Sunday, August 15, 2010

People to admire

One of my favorite people of the bible has to be Daniel. He had an extraordinary life. When we first read of him he was being taken away captive by the Babylonians. As a young man he was put in the kings service trained as an adviser to the king for the rest of his life.
He stood firm for the Lord right from the start. By refusing to eat from the kings table he was able to prove that God's diet was the right diet for people. He and his three friends came away 10 times wiser than all the other boys. For which the king honored him. His next test came when the king had a dream that he needed interpreted.
No one could give him the answers he wanted he threatened to kill all his advisers. Daniel came forward requesting time to pray to his God for the answers he sought. What a stand he took. Right from the start he gave God the glory for the dream and it's interpretation. For a time they honored God for giving them Daniel and his interpretation of the dream.
But it didn't last long.
Bowing to idols is never the way to honor God. Our devotion must always be totally on HIM and ONLY FOR HIS ETERNAL GLORY. How soon they forgot that. After Daniels friends Shadrack Me shack and Abinedego were put into the fiery furnace and survived. They honored God with more respect.
Until the night Babylon fell. A night of drunken revelry, mocking the Most High Daniel was called again to interpret the cryptic writing on the wall by a bodiless hand. The finger of God writing that message of the fall of Babylon predicted one hundred and fifty years before any of them including Daniel himself were born.
Daniel not only read them the interpretation then he was made witness to a prophecy being fulfilled in his very presence. That night I'm sure he prayed all night uncertain what his fate would be come the dawns light. His faith never wavered. His habit all his life had been to pray three times a day on his knees. Window open toward his home land.
Even the day his pray life came under fire. Under penalty of death he remained steadfast in his devotion to his God. When those evil men could find nothing else to accuse him for, they attacked his love for his God.
A night in a den full of hungry lions was what awaited him. Was he afraid for his life?
Did his faith falter?
Daniel stood before the Persian King that night steadfast in his faith boldly declaring that if God choose NOT to deliver him from the death they were about to give him, his faith would remain as firm and bold until the life was taken from him.
He was so courageous in that moment. So tall and unshaken by the cruel hand of man that his Love for God provided for him that night.
A night in the presence of one LIKE the son of God. Had shut up the mouths of those hungry lions that night. He had nothing to fear for God was with him.
That is amazing. A man simple and humble. Love for God out weighted his fear of man.
What an honor. But God was not finished with him yet. He was about to receive his biggest most astounding revelation of his life.
God had given Daniel the vision of the last days.
He was so terrified by the vision that Daniel fasted and prayed for the meaning of the visions. A week went by before the angle of the Lord, Gabriel was able to come to him and tell him with firm devotion just how much HE, Daniel was loved by God.
Not to fear the dreams he saw for they were not to be fulfilled until the far distant future of man would these things come to pass.
Daniel would be sleeping with his fathers and not have to witness those terrible things he saw in his vision.
Why do I admire Daniel?
For his devotion to God. His love of God to stand before his accusers with such unwavering love and unshakable resolve in his devotion to stand FOR GOD not matter what the hand of man had waiting to strike him down.
Through it all he had the greatest blessing any mortal human being ever got from ones creator.
A once in a lifetime blessing out of the mouth of God himself.
Daniel was Greatly Loved by HIS GOD. Even the angles honored him for that respect.

Times now call for us to stand like Daniel. In the face of adversity, to stand like Daniel. Tall, firm and with the deepest of commitment not to falter.
A tough lesson for us to learn in this day and age. But indeed one worthy for anyone who loves the Lord our God.

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