This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.
Acknowledge is a word which seems to me to be important in the Bible. There are several ways acknowledge may be used. It can mean recognise that something is true, recognise that someone exists, greet someone, and recognise someone’s contribution to one’s own work as in the acknowledgements at the end of many books.
I searched the Bible on the Bible Gateway website to find instances of the word acknowledge in the NIVUK translation of the Bible. I discovered that there were four main contexts in which Acknowledge appeared.
- It is important to acknowledge God. Leviticus 22:32 , Deuteronomy 4:39 , 1 Chronicles 28:9
- To acknowledge one’s sins Psalm 32:5
- To acknowledge one’s family. Deuteronomy 21:17
- Jesus promised that He will acknowledge those who acknowledge Him and that those, who acknowledge him also have the Father. Matthew 10:32 , 1 John 2:23 , Revelation 3:5
Nebuchadnezzar learns that God must be acknowledged
The Book of Daniel is full of dreams and prophecies. Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king, whose story is told in Daniel 1-4. When Nebuchadnezzar had his first disturbing dream he asked his wise men and advisers not only to interpret the dream, but first to tell him what he had dreamt. Otherwise he would execute them.
This was an impossible request. Daniel was one of the advisers, whose life was at stake. He asked his three friends to pray with him that God would reveal the dream and spare their lives. The dream and its interpretation were revealed to Daniel. He explained it to the king and many lives were spared as Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged Daniel’s God to be the God of gods and Lord of kings.
This acknowledgement was short-lived. Daniel interpreted a later dream, which predicted that as a result of claiming glory for himself rather than for God Nebuchadnezzar would be reduced to behaving like an animal, eating grass. Daniel gave Nebuchadnezzar the advice that he could avoid this fate by acknowledging his dependence on God.
Nebuchadnezzar became prideful and the prophecy was fulfilled. After a time Nebuchadnezzar did acknowledge God and his sanity and his kingship were restored.
Perhaps the title of this post should be “What I read from cover to cover in March and April 2018”. I have been struggling with a couple of biographical/autobiographical books. One was tedious, because of the number of direct quotes from the writings of the people in the book, each with a superscript to send the diligent reader to the notes. I found it broke up the text, making it difficult to read. The other had so many references to film and television personalities that I was somewhat lost. I have lived most of my life without watching much television and would far sooner read than watch a film.
As I don’t like making unfavourable remarks about books, I shall not be telling you which books they were.
By contrast I have read three books (coincidentally all in American English) which I enjoyed so much that I have returned to part or all of them.
The first was The Daniel Prayer: The Prayer That Moves Heaven And Changes Nations by Anne Graham Lotz (daughter of the late Billy Graham).
The reasons that I read it were that the Ladies’ Bible Study Group I attend is studying the Book of Daniel and the first email I received from Bible Gateway (after this blog was listed on Bible Gateway’s Blogger Grid) advertised The Daniel Prayer. I could not resist the synchronicity and bought it from my local Christian bookshop. Anne Graham Lotz is a first-rate communicator. The paperback book is light and was my book of choice for long-distance train travel.
The second book I finished was And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Housseini. I found it in the library and read it from cover to cover in two days. The story is woven very skilfully and requires the reader to pay close attention. Although I felt as if I had followed all the threads, I waited a day or two and read it again more slowly, savouring the descriptions and picking up more of the nuances. It is the best novel I have read in a long time. (I have previously read The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by the same author.) The differences between UK and US English are perhaps most marked for everyday items. For example, rocks in the UK are large. We call small ones (and pebbles) stones. Skipping rocks must mean skimming stones, but I only realised this on the second reading.
The third book I read was lent to me by a friend after I enthused about the first book. It is Why? Trusting God when we don’t understand by Anne Graham Lotz. It is a little book, which may be read at a single sitting, or kept to hand to read a section at a time and really digest the contents. It is based on a chapter from John’s gospel, but also refers more than once to the Book of Daniel.