Are You Hopeful?

Re: Verse reading–Daniel 1 (day two)
“…The Lord handed Jehoiakim king of Judah over to him…” Jehoiakim’s name means “the LORD raises up.” He didn’t choose to be king of Judah. His father, King Josiah, was killed in battle. His brother lasted as king for 3 months. Then the conquering ruler made Jehoiakim king (see 2 Kings 23). In defeat, Jehoiakim’s name rang true although he was no longer “raised up.” Daniel is clear. It is the Lord who “raised up” this conquering king of Babylon. The Lord gives the city over to defeat. Ironically, this is the note of hope amidst crushing defeat. If God was sovereign in defeat, then God will be sovereign in restoration. Perhaps this pattern was on Jesus’ mind when he said, “I lay down my life-only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord” (John 10:17-18). In a surprising way, the pattern applies to us as well. “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16). The greatest evidence of a hopeful Christian is sacrificial service. So are you hopeful?

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