The LORD had allowed judgment to come upon Judah by Babylon because of their refusal to repent, but He was pleased to lift up people who had character right in the midst of Babylon. The LORD never leaves Himself without a witness of His glory. Daniel is a fascinating book; it contains prophecies that have been fulfilled, and many that will be, along with some very powerful accounts of faith.
After “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies,” we see how God blessed him along with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. They served before the king and he found them ten times wiser than all his other men. If they were 10 times wiser, how great in wisdom should we be with the mind of Christ?
After we see them stand strong in faith in chapter 1, Daniel and his friends are about to encounter a greater challenge of faith in chapter 2. The LORD gave King Nebuchadnezzar a dream; the king was so serious about getting a true interpretation of the dream that he pronounced death to all the magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers if they couldn’t first tell him his dream and then give its interpretation. After none of them could reveal the dream (that was from the LORD), his men went to kill Daniel and his friends also. The LORD actually instigated this situation that put a “death sentence” on them, but the LORD had other plans! Daniel and his companions sought “mercies” from the LORD and Daniel was able to tell the king “there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets” (vs. 28). The king had to admit, "Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret" (vs. 47).
The tests became greater and so did the rewards of faith. King Nebuchadnezzar’s words sum up the great victory of faith of chapter 3 when he said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this" (verses 28-29).
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan