Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
Deliverance (Part 44)
Starring Roles: Daniel
I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
Daniel 6:26-27 (NKJV)
Daniel was a man for today: a prime player in Babylon. Like many stars, he started young: a child of integrity who grew up amidst idolatry. His king was Nebuchadnezzar, a skilled conqueror of nations. America's king is a screen, a skilled conqueror of cultures.*
Daniel and his friends changed the world. Through their witness, God became known. Without condemnation, they rose. The Sun of Righteousness rose, too.
Among many godly attributes, consider these lessons from Daniel:
1) He was prayerful: an unbreakable habit. 'And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days' (Daniel 6:10). Through ovens and lions, Daniel and his friends prayed.
2) He was adaptable to a strange new culture. He was among Israel's most brilliant young men, 'Well informed, quick to understand... the language and literature of the Babylonians' (Daniel 1:4). Daniel adapted to an alien lifestyle, so he could become God's means of change within it.
3) He was a high achiever, known for excellence. He and his friends were gifted, but also worked hard: 'And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm' (Daniel 1:20).
4) He was respectful of peers, brethren, king and God. 'Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; take me before the king... You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory' (Daniel 2:24,37). By his consistent acts of consideration, Daniel positioned himself to receive favor.**
5) He was loyal and never forgot his true Boss. He refused to be bought: 'Keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else' (Daniel 5:17). He refused all credit: 'There is a God in heaven Who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days' (Daniel 2:28).
6) He was a survivor of wars, lies and lions. 'O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths' (Daniel 6:21-22). He lived to serve and enlighten four famous kings. He had astonishing visions that made him sick, but God sustained him until a very old age. Through every hard trial, God delivered Daniel.
7) He was a world-changer who lived among pagans. Through Daniel's witness, kings and cultures were transformed. 'To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth... Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of Whose works are truth, and His ways justice' (Daniel 4:1,37).***
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC Devotion Series on Daniel, Strangers in Hollywood: http://amtcdevotions.org/strangers-in-hollywood-part-1-lessons-from-daniel-the-best-and-brightest
** 'Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon. Also Daniel petitioned the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon' (Daniel 2:48-49).
*** Daniel Chapter 4 in its entirety: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel%204&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Deliverance series.