March 29, 2023
Thank you for your willingness to pray for our prodigals and for revival. The Bible affirms that God hears and answers prayer. It may not be in the way or in the time that you expect, but He always does.
The words of George Mueller are most striking. He said, “I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk about, when I lie down and when I rise up. And the answers are always coming.”
The Book of Daniel is a fascinating story of a young captive who was carried off to Babylon during Israel’s 70-year captivity. While he was a contemporary of Ezekiel, who lived among the people in a village near the Chebar canal, Daniel lived in high places in the city, being involved in government his whole time in exile.
It is a good reminder that God has his people in different spheres of service to reflect His image and do His work. It should help protect us from having a critical spirit towards others.
The book is divided into 2 main sections, the first from chapters 1-6 looking at Daniel’s person, and the second from chapters 7-12 looking at Daniel’s prophecy. Let’s go a little deeper in our consideration: Daniel’s character excels. It seems he recognizes the reason the nation is in captivity and submits to God’s plans without complaint. In the opening chapter, both his humility and faithfulness to God are evident.
“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank” (Daniel 1:8). This firmness and wisdom to keep pure from the food of the king traces back his understanding of the law of God. His boundaries were governed by God’s Word, even with possible repercussions in his life. He stood strong.
He was a man of true faith and kept God central in his life. As a young man facing an angry monarch who planned to kill all his wise men because they couldn’t interpret his dream, Daniel turned to his God (Daniel 2:12). As an older man with jealous princes sought to destroy him by feeding him to hungry lions, he continued to pray to his God (Daniel 6).
Our behavior will always flow from the strength of inward character. The pressure and trials of life will reveal and develop who we really are before God.
Daniel’s 3 friends of captivity (Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) were especially helpful in his growth as a believer in a foreign culture where God was not known or revered. It was gracious of God to provide Daniel with like-minded companions.
While sometimes you are called to stand alone, God made you for community, and like Daniel and his friends, this needs to be cultivated. They ate together. They talked together. They prayed together and they shared with each other. They did life together!
There will be times when you will be weak and need a friend. There will be times when you may drift and stray. A friend will steer you back. There will be times when you are very low, and a friend will pick you up. This is the blessing of friendship.
Surround yourself with those who love God and have your best at heart!
It is clear to see the sovereign hand of God on Daniel’s life, and his influence was remarkable. God preserved and protected Daniel as he navigated through political unrest in the Babylonian kingdom.
Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful king of his day. He was the king that destroyed Jerusalem and took Daniel captive. Daniel bravely spoke truth into his life and, as a result, turned the king's heart to God. The courage of his 3 friends who were thrown into the fiery furnace with him also had a great impact upon the king.
This is what he said, “Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way’” (Daniel 3:28-29).
Not only did Nebuchadnezzar worship God, but when Darius, king of the Medes, gained control, he too praised the God of Daniel. After Daniel was miraculously saved from the lions, Darius wrote to his people and said, “I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever” (Daniel 6:26).
Hopefully you are able to see God work in your life in such a way that others are influenced to the point of trusting your God. More often than not, we are links in a chain and don’t always get to see the end result of our testimonies. A coming day will reveal the impact of your life on others. Stay true!
The visions of Daniel cover the reign of future kingdoms including the Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires, right up to the time of Jesus. He even makes specific prophetic utterances that continue to the end times, which correlate with Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation.
Thankfully, he points his audience to an everlasting kingdom, a kingdom in which we share, and whose ruler we love: the Lord Jesus Christ. “His kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:27).
May God give us all the enabling grace to serve and obey Him today!
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel