By: Mary Kirkwood
What a blessing to learn from the experiences of Abraham, Enoch, Noah, Joseph, and others, and be encouraged to trust God and believe His message as Daniel did, and realize that God is dealing differently with believers in the present Church Age. God, who has attributes that never change (He will always be full of grace, love, compassion, justice, etc.), does not speak to us today through dreams, visions, or prophets, because we have the complete canon of Scripture, and He has provided all we need spiritually, through His Word.
There is so much to learn about the love of God, His faithfulness and justice in His dealings with His chosen people. God knew, in eternity past, that the Christian life was not a cakewalk, and gave us examples of men and women in the Old Testament who would be role models for us to encourage us in our daily walk. Daniel is one of my favorite characters!
God had made a covenant with His chosen people, that if they obeyed Him, He would bless them, but if they refused to heed His warnings, they would face complete and total destruction as a nation. The nation not only disregarded what God had taught them, but also chose to worship idols, and even sacrificed their own children to idols. That’s the bad news! The good news is that God always has a faithful remnant who believe His message to them, and are witnesses of His Grace in every dispensation.
There were three invasions of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. In the first invasion, Daniel was taken captive with forty to fifty other teens from the royal line. The Jewish custom was to carefully instruct the boys about God and the wonders that He had performed on their behalf in Egypt, and to teach them from the books of the Bible available to them at that time. Because Daniel had purposed, at an early age, to believe and trust in God, and had given first priority to the study of God’s Word, he was ready for the problems that he encountered.
Daniel had Bible Doctrine, and he never wasted time feeling sorry for himself. It must have been a painful experience being separated from his loving family and Jerusalem, the land that he loved. His desire was to be a witness for God no matter where he was–at home or in a heathen land. Nebuchadnezzar was unsuccessful in brainwashing Daniel and his friends. The four to five hundred other teens that were taken hostage, apparently, were brainwashed and are not mentioned in the Word of God.
God used Daniel in witnessing to four kings: Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus. Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, and Cyrus believed in God as a result of Daniel’s faith in God. When he stood before these kings, he always made it very clear that he himself could do nothing; it was all of God, and the glory belonged only to Him.
None of us know what the future holds for our country, or for each one of us, but we need to know Who holds the future. We need not fear the future, as believers, because He has told us 366 times in the Bible, “Fear thou not.” The Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, gives us example after example of God’s faithfulness to the believer. The more we study the Bible, the more apparent it is that God gave us His Word to equip us in every circumstance that we face. The Christian’s greatest need is to know Him better (through His Word), which results in our trusting Him more and depending on Him alone to live the Christian life.