THE STORY chapter # 18
(My home church is participating in the study of THE STORY – The Bible As One Continuing Story Of God And His People. Foreword by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee. Each week, my Thursday post focuses on our current study chapter.)
Daniel arrived in Babylon not by choice, but by force. He was among the first group of people exiled from Jerusalem. One would think being forced to live somewhere other than one’s home, would cause much anger, anxiety and fear. But Daniel adjusted to his new location, by never forgetting his original upbringing.
Throughout Daniel’s life he never forgot; God is the one true King. Daniel displayed his faithful service to God, after king Nebuchadnezzar ordered a group of strong, exiled men to serve in the royal palace. By king’s order, these men were to only eat royal food and drink the king’s wine. Daniel, and three others, opposed this command, asking instead to eat vegetables and drink water for ten days.
After the ten days, Daniel and his three friends were stronger than the other men. For this loyalty, God gave [Daniel and his friends] knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. Daniel 1:17
Because of this special gift, Daniel interpreted dreams for king Nebuchadnezzar. After one of Daniel’s faithful interpretations, revealing God is in charge of history, the king fell prostrate before Daniel. Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. Daniel 2:48
The next king, Belshazzar, requested Daniel, to interpret mysterious writings on a wall. Daniel acknowledged the writings were from God, and prophesied that God condemned Belshazzar for his sinful acts. Still, after Daniel’s prophesy – at Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was clothed in purple, a gold chain was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom. Daniel 5:29
Daniel was so distinguished, he continued serving the next king, Darius. But, royal officials were jealous of Daniel and tried to falsely charge him. Tricked into condemning Daniel to a sealed night in a lions den; king Darius anguished over Daniel’s expected fate. But, glory to God, His angel was sent to shut the mouths of the lions. Daniel emerged unscathed, because of His faith in God. Then jealous royal officials, along with their families, were all thrown into the lion’s den and overpowered.
King Darius said, “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel... Daniel 6:26
Daniel, with all his lavish gifts from kings, and his appointed royal position, could easily have flaunted his earthly power. Instead, Daniel continued to share his God given wisdom with the earthly kings that he served. And he persisted to follow his early life’s path; always focusing his heart on the one true King.
THE STORY foreword by Max Lucado & Randy Frazee