Text: Daniel 1:1-21
The Kingdom of God is coming! This is the primary message of Daniel
throughout his life as a civil servant and prophet. Long before our Lord Jesus brought this message, Daniel was prophesying about Him and setting the stage for His coming. But before Daniel could prophesy these incredible things, he needed to be humbled and trained. What could be more humbling than to see your home city attacked and the resplendent Temple ruined? Yet that is what Daniel experienced, and in God’s perfect timing and plan, the Babylonians came and damaged Jerusalem and robbed the Temple. These events had already been prophesied, and perhaps Daniel had been aware of what was coming; but it certainly must have been a shock. In these first two verses, we see one of the most common themes of the Bible, “man proposes but God disposes”. Nebuchadnezzar acted in history according to his colonial plans, but God had been organizing this all along. God’s destructive judgement upon His people was terrible, but it was just and consistent with the consequences of breaking covenant with Yahweh. Yet He was graciously planning redemption for His people, and this was the first step.
Daniel not only finds himself forced from his home, but also forced into a new education system by his colonial masters. With this education system came a new religion, for the food which was given to these young Hebrew men was most likely offered to the pagan gods before serving it. How was Daniel to respond?
To refuse would likely end his life and that of his teacher. Yet Daniel knew all too well from painful experience that the reason for his exile from home was because of unfaithfulness. The new generation would prove themselves faithful to Yahweh, even if far away from home. Yahweh is sovereign everywhere, and He does not change, therefore He is to be both: feared and trusted. What was the result of faithfulness? Excellence in all things, both academic and spiritual.
What we will see in these 12 chapters is Daniel’s excellence in wisdom, strength of character, and influence that lasts for thousands of years. God is faithful, and because of that so should be His Servants.
As you and I serve our country, we should commit ourselves to be faithful to our Heavenly Father in all things; for we never know how serious or powerful our ministry will be. Dare to be a Daniel!
Meditate on verse 8. How are you going to apply it to your life?
Father in heaven, Lord of heaven and earth, in the name of Jesus Christ, give me the gift of total obedience to You. Amen.