The book of Judges is an action-packed, gruesome book. It is God working on a grand scale, working through men and women to conquer armies and kingdoms, all so He can bring about salvation for His chosen people, a people who don’t deserve that salvation. Over and over again.
The Christian life is a call to a life of risk-taking. Not foolish risks, but risks that are taken in faith after one has counted the cost (Luke 14:28). This is even inherent in the central rite of the church, the Lord’s Supper, which takes one of the most common of human activities and intensifies it with profound meaning.
“The gospel invitation is an invitation to a banquet, which includes intimate fellowship…” with Jesus. From Blessed are the Hungry.
And wise table fellows will help make us wise.
The Christian life contains inherent obligations, as loyalty to any king does. But this king first bids us to sit down, to rest, and to share a meal with him.
This is a compressed, summarized timeline to provide some context for the book of Daniel. This is based on some of the information provided in Jordan’s Handwriting on the Wall.
This assumes the Biblical dates are accurate and takes them seriously. It also makes the assumption that ancient kings had many names for themselves for different times and contexts, and many of them more like titles, such as Ahasuerus. A Biblical example is 1 Chronicles 5:26. There are also more modern cognates, like James I of England was first James VI of Scotland.
I dismissed the original Kung Fu Panda when it first came out, but I’ve seen it with new eyes, and partly through the eyes of my children. It’s a delightful movie, not only because of its great animation, top-notch fight choreography, and well-timed humor, but also because it is has unexpected depth. This depth is made manifest the most in the character arc of the cynical kung fu master, Shifu.