Friday, July 7, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Relevance of Daniel's Life in Today's Context


Alex Thomas
Jackson, TN

“Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine”. Daniel 1:8.


Daniel was one of the four Major Prophets in the “Old Testament” time; along with Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The meaning of ‘Daniel’ is “God is my judge”.  The King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, conquered Jerusalem in 597 BC and took Daniel,  a teenager , as a captive, along with several others to Babylon.  

Self-Control: Daniel 1:8, 10:3. Daniel and his friends resolved not to defile themselves with the royal food and wine . They ate only vegetables and drank only water, yet they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate royal food. When the king questioned them in every matter of wisdom and understanding, they were found 10 times better than all the magicians and enchanters in the kingdom.

Prayerfulness: Dan. 2:17-18, Dan. 6:16. King Nebuchadnezzar summoned all the magicians, enchanters, wise men and astrologers and told them that he had a dream, which he forgot, but they should tell him the dream and its interpretation; if not they all would be put to death and their houses destroyed. Daniel and his friends prayed and the Lord revealed the dream and its meaning to Daniel in a vision. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles”. Isaiah 40:31.

Courage& Integrity. In Daniel 5:22-23, we see that he had the courage to tell  king Belshazzar that, the king has not humbled himself and set himself against the Lord of heaven. Later king Belshazzar was slain and Darius became the king. The king Darius was fond of Daniel’s administrative capabilities.  The other administrators were jealous and could not find any  charges against Daniel in his conduct of governmental affairs. They conspired to trap Daniel in the matter of his faith. Yet, Daniel courageously knelt down and gave thanks to God .So Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. When the king came near the lions’ den and called Daniel, he said, “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions’”, Daniel 6:22. Daniel did not forsake his God even when he faced torture and death.

 Humility:  God has revealed to Daniel deep and mysterious things and also given him the power to interpret dreams . Daniel was very humble before God as can be seen from Daniel 10:17, “How can I, your servant talk with you, my Lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.” In Daniel 2:20 we read that, “Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are his”. 

Spiritual vision: Dan. 7:9-12, Dan. 10. 5-6. Daniel had spiritual visions a few times and with the help of God, became a powerful interpreter of dreams. In Daniel 2:48, we see that king Nebuchadnezzar made him the ruler over the entire province of Babylon, but even then he maintained his spiritual life without compromising his faith in the midst of heathens.

In this day and age when corruption is rampant and people will do anything and everything possible to amass power and position, the life of Daniel gives us a model of empowering testimony. Daniel refused to go along with the king and crowd to do evil.  He did not compromise his beliefs even in the midst of powerful adversities. To live victoriously as Daniel did, we have to have a close relationship with God.

PRAYER

Lord give us the courage to be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who said, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up”., Daniel 3:17-18.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”, Philippians 1:6.