The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday November 25, 2018 (NIV)

Daniel 1:1-2:23

Daniel and His Friends

In the third year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah,[a] King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia attacked Jerusalem. The Lord let Nebuchadnezzar capture Jehoiakim and take away some of the things used in God’s temple. And when the king returned to Babylonia,[b] he put these things in the temple of his own god.

One day the king ordered Ashpenaz, his highest palace official, to choose some young men from the royal family of Judah and from other leading Jewish families. The king said, “They must be healthy, handsome, smart, wise, educated, and fit to serve in the royal palace. Teach them how to speak and write our language and give them the same food and wine that I am served. Train them for three years, and then they can become court officials.”

Four of the young Jews chosen were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, all from the tribe of Judah. But the king’s chief official gave them Babylonian names: Daniel became Belteshazzar, Hananiah became Shadrach, Mishael became Meshach, and Azariah became Abednego.

Daniel made up his mind to eat and drink only what God had approved for his people to eat. And he asked the king’s chief official for permission not to eat the food and wine served in the royal palace. God had made the official friendly and kind to Daniel. 10 But the man still told him, “The king has decided what you must eat and drink. And I am afraid he will kill me, if you eat something else and end up looking worse than the other young men.”

11 The king’s official had put a guard in charge of Daniel and his three friends. So Daniel said to the guard, 12 “For the next ten days, let us have only vegetables and water at mealtime. 13 When the ten days are up, compare how we look with the other young men, and decide what to do with us.” 14 The guard agreed to do what Daniel had asked.

15 Ten days later, Daniel and his friends looked healthier and better than the young men who had been served food from the royal palace. 16 After this, the guard let them eat vegetables instead of the rich food and wine.

17 God made the four young men smart and wise. They read a lot of books and became well educated. Daniel could also tell the meaning of dreams and visions.

18 At the end of the three-year period set by King Nebuchadnezzar, his chief palace official brought all the young men to him. 19 The king interviewed them and discovered that none of the others were as outstanding as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they were given positions in the royal court. 20 From then on, whenever the king asked for advice, he found their wisdom was ten times better than that of any of his other advisors and magicians. 21 Daniel served there until the first year of King Cyrus.[c]

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

During the second year that Nebuchadnezzar was king, he had such horrible nightmares that he could not sleep. So he called in his counselors, advisors, magicians, and wise men, and said, “I am disturbed by a dream that I don’t understand, and I want you to explain it.”

They answered in Aramaic,[d] “Your Majesty, we hope you live forever! We are your servants. Please tell us your dream, and we will explain what it means.”

But the king replied, “No! I have made up my mind. If you don’t tell me both the dream and its meaning, you will be chopped to pieces and your houses will be torn down. However, if you do tell me both the dream and its meaning, you will be greatly rewarded and highly honored. Now tell me the dream and explain what it means.”

“Your Majesty,” they said, “if you will only tell us your dream, we will interpret it for you.”

The king replied, “You’re just stalling for time, because you know what’s going to happen if you don’t come up with the answer. You’ve decided to make up a bunch of lies, hoping I might change my mind. Now tell me the dream, and that will prove that you can interpret it.”

10 His advisors explained, “Your Majesty, you are demanding the impossible! No king, not even the most famous and powerful, has ever ordered his advisors, magicians, or wise men to do such a thing. 11 It can’t be done, except by the gods, and they don’t live here on earth.”

12-13 This made the king so angry that he gave orders for every wise man in Babylonia to be put to death, including Daniel and his three friends.

God Tells Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream to Daniel

14 Arioch was the king’s official in charge of putting the wise men to death. He was on his way to have it done, when Daniel very wisely went to him 15 and asked, “Why did the king give such cruel[e] orders?” After Arioch explained what had happened, 16 Daniel rushed off and said to the king, “If you will just give me some time, I’ll explain your dream.”

17 Daniel returned home and told his three friends. 18 Then he said, “Pray that the God who rules from heaven will be merciful and explain this mystery, so that we and the others won’t be put to death.” 19 In a vision one night, Daniel was shown the dream and its meaning. Then he praised the God who rules from heaven:

20 “Our God, your name
will be praised
forever and forever.
You are all-powerful,
and you know everything.
21 You control human events—
you give rulers their power
and take it away,
and you are the source
of wisdom and knowledge.

