God provides… protects… & blesses His children. He does this in ways we can’t comprehend. He’s never late, He’s always on time, with exactly what’s needed. This is seen in the first part of the Christmas narrative FROM DANIEL. I need to explain what I mean…

Daniel. Babylon conquered Judea & deported the best & brightest of their youth. They moved for indoctrination in Babylonian life. But four boys didn’t give in… Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego.

(Daniel 2) For context, The King had a dream & couldn’t sleep. He called the astrologers & demanded they tell him what he dreamed THEN give the interpretation.

They usually heard a dream THEN gave an interpretation. Not this time… & they couldn’t! They said only God could do it (2:10-11). The king he decreed to kill ALL the magi… including Daniel  (2:12, 18).

Daniel’s asked people to pray, for God to reveal the dream & it’s meaning (Daniel 2:17-18). God did & Daniel answered the King (Statue dream).

The dream isn’t the point. But what the king did as a result of Daniel interpreting the dream. Daniel 2:48… “The king gave Daniel high honors & many great gifts, & made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon & chief prefect over ALL the wise men of Babylon.”

Who was Daniel put in charge of? The wise men… The Magi! Heard of them before?

Daniel was devoted to God. He would not defile himself (Daniel 1:8) even though he lived in Babylon. Daniel honored Jehovah God his entire life. Here’s why that is important…

It is right to say Daniel, being over the wise men (Magi) of Babylon, taught about Jehovah God & the coming Messiah. Numbers 24:17

I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel… (This is part of what Daniel taught the Magi in Babylon…)

Daniel’s teachings were passed down thru generations of magi until what Daniel taught came true in a star the Magi followed from Babylon to a house in Bethlehem! The arrival of Wise Men from the east was not a cosmic coincidence… it was God working thru Daniel!

Dan didn’t know what He taught part of the birth of The Messiah. Those who passed on what they’d been taught didn’t understand. The magi that came to Jerusalem centuries later didn’t grasp it either. But God worked in ways none of them could know!

Aside. God is always working! His plan is being carried out! Just because we don’t see it… don’t u’stand it… or don’t grasp what is going on does not mean He’s not working OR not using us!

God used adversity in Daniel (Exile) for the message of salvation to a people that otherwise never would have heard it (Babylonians). Through Daniel’s ministry, the king became a believer (Daniel 4:34-37).

POINT. At times we are taken from a place of security & comfort by God to be in hardship, problems, & difficulty for His glory. DON’T say it is Satan working against us… certainly that wasn’t what the case with Daniel (1:1-2)! God willed the deportation to begin events surrounding Jesus’ birth… and ultimately our salvation!

Aside: Romans 8:28. God works on so many levels we can’t comprehend it. We discern less than one trillion trillionth of what He is doing.

Now fast forward to Jerusalem. Turn to Matthew 2:1-15… (Read it!)

The reason the “wise men” (Magi) came to Jerusalem was Dan’s teaching about the Messiah. They didn’t know where to go, so Herod found out the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:5-6). So with that information they went … by faith…

They followed the star until it rested over where Jesus was (Matthew 2:9). Now, remember what the gifts were? Gold… frankincense… & myrrh. Expensive… AND providentially important. Here’s why…

Herod was evil & murdered threats to his throne. He didn’t want to worship the Messiah (Matthew 2:8), but kill him (Matthew 2:16).

Q: What was the financial condition of Mary & Joseph? Poor. In Luke 2:24 they gave offerings just for the poor. When an angel told Joseph in Matthew 2:13 to flee to Egypt, they didn’t have the money to make the trip or sustain themselves while there.

UNTIL the wise men came! God provided for Mary, Joseph, & Jesus to travel to Egypt… live… & return thru the gifts given by the wise men! And it all began when a teenager named Daniel was exiled from his home to Babylon! THAT is Romans 8:28

Point. Where God leads, He provides! When God calls a person or people or family to a place… whether to Babylon from Israel OR Egypt from Bethlehem OR in our life HE PROVIDES!  Matthew 6:25

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, & the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, & yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive & tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, & your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, & all these things will be added to you.

First: What does God say about His ability to provide? Is there a situation, event, or circumstance God can’t provide? Is there a person, government, or system that God cannot use for His purposes FOR those who are His?

Second: God is in control. God guided & directed boys from Israel to Babylon… the wise men to Bethlehem w/ gifts… Mary & Joseph to Egypt AND back to Nazareth are examples FOR US![1]

Whatever you face… God IS Able! Consider Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)…

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church & in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever & ever!

God gave THE greatest gift… His Son. There is nothing greater to give. If He never gave again, we have more than we deserve. Yet He continues to provide every day of our life. Look at Matthew 7:11 again!

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, HOW MUCH MORE will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Last week’s message)

There is nothing we need we won’t have when it is needed. If we need it… we’ll get it.  If not… we won’t. And GOD determines the difference! TRUST HIM! PUT HIM FIRST REGARDLESS!

Remember… GOD IS IN CHARGE! Quote from New American Commentary… page 105… (SBC)…

If God does not control our lives… from the actions of kings & others in positions of power to the most minute circumstances… then everything in life is uncertain. We are victims of circumstances, & whatever happens will happen. Que sera, sera! But if God is sovereign, as the Bible declares Him to be, & if He is our God… if the promises He makes & the actions He takes are certain (to be fulfilled). Then we can be confident of the future & know that we will be able to live our lives in a way that will please God…[2]

We can’t know all God is doing! We don’t know how He’ll work things out! We don’t know what the result will be of events transpiring in our life now or generations from now! So we trust God! No matter what happens or takes place… WE TRUST GOD!

God is as involved in our life as He was in Daniel, The Magi, The Shepherds, Mary & Joseph. They didn’t see it or sense God in the moment. They didn’t get text messages, emails, or voice mails either. “Just because we aren’t aware God is working doesn’t mean He isn’t!”

You may be like the shepherds, not expecting God to reveal Himself… or Daniel who’s been deported to a place you never thought you’d be… or the Magi, called to a place without knowing the outcome… or in a “desert” and just need to keep moving until God reveals His will.

God’s will & desire is for you to be saved from His wrath. That’s why Jesus died and was resurrected. Trust Him, repenting of your sin so as to be saved. Christian… trust God (Invitation).

[1] 1 Corinthians 10:6a.

[2] Boice, J.M., Daniel: An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989), pg 29.

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