This opening story in the book of Daniel introduces us to two of the main themes of book…God is actively involved in the lives of His people no matter the location or circumstance, even if it’s in a place that is in total opposition to Him and His kingdom, and He will vindicate and prosper them if they remain faithful to Him—for He, and not the king, is Lord. He gave Jehoiakim into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar in an act of judgment, but He preserved the boys by giving them favor in the eyes of their captors, and by giving them gifts of wisdom and knowledge, insight and understanding.
Daniel and company are in a precarious situation that pressures them to compromise their faith. Yet they remain faithful, and God protects them and blesses them in a hostile environment, within the Babylonian political machine. The fantastic four then are models of how believers are to conduct themselves in a culture hostile to their faith.
For we too live in a culture that is hostile to faith in God…a culture that seeks to mold us into its worldview. It’s a culture where compromise is easy, but standing for what’ right is not. It’s costly…your job, your reputation, and in the not too distant future maybe even your life. How then should we live?
We should live a life of faith and confidence in the God who is actively involved in the lives of His people. If you are a follower of Jesus, if you’ trusted in Him, your identity has already been reclaimed. No matter what the world says about you or the names it calls you, no matter how much it attempts to mold you, you are a son or daughter of the King of the universe. Whatever your circumstance today, no matter how desperate the situation seems, God is still God. He is sovereign. He is in control, He reigns, He has a plan, He keeps His promises, He raises up kings and puts down kings, He empowers the faithful, He draws men to Himself, and He brings glory to Himself. And when we lay hold of that, when our faith is put to the test, we, like Daniel, will be able to remain calm and focused even in the most dire of situations. Rarely does God save us from the circumstances of life this side of the garden, but He does save us through them. God wants to use us in this broken world to be His ministers. He’s placed us in the job we’re in, the school we attend, and surrounded us with folks who don’t know Him, so that we can point them to Him.
If you don’t know this God today, Ha’elohim, the God, the one true God, my prayer for you today and throughout this series is that you will come to know Him, that you too might be reclaimed.
Until next time…stay salty.
This post is based on our Daniel series entitled Reclaimed. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster