out of my chamber, and deliver him running with joy and delight to his mother.

“See, thy son liveth.”

Oh dearest Elijah, how could I thee so doubt?
Thou art a man of God, so strong and so devout.
Help me Elijah see the things that you see too,
For what you see is Truth and I see Truth in you.

And while the famine lasted all our needs were met;
Each day began with prayer until our thoughts were set.
Year three the prophet left us, his good God remained,
For Love is here and now; in Love we are sustained.

Darius and Daniel

Daniel 6

My name is Darius, I am rightly called king
I have total control over everything.
I have an hundred and twenty princes for me
And place in charge Daniel for all men to see.
The first of three presidents he is at the top:
And all queries and problems with him they will stop.
I trust him completely, for his spirit is true.
There is no other man that this job can so do.

I am honoured by this appointment, but recognise the hand of my God. It is He has given me all I have. Small is my duty to pray, but huge my reward. When I look towards Jerusalem it reminds me of my ultimate allegiance. I honour God with my obedience, and He gives me of His Spirit. I honour Darius with all that God has given me.

But I am not alert to the factions that brew
To the small-minded men that in jealousy stew.
They see Daniel a foreigner “falsely” preferred.
And they plan and they plot to observe him interred.
They flatter me greatly, and I’m caught of my guard.
So I sign their decree that would leave my life scarred.
I try to escape from this foul deed I have done.
But I’ve signed a death warrant for whom I’d call son.

How can I bow to Darius? This was not his wish, but it is now the law. It is a law based on hatred of what I represent. Do I show obedience to this law of the land, or the commandments of God? I know the consequences. I cannot forsake God, and He will not forsake me.

I knew that this Daniel would not bow to me;
His God was his God, and none else would there be.
He must have been tempted when he knelt down to pray
To do it in secret ‘til the thirtieth day!
The decree it must stand, for I signed it as king,
I cannot save him, I can’t do a thing……
I speak to him: “Daniel. Please oh forgive me!
But thy God whom thou servest He will save thee.”

I pray to God and feel His strength. My enemy catches me in his trap. But I’d rather be caught by man praying to God than be seen by God praying to man! God is watching o’er me. I am thrown down into the lion’s den, and as the stone seals me in I hear the king’s words, and they comfort me. He is forgiven. I feel no fear.

I seal with my signet the stone covering the den.
My heart it was heavy: lions hungry for men!
That night all sleep left me, for I knew I’d done wrong.
I prayed that his God was all powerfully strong.
But was he now dead, ripped to pieces, no more?
Has his God saved his life from the fear and the gore?
I rise early and call from the depth of my fears.
He answers! Alive then! And in joy I shed tears!

The leading lion stops in his tracks. We exchange looks. My innocence met by his. They all lie down, and I lie down with them, my arm around the neck of the most powerful. The den is filled with the aroma of Love. I put God first, and He has put me first.

He believed in his God, and no hurt has touched him.
He survived through the night when my hope had turned dim.
O Daniel I see now that your God is supreme
He has answered your call and defeated that scheme:
I order the death of all those that sought ill,
The lions were hungry! They’ve eaten their fill!
I sign new decree and I commit myself now:
To the one God of Israel all people shall bow!

Dan 6:25-28
Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, ……

Two Lives Touch

Luke 22:44-51

Malchus: A servant of the high priest, I know what needs be done:
Obedience to Moses is a must for everyone.
I’ve heard this Jesus preaching, he’s got some way out views,
His arrest and capture will be for us good news.

Peter: A disciple of the Nazarene, I’ve known the Lord quite well
For something like about three years I’ve been beneath his spell.
I’ve seen the miracles he’s done, together miles we’ve trod,
I really do believe this man is truly Son of God.

Malchus: We’re on his trail, a multitude with staves and ready sword;
That Judas will betray him when he seeks to kiss his Lord.
I’m walking right behind him, when we reach Gethsemane,
I feel a premonition of living history.

Peter: Jesus has been praying, I see the heavy sweat on brow.
I wish I could support him but I really don’t know how.
He looks so disappointed that good watch we have not kept,
I’ll recall to my dying day when needed I just slept.

Malchus: The crowd of us march through the gate and see a group of men
They look at us with great alarm, apart from one, serene.
Judas walks right up to him and gives his signal clear,
I’m right behind and grab this man that simply shows no fear.

Peter: Jesus, look out! This multitude’s arrayed to do you serious harm.
How can you be so peaceful when they grab you by the arm?
I failed you when I slept so sound, this time I’ll use my sword,
I raise my weapon aim and strike, defending thus my Lord.

Malchus: I see too late this man approach, and though I weave and duck,
I feel sharp pain and disbelief when I realize I’ve been struck.

Peter: My bloodied sword is raised again to strike down from above,
When Jesus speaks, so calm and sure, and fills the place with Love.

JESUS: “Suffer ye thus far.”

Malchus: The anger melts, the pain has gone. It seems that time stands still.
He looks at me with loving eyes, at me who aims to kill!

Peter: I drop my sword upon the ground, his peacefulness so strong.
In sharp contrast, my anger and selfish thoughts so wrong.

Malchus: His hand outstretched with love in thought, mine had been to harm.
His gentle touch compassionate, I feel God’s love, so warm.

Peter: I look amazed when the man I struck looks at the Lord with awe,
I kneel in recognition that love, not hate, does more.

Malchus: I touch my head, my ear restored. This is no phantom healing.
What he’s been preaching he’s just proved! True love to me revealing.
With gentleness I lead him on, his love is still around me,
I glance behind; and my heart goes out, forgiving instantly.

Peter: He looks at me with fleeting glance; I feel new love reach out.
I answer back with open arms and wondrous wordless shout.
A bond is born between two men touched by a love so pure,
O keep us constant in this Love. ‘Tis ours for evermore.