So last night we finished our journey through the book of Daniel and WOW what a ride! So many things that we read and even discussed are so relevant today it’s alarming. Well…check that, not really alarming so much as making more sense given todays’ climate in the world. I found it absolutely fascinating how REAL prophetic ministry came to life here. With every passing “word from the Lord” that was given, we see so many times its fulfillment in history; especially in the “dark” or “silent” years of scripture–those 450 years in between the old and new testament for which we have a lot of extra-biblical writing that sets up the cultural context for Jesus life and ministry.
Anyways, back to Daniel…
Daniel teaches us two lessons that are important for us to grasp today, and if I were to give a one-phrase theme for the whole of his writings, I would say it is “How to Survive in Babylon”.
So how do we survive in Babylon? Faithfulness and Perseverance!
From the very beginning of Daniel, through to the end, we see the faithfulness of Daniel! His faithfulness has an impact not just on his friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, but on the kings of Babylon and Persia as well! His faithfulness to God paved a way for him to become an influence in the entire empire, opening doors that wouldn’t have been opened especially as an exile under bondage to a heathen ruler. The implication here is that our faithfulness to God unleashes HIS faithfulness towards us; in ways we can’t even imagine or fathom in the midst of our situations!
The final exhortation of Daniel at the end of the final prophetic revelation is to Persevere in spite of the circumstances. The times will be tough (even now, they are not exactly peachy), and those who overcome will do it through persevering over those tough times; relying on the faithfulness of God and living a life of faithfulness TO God. Perseverance is rooted in TRUSTING God’s faithfulness in times of chaos and trouble. We can see through the example of Daniel that the heart of God is to be trusted in by his people. The faithfulness of God is revealed in the promised Deliverance of the people of God. It is in this that we can trust and find HOPE to persevere.
God’s final encouragement to Daniel to “go your way till the end” is His way of telling Daniel to not worry about things, but to remain faithful and presevere in hope, knowing that rest is coming and VICTORY is sure. I believe that for us it is the same encouragement!
SO STAY FAITHFUL AND PERSEVERING, TRUSTING GOD!