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
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