Daily Readings and Thought for October 27th. “AND WE CANNOT DENY IT”
Today, so many deny our world is the result of the incredible and wonderful actions of a Creator. This is despite the wonders and intricacies of nature seen on every hand. . Our thoughts were caused to run along these lines because of 2 incidents described in our readings today.
First, in Daniel, we read of this now elderly prophet being brought into the presence of King Belshazzar, the son or grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. The King says, “I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems.” [5 v.16] Daniel is asked to “read the writing (on the wall) and make known to (the king) its interpretation.” He tells him the one true God sent the hand and inscribed the writing that had appeared on the wall, “but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven…. in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honoured.” [v,23] By his actions he had denied him. The world is similarly guilty today!
Daniel tells him, “This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting, PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” [v.26-28]. Our world today is “found wanting” in a great many ways.
Our chapters in the book of Acts describe the reaction to the popularity of Peter and John after they healed a man, in the temple, who had been “lame from birth” [3 v.2]. The priests and Sadducees were “greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” [4 v.2]
This attracted people to them and “many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.” [v.4] The disciples were arrested and “the next day … they were asked, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” [v.7] This gives Peter the chance to challenge them! He declares, “let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well…. there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” [v.10-12]
Our world today is not interested in anything about Jesus – although in about 8 weeks’ time – many will enjoy a happy time at Christmas. It will be a shallow meaningless happiness. The religious leaders “charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. “ [v.18 ] although they admitted “that a notable sign has been performed … and we cannot deny it.” [v.16] And our world “cannot deny” the wonder of the world all around them – but continue to deny there ever was a Creator.