No Eye Has Seen...

Da 2:1-2,10 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed... The astrologers answered the king, "There is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer.

Ge 41:7b-8 Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream. In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no-one could interpret them for him.

1Co 9b-10a "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" -- but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.

God's purposes and plans are not revealed by wise men or diviners, they are not "in the stars". God has a great plan for this world, and for you. You cannot find it out by reading books of philosophy or consulting your horoscope. The only way to discover God's plan for your life is to listen to the Holy Spirit.

Christmas is a wonderful time, but it is also about a mystery - God become man. As the carol goes: "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail the incarnate Deity." There is much more to the classic stable nativity scene than meets the eye. It is the inception of God's ultimate and greatest mystery - The Gospel. Good news to all men, and peace on Earth. The revelation of this mystery will not come as you sing carols, or eat mince pies or open presents, but if you allow the Holy Spirit to stir your heart this Christmas, like Joseph and Daniel, you may gain revelation into a wonderful mystery - Jesus Christ was and is Almighty God.

"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.


Force of Habit

We moved house at the end of last month. It was the provision of God for us in many ways, and we are very grateful to be in our new home. This week I have done a couple of times what I feared I would do... lose concentration on my way home from work and drive towards the old house rather than the new!

Why did I do it? Because I wasn't thinking, and driving the same route home for 5½ years is a habit that is hard to break. Things that we do often become natural, and trying to do them a different way can seem difficult and requires concentration.

This made me think how God has given us a new destination and a glorious hope, yet how if we lose concentration, if we forget where we are going we can easily fall back into the "old" ways of doing things. Criticism and negative speaking, selfishness and self-promotion, worry and anxiety, these are not paths we go down if we remain focussed on God an where he is taking us.

Then I remembered when I moved house the last time, the same thing happened. I even parked outside my old house once before I remembered. But after time I formed a new habit of going to the new destination, and it wasn't a problem any more. And after a while driving home to this new house wont be a problem either.

The best way to combat a bad habit is to form a good habit. As the good new habits are formed in our lives, we will not go down those old paths we used to slip down when we lost concentration. It is the same in the Spirit: "Train yourself to be godly" (1Ti 4:17), and "Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." (Gal 5:16)

Habit is a force, but it is a force that can work for good as well as ill.


Daniel and Joseph

Da 2:26 The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), "Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?"

Ge 41:15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I had a dream, and no-one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it."

Reading Daniel chapter 2, the comparisons to Joseph are strong and apparent. Both men were taken against their will into exile in a foreign land. Both served the king, initially in humble circumstances, but were eventually exalted to his right hand. Both interpreted dreams for the king, that no one else could, and both by their interpretation spared the lives of many who would otherwise have died.

They are also both examples for us who serve God in secular employment. We may work for or company, but we serve the Lord, and we do all things as unto him. Both excelled in everything they were given to do and so gave glory to the God they served.

Most importantly they are both types (examples and foreshadows) of Christ himself. [The whole Bible is about Jesus! Not just the New Testament] They are both prophetic in their lives by pointing forward to one who would come in humble circumstances, reveal God in a way no-one else could, save many from the curse of sin and death, and ultimately be exalted to right hand of the throne of God in glory.



Da 1:8a But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine.

Da 1:11-12a Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink."

This interests me too. It was Daniel alone who resolved to make a stand, but when he petitions the guard he does so on behalf of all four of them. This is Daniel displaying true leadership. Looking out not just for his own interests and making progress on his own, but looking after others and taking them along with him on his journey of faith. True leadership is not just about what you achieve, but about what you enable others to achieve.

Free Software

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Everyone knows that you need an anti-virus program to keep your computer safe, but not everyone knows that you can get a professional 100% detection automatically updated Anti-Virus program for free! (for non-commercial home users)

Agnitum Outpost

If you are on Broadband, a Firewall is a must. This award winning Firewall has a version available for free. It's great. It has loads of features and doesn't slow your machine down delivering them.


Voice communication over the Internet. Like having an extra telephone line for free. What is more, calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world are free, and worldwide calls to landlines are at local rates. My wife called her parents when they were in Singapore and had a 44min conversation for just 73p. (Requires microphone)


RSS aggregator. Displays the latest posts from all your favourite Blogs and other news feeds.


If you use Instant Messaging to communicate with your friends online, you must try this. It supports AOL, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, and IRC all simultaneously, and all without adverts. It's skinable too, so you can make it look just how you like.

Open Office

A full office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, and drawing program) all for free. It's a monster of a download though. Not to be attempted without Broadband! But definitely worth the wait.



Pr 11:25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Being generous is a key to getting the most out of life. Giving is its own reward, but those who are generous are often rewarded in other ways too. Seek ways to be generous, and not just in the offering on Sunday. Tip well. Sponsor willingly and enthusiastically. Generosity is attractive. We have a generous God.



Da 1:7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

What determines who we are? When someone asks "Who are you?" we give them our name. When they ask "What are you?" we give them our job. We also talk about ourselves in terms of where we live, where we are from, our family and friends.

Daniel and his friends had all this taken away from them. They lost their homes, their jobs, their family, friends, their country, their place of worship, even their names were changed. Yet they did not lose their sense of identity. They had something deeper. What was it?

God also changes names in scripture. To Abram he gave the name Abraham (father of many), to Simon, Jesus gave the name Peter (Rock). In both cases it came after a powerful encounter or revelation of God, and deepened their sense of identity. It shows that our true sense of identity comes not from without (the things we have) nor even purely from within... but from above. We will never really know who we are until we know God, and know who we are in him.



