Links Daily Devotional

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Glowing Terms

every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:14, NIV)

There are two reasons that tickets to the masters are the most coveted in sports. Those who have never been want to see if Augusta National and the tournament environment really live up to all the glowing terms spoken of them on the TV’s fawning broadcasts. And those who have been know that those terms are right on—they want to see it again.

It’s easy to be skeptical about high praise. At our core, we are all realists needing to ascertain the authenticity of what’s before us. We may lean toward doling out “the benefit of the doubt,” but at least for a time doubt is there. It’s a real-world irony that the most liberal in a society are also those who “try out” a sexual relationship in cohabitation before committing to marriage. In fact, doubt may haunt the tolerant most of all, so they “pre-forgive” in anticipation of failed expectations.

But this talk is not only of cultural practices. It strikes right at the heart of what we do with the words of Scripture, especially where it speaks of the wonders of God.

If doubt and faith contend against one another, we must recognize that readers will come to the pages of the Bible with two different mindsets. Some are eager to believe it all, others to doubt nearly every word. The former buy license plate frames that read: “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” The latter hesitate to concede that Jesus of Nazareth was a historical figure, never mind the Son of God.

So when we come to a passage like Daniel 7, where the description of Christ’s eternal reign is presented in what can only be described as “glowing terms,” it’s easy for those with doubts to start squirming. These promises sound like one of those junk emails that clutter your Inbox even when you have a decent spam filter. An everlasting dominion that cannot be destroyed? Hmm…

But when you are one who believes—in this case, one whose heart has been seized by the Holy Spirit—so much wonder resides in these words that you suffer your own untidy troubles of trying to wrap your mind around what thrills your heart. At times like these, we do best to receive Scripture in meditative consideration, slowly taking in the excellence of God revealed through the beauty of his Word.

Jeff Hopper
April 11, 2014
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