"Who Is God?" 6 Reminders From the Book of Daniel
I have been studying the book of Daniel for months now. Writing the scripts for each episode of A Right Heart’s podcast is slow, deliberate, and laborious work. After reading verse by verse and studying word after word of biblical stories, it feels like I know them inside and out by the time the episode is completed. As I was digging deeper into Daniel, his name and story kept coming up in my life constantly-- In messages I heard, podcasts I listened to, books I read, and conversations I had! My pastor even started a series on the book of Daniel. I love when this happens because I know that it is the Holy Spirit who is calling me to pay close attention as He works to teach me valuable lessons. I decided to write down the 6 lessons that have stuck out to me as I contemplated the story of Daniel, and I’d love to share them with you!
1. Daniel understood who God is and put himself under His authority. Daniel decided early on in his life to dedicate himself to God alone. He was a slave who, as a child, was taken away from his family and was given to a pagan kingdom. He didn't fight his circumstances, but instead recognized that God was his real and ultimate authority. He belonged to God and His servanthood to the Most High God came before his servanthood to the king every single time. The gifts of wisdom, intelligence, skill and knowledge from God caught the attention of the king, but they were gifts that God gave to Daniel to be used for God's glory and no one else's. Not even Daniel took any glory for himself. The lesson: knowing Him is the most important thing in this life. God alone gives all that we need in order to accomplish the work that He ordains for us.
2. Daniel understood the importance of humility. He was so gifted that he could have had a tendency to be proud. But he wasn't. He bowed before God always, never boasted in himself, but always boasted in God! He pointed people to God in all he did with such humility and courage. The lesson: humility is one of the most important things to God.
3. Daniel sought God. He didn't just seek Him for help in times of need. He sought Him in worship every single day of his life. Many people only seek God when they need something… they don't actually want Him. But because Daniel sought God, he had the amazing favor of God in his life. Not for Daniels' glory, but for GOD’S alone. The lesson: God desires to be sought after. He looks around the entire world to see if there are any that seek Him. There are innumerable blessings to the one who seeks God for nothing else but to worship and to love Him.
4. Daniel's life shows an unbelievable principle that is still true today: God repays our faithfulness to Him with faithfulness to us. He repays our dedication to Him with His dedication to us. He repays our seeking Him with answered prayer and with His protection. This principle is found throughout the entire Bible and it is especially clear with Daniel. The lesson: He will give us what we give to Him. We can never out-give God!
5. Daniel's story reminds us that God is our Defender and Shield. Those jealous people who plotted against Daniel to have him killed eventually had destruction come to their own lives. They were put into the lion's den and eaten alive. It's so clear that we eat the fruit of our words and actions! It's wise to never speak evil against anyone, but especially someone who seeks God, for they are favored and protected by Him. In the end, Daniel was saved and they were not. We can see this principle in so many life stories recorded in Scriptures: Saul, Shadrach, Meshach and Abendego, Miriam, and Job to name a few. The lesson: it's an absolute truth that those who work to hurt and destroy others will bring hurt and destruction upon themselves.
6. Daniel understood the absolute Sovereignty of God. In his own words “ Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: And he changes the seasons: He removes kings, and sets up kings: He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He reveals the deep and secret things: He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who has given me wisdom and might and has made known to me what we desired of thee: for thou has now made known unto us the kings matter.” The lesson: He is God who oversees and who is Absolute Sovereign Ruler over all circumstances for all people.
The name Daniel means “God is my judge”, and he lived out the full meaning of his name in bold confidence!
I agree with Daniel,
Founder of ARH