Daniel: Living by Faith; Not by Sight

Daniel in the Lions' Den

Daniel was about 14 years old when king Nebuchadnezzar’s army dragged him along with his fellow Jews as captives to Babylon in 597 BC. The Babylonians must have had noticed his potential so they had put him on a Civil Service Training program, which would allow him to work in the Babylonian king’s court. It must have had been a very difficult situation for Daniel because he would serve the Babylonian king who continued to wage war against his fellow Jews.

Yet he remained faithful to God and he never compromised his faith. He never even let the food of the Babylonian king defile his body. The king’s diet must have had food, which God forbade Israel to eat.

When Jeremiah’s letter had reached the Jews in Babylon, he was already there for more than ten years. It would have had been heart breaking for him to learn that they would have to stay there for 70 years! It would mean that by the time the Jews could return home, he would be very old. In fact, scholars said that by the time his enemies threw him into the lions’ den, he must have been already in his 80’s.

However, Daniel never waned in faith. In the book of Daniel, we could read that every time he arrived home, he would open his window and would look toward the direction of Jerusalem and would pray to God three times a day. Obviously, he longed for Jerusalem but he never stopped believing that God would save them from captivity and would bring them home, and he patiently and diligently waited. He trusted God very deeply. He lived not for what he was seeing but on how he knew his God.

Through him, God revealed his power and glory before great conquerors. With his prophetic gift, God moved mightily at the heart of the oppressing empire and conquered it by his Spirit for even Nebuchadnezzar worshiped the God of Israel.

May we all learn from Daniel and like him focus on Christ. He who called us is faithful so we ought to be faithful to Him too and it starts with a faith that never wanes.

Right now, we may be suffering but while we are, we need to live by faith and not by sight. By doing so, we can become a light to those who too are lurking in the darkness of their own situations; that in spite of difficulty, the peace of God reigns in our hearts.

to be continued

Photo above:

A photographic reproduction from Wiki Commons of English: Daniel’s Answer to the King by Briton Rivière, R.A.

Date: 1890 Source: Manchester City Art Gallery by: Briton Rivière (1840-1920)

Source Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Daniellion.jpg

Destructive Pride- Proverbs 16.18

“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” –Proverbs 16:18

Christ Our Pilot by Warner Sallman

Leaning on our own wisdom and judgment might just lead us toward an ice burg and crash senselessly. Man is prone to error and miscalculations no matter how good he thinks he has prepared for the life long travel. If he will insist to be the captain of his own ship, he might end up under the sea of life.

The Pharos of Alexandria in its grandeur and beauty may also symbolize man’s quest for glory and recognition. By nature, man boasts about accomplishments, which sometimes deludes him in thinking that he is self-made or self-sufficient.

In the earthquake of 1303, the towering monument of Ptolemy, the Pharos of Alexandria crumbled to the ground, and never rose again. It only proves that anything that the human hands build is but temporary. Anyone who takes pride on himself might share the same fate.

Keep on steering the wheel of life with confidence as an obedient pilot. Take pride not in the countless successes you gain in your journey but in the wisdom, power, and faithfulness of the Lord Jesus- the Captain of your ship.

In this life, God designs our course and destination and we navigate toward the completion. He does not make the decisions for us but He can guide our decisions through his prompting. He will not drag us down to accomplish His will; He will only show us the vision and the way then He will give us the chance to follow and reap the reward of our obedience. If you we know the Lord, we will recognize His prompting and if we trust Him as the captain of our ship, we will obey.

Faith is neither complacent nor passive. It is not a passenger seat voyage. Faith requires action and participation for everything we do is an act of worshipful obedience.

In this life’s voyage, is Jesus the captain of your ship? Do you follow Him or you still navigate on your own?

Image: Christ Our Pilot by Warner Sallman

As General Motors Goes Bankrupt- Proverbs 11:28

“He that trusts in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish like a branch.” –Proverbs 11:28

pontiac-solstice-coup

It is hard to imagine that a company as large as General Motors USA, manufacturer of Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Buick, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, and Saab would succumb to financial crisis. It has been leading the car manufacturing industry in the USA for at least a hundred years, of course along with Ford USA.

According to an article from Associated Press, General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which consists of a plan to reduce the automaker to a sustainable size and give the majority ownership to the federal government, which is 60 percent of the new GM. The Canadian government would take 12.5 percent, with the United Auto Workers gets a 17.5 percent share and unsecured bondholders receiving 10 percent. However, the rehabilitation plan of the company would wipe out all existing GM shareholders… GM’s bankruptcy filing is the fourth largest in US history and the largest for an industrial company. The company said it has $172.81 billion in debt and $82.29 billion in assets… The GM’s downsizing would be limited to the following brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick. For the Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Saab operations, they would either sell or close them down. GM further said that it is finalizing a deal to sell Hummer, and they will announce the plans for Saturn later.

saturn-hummer

The article further stated that GM has employed 618,000 Americans in 1979, which is more than any other company has done. Now, they need to cut down labor and overhead costs to keep the company afloat, which will affect its 61,000 hourly workers and 27,000 white-collar employees.

If $82B in assets were not enough to secure a large company like GM, how much would it take to secure a large company that has been operating for almost a hundred years? If ever it is a case of mismanagement, maybe I have asked the wrong question. It should have been, who? However, the US government itself has not prevented a recession, who then can guarantee that even a good manager would not make a wrong decision somewhere?
A large company as GM could not secure itself for a time of trouble, how could you secure yourself from bankruptcy?

Photo from:
http://www.uncrate.com/men/cars/sports-cars/2009-pontiac-solstice-coupe/