Sometimes when crazy things are going on all around us, it’s hard to remember that God keeps His promises. He reminded me of this in my Old Testament Sunday school class recently when we talked about Daniel, who was incredibly steadfast in his faith. He is one of the only Bible characters that doesn’t seem to mess up. As a teenager, he is taken from his home and made to serve the king (who is probably insane I might add), and the first thing he does is make a deal with his official to let him stay kosher.
Then there are the Veggie Tale type stories of Shadrach, Meshack, and Abendego being thrown in the fire, and Daniel being thrown in the lions’ den. But when you really think about these stories like they are real, they aren’t just some kids stories. These were real people that had to face death because they wouldn’t bow down to an idol. I love what that when Shadrach, Meshack, and Abendego are about to be thrown into the fire they say “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from your majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know…that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3: 17-18)
How mature and amazing is that – to say “even if He doesn’t.”
Something I also didn’t know about Daniel was that he had read Jeremiah’s letters – so he knew that his people, the Israelites, were going to be in exile for 70 years. And that’s where his lifetime stood – he wasn’t going to get to go home to Jerusalem. He was in the time of exile. So even though he knew he would never see God fulfilling his promises personally, he still trusted and knew God would do it.
I think that is something that is hard for us, especially in an American culture to accept. All we think about is ourselves, the world revolves around us, of course God is going to do this thing during our lifetime, because we are the important ones! When really, we could never get to see the results. We have to live like we believe what He says and that He will do what he promises, even if we never see it. That is hard.
Daniel’s life is a great example of how to do that though. He sticks to what He knows he is supposed to do, is incredibly brave, and sets himself up for success by being disciplined and having hope (he prayed 3 times a day and had a window facing the direction of Jerusalem, even though he would never see it).
Daniel is called “treasured by God” multiple times throughout the book, and is allowed to see future events from God. What an amazing reward for staying true to his faith.
Are you trusting that God keeps His promises?
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