I was preaching in the Hinckley congregation of Living Rock Church yesterday. My topic was Integrity of Speech - "Saying what we mean, and doing what we say." Or to put it in the words of Psalm 15 - "Keeping our oath even when it hurts."

I have been struck lately by the magnitude of difference between the way words are devalued in our society, and the way they are valued so highly in the scriptures. Joshua kept his word to the Gibeonites, even when it was clear that they had deceived him, and that by keeping his word he would not be able to fulfill the mandate of God. Even more startling is the example of Jephthah who sacrificed his only child rather than go back on his word. God himself honoured his own word this way. The sacrifice of Christ was the only way that God could save us and still stay true to his word of judgement on sin.

I believe that this quality of integrity is one that God wishes to establish in his people, as a clear contrast to modern society. That we will be a people more in the image of Jesus, who when he spoke, it was as good as done.


Artificial Intelligence

If a Computer Program could think:

  • Would it believe that its programmer exists?

  • Would it think instead that binary data and processor logic was all that was needed to understand its universe?

  • Would it wonder "Who programmed the programmer?" or "Where is his source code?"

  • Would it hold that all different beliefs in the programmer were equally valid?

  • Would it believe in life after reboot?


Science Proves the Existence of God

The Second Law of Thermodynamics: In a closed system [one without external influences] the amount of Entropy [disorder] will always increase with time.

This is an "uncheatable" law. That is it always applies, you cannot get round it, there are no exceptions. It is so well established that some Scientists believe that it determines the "Arrow of Time." That is if you view a video tape of any scientific event, the only way you can tell if you are viewing it forward or backwards is by whether entropy is increasing or decreasing. All other scientific laws work identically both forwards and backwards.

The implications are immense. It means that any order that exists in the Universe absolutely cannot be the result of the passage of time (as some so called scientific theories would have us believe), it must be the result of an external influence. We know there is order in the Universe. We know the Second Law of Thermodynamics to be true. So the only logical conclusion we can come to is that there is a God.

Trained by man, Instructed by God

Da 1:5b They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king's service.

Da 1:17a To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning.

Here is another interesting detail. Daniel and his friends were trained by the Babylonians for 3 years, but it was God that gave them knowledge and understanding. It was as if they were in two classrooms simultaneously, one earthly and one heavenly.

I have found that when listening to the word of God preached, the same can happen. I will receive instruction from the man, but I will often also receive separate revelation from the Holy Spirit at the same time.

What is exciting about this passage is that this was happening not during spiritual instruction, but secular training! Even in our day-to-day work we can receive revelation from God, and not just about spiritual matters, but on how to do our Jobs. God can teach us how do be productive in our workplace better than our employers. God wants us to be shining examples like Daniel and his friends, not just by our behavior and attitude while at work, but by how well we do our jobs too.

Another "10"

Thanks for all your feedback on 10s. My favorate was "10 Green Bottles", though I didn't get a scripture reference for that! ;-)

Here's another 10 that I think does link well with the Daniel passage. It's from Revelation, there is a lot of commonality between Daniel and Revelation.

Rev 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Again it shows that trials only last for an alloted time, and if we remain faithful through them God will honour us.


A Quick Thought

Atheism: A system of belief based on a premise of unbelief.

And they claim Christianity to be illogical and full of contradictions! ;-)

10 days, 10 times

Da 1:12 "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink."

Da 1:20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

Forgive me if I shoot past all the really important and obvious stuff in Daniel 1 and go straight for an obscure detail. When I read the Scriptures, I like to look for the bits I haven't seen before as well as reminding myself of what I know already.

This repeating of the number 10 intrigued me. For a start it links these two verses together and implies that the trial they went through was instrumental in the multiplication of their gifts and abilities. No trial seems pleasant at the time, but if we take a step back we can often see God's hand at work, shaping us, strengthening us, and equipping us for what lies ahead. And God is no-man's debtor, whatever we give to him or give up for him, he gives back many times over.

I was also curious to see if like some other numbers, the number 10 was significant in the Scriptures. I have to say that if there is a deeper meaning, I haven't found it yet. There seem to be a real mixed collection of 10s in the Word: 10 commandments, 10 virgins, 10 talents, 10 northen tribes etc.

One thing I did notice almost by accident is that both Joseph, and Joshua both lived to be 110 years old. What a wonderful symmetry there is again in linking these two great types (examples) of Christ in the Old Testament. Joseph who was given over to death, yet was exalted to the right hand of the king in glory, and delivered his people from death, and Joshua who led his people in to conquer kingdoms and fill the whole land. The man who took the people out of Canaan, and the man who brought them back. It is a reminder that God finishes what he starts. The God who took them into Egypt is the same God who led them out. Whatever trials we may be facing we can have confidence that it is not God's will to leave us there, he will deliver us. He will finish the work he has started in us, and he will make us stronger through it; again there is multiplication here: the Israelites were just 1 family when they entered Egypt, but they left it a mighty nation.

Getting Started

After reading the Blogs of Roger Aubrey and Erling Thu, I have been inspired to jump on the band-waggon and start my own Blog.

I also have an alterior motive. I am leading a 5 week Study on the book of Daniel in Feburary for Living Rock Church - the Church fellowship I belong to. So this will also serve as a place for me to collect some of the fresh revelation I get as I study this book in preparation. I hope it encourages some readers out there too. Watch this space...