Matins Devotion: November 22, 2022
“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” This is a quote attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte and it’s a quote that Daniel very much doesn’t take to heart in our reading for this morning.
Nebuchadnezzar is certainly, from a human standpoint, Daniel’s enemy. He’s the king who destroyed Daniel’s city, who burned his temple, who slaughtered his people and scattered the survivors throughout the world. And in a state of bloodthirsty, sinful rage, he’s about to make an enormous stake, about to kill a bunch of his leaders and wisemen because they can’t interpret the dream he won’t even share with them. He’s about to destabilize his empire and dive headfirst into the condemnation he deserves. This is a great moment not to interrupt your enemy.
But Daniel doesn’t want an enemy. Daniel wants a brother, which is why Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzer both the dream and the interpretation. Daniel doesn’t want the king to suffer. He wants the king to repent, to know the true God and to rule with the blessing of the true God surrounding him. Of course, Daniel wants this because God wants this. And because God wants this for the king of Babylon, then you can be at peace because that means God also wants this for you.
When you were an enemy of God making countless mistakes, when you were tearing yourself apart through your sinful foolishness, God interrupted you. He interfered in your life. He came into your world to come to your aid, to come to the aid of the sinner who hated Him. The Son of God became your brother. He took on human flesh for you, died for you, ripped your sins out of your hands. The cup of wrath that you foolishly filled up for yourself, He drank it all. And when He did this, He made you His own. When He died for you, rose for you, and clothed you in the waters of baptism, Christ interrupted His enemy and made him His brother. Christ interrupted you and made you His own.