22 “You explain deep mysteries,
because even the dark
is light to you.
23 You are the God
who was worshiped
by my ancestors.
Now I thank you and praise you
for making me wise
and telling me the king’s dream,
together with its meaning.”


  1. 1.1 Jehoiakim. . . king of Judah: Ruled 609-598 B.C.
  2. 1.2 Babylonia: The Hebrew text has “Shinar,” another name for Babylonia.
  3. 1.21 first year of King Cyrus: 539 B.C.
  4. 2.4 Aramaic: Chapter 2.4—7.28 is written in Aramaic, a language closely related to Hebrew.
  5. 2.15 cruel: Or “urgent.”

1 Peter 3:8-4:6

Suffering for Doing Right

Finally, all of you should agree and have concern and love for each other. You should also be kind and humble. Don’t be hateful and insult people just because they are hateful and insult you. Instead, treat everyone with kindness. You are God’s chosen ones, and he will bless you. The Scriptures say,

10 “Do you really love life?
Do you want to be happy?
Then stop saying cruel things
and quit telling lies.
11 Give up your evil ways
and do right,
as you find and follow
the road that leads
to peace.
12 The Lord watches over
everyone who obeys him,
and he listens
to their prayers.
But he opposes everyone
who does evil.”

13 Can anyone really harm you for being eager to do good deeds? 14 Even if you have to suffer for doing good things, God will bless you. So stop being afraid and don’t worry about what people might do. 15 Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life.

Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope. 16 Give a kind and respectful answer and keep your conscience clear. This way you will make people ashamed for saying bad things about your good conduct as a follower of Christ. 17 You are better off to obey God and suffer for doing right than to suffer for doing wrong.

18 Christ died once for our sins.
An innocent person died
for those who are guilty.
Christ did this
to bring you to God,
when his body
was put to death
and his spirit
was made alive.

19 Christ then preached to the spirits that were being kept in prison. 20 They had disobeyed God while Noah was building the boat, but God had been patient with them. Eight people went into that boat and were brought safely through the flood.

21 Those flood waters were like baptism that now saves you. But baptism is more than just washing your body. It means turning to God with a clear conscience, because Jesus Christ was raised from death. 22 Christ is now in heaven, where he sits at the right side[a] of God. All angels, authorities, and powers are under his control.

Being Faithful to God

Christ suffered here on earth. Now you must be ready to suffer as he did, because suffering shows that you have stopped sinning. It means you have turned from your own desires and want to obey God for the rest of your life. You have already lived long enough like people who don’t know God. You were immoral and followed your evil desires. You went around drinking and partying and carrying on. In fact, you even worshiped disgusting idols. Now your former friends wonder why you have stopped running around with them, and they curse you for it. But they will have to answer to God, who judges the living and the dead. The good news has even been preached to the dead,[b] so that after they have been judged for what they have done in this life, their spirits will live with God.


  1. 3.22 right side: The place of honor and power.
  2. 4.6 the dead: Either people who died after becoming followers of Christ or the people of Noah’s day (see 3.19).

Psalm 119:65-80

65 I am your servant, Lord,
and you have kept your promise
to treat me with kindness.
66 Give me wisdom and good sense.
I trust your commands.
67 Once you corrected me
for not obeying you,
but now I obey.
68 You are kindhearted,
and you do good things,
so teach me your laws.
69 My reputation is being ruined
by conceited liars,
but with all my heart
I follow your teachings.
70 Those liars have no sense,
but I find happiness
in your Law.
71 When you corrected me,
it did me good
because it taught me
to study your laws.
72 I would rather obey you
than to have a thousand pieces
of silver and gold.

73 You created me
and put me together.
Make me wise enough to learn
what you have commanded.
74 Your worshipers will see me,
and they will be glad
that I trust your word.
75 Your decisions are correct,
and you were right
to punish me.
76 I serve you, Lord.
Comfort me with your love,
just as you have promised.
77 I love to obey your Law!
Have mercy and let me live.
78 Put down those proud people
who hurt me with their lies,
because I have chosen
to study your teachings.
79 Let your worshipers come to me,
so they will learn
to obey your rules.
80 Let me truly respect your laws,
so I won’t be ashamed.

Proverbs 28:14

14 The Lord blesses everyone
who is afraid to do evil,
but if you are cruel,
you will end up in trouble.