Oppressive Opponents

Series: Among Lions | Week 4: Writing on the Wall

Read Daniel 4:19-27

1. What emotion did Daniel experience after hearing about Nebuchadnezzar’s dream?
2. How did Daniel’s first words in verse 19 indicate what he cared about most?
3. After interpreting the dream, what advice did Daniel give Nebuchadnezzar?

Up until this point, Nebuchadnezzar had caused a lot of oppression in Daniel’s life. Yet when Daniel understood the meaning of the king’s dream, he cared about his heart enough to challenge him with truth. If Nebuchadnezzar wanted to prosper, he needed to break away from his sin and show mercy to the poor. Daniel showed mercy to the king, and he encouraged mercy as a response.

In our cultural climate, it can be easy to see people with different viewpoints as opponents to overcome. But just like Daniel genuinely loved, cared, and prayed for his enemy, we’re called to do the same. Through our example of love and mercy, we’ll earn the relationship capital to encourage them toward a life with Jesus.

Who do you view as your opponent? Perhaps someone with different political views or someone who has caused you pain? Take some time now to confess your struggle to love them. Ask God to soften your heart to forgive, and let Him love and speak through you as you interact with them this week.

Want to go deeper? Read these verses in 2 Peter. What do they say about the reason for God’s patience with us? How do these verses change the way you'll view and interact with your personal opponents?

Among Lions