This past Sunday, we began our Fall sermon series through the book of Daniel. When we think of the book of Daniel as a whole, we think of God establishing His Kingdom. In that process, it’s important to keep in mind that while God will ultimately do this, Daniel encourages us to patiently persevere as we await God’s Kingdom.
As we approach chapter 1, we see that God is working in all situations to establish His Kingdom for His glory.
- God Sovereignly Moves His People: v.1-7
As the book of Daniel begins, we find the people of God being besieged by the Babylonians, and many of the youth being taken captive and assimilated into the culture. It would be easy to see this as bad; yet it’s important to keep in mind that God is moving His people. It’s in God’s movement that God accomplishes His purposes. It would be impossible for Daniel to see at this moment all that God would do, but from our perspective we can see that God is orchestrating His plan. It’s important for us to keep in mind that we too cannot see all that God is doing. There may be difficult or confusing things unfolding in your life today, but it’s important that we remember that we can’t see all that God is doing. Given that, will you trust that God is working for your good and His glory? Then, will you wait patiently for Him to bring that about?
- God Bestows Favor on His People: v.8-16
Once in the land, we see that God bestows favor upon His people. Daniel makes the commitment to stand for righteousness. In refusing to eat the king’s food, it’s clear that Daniel sees this eating as some form of unrighteousness. God’s response is to grant favor to Daniel. It’s important that we see in this account that favor was granted to allow for obedience, not simply a reward for it. Sometimes we want to reverse the order. We say to God that we will be obedient if He’s favorable to us. But Daniel is willing to make a stand for righteousness with no guarantee that God will give Him what he wants. Are we willing to make decisions that may be costly to us personally, but will not defile or defame Jesus?
- God Positions His People for His Purposes: v.17-21
Finally, we see that God gives resources to His people, and puts them in positions to accomplish His purposes. Even though these guys are foreigners, they have the ear of the king. They are distinct from the others because God has given them the ability and placed them there for a purpose. The same is true for you and I. We all find ourselves in a particular position for a purpose. The place you work, where you go to school, the neighborhood you live in or the reason you are in New Mexico are all a part of God positioning you for His purposes.
As we closed the service, we did so by posing a few questions and allowing us to reflect and consider these questions in our life. Take a moment to think through these questions and consider what God may be pushing you towards.
- What is happening in your life right now that God may be calling you to trust that He knows best and will work it out?
- Is there an aspect of your life that you need to embrace God’s purposes for what’s happening and not only your desires?
- Is there an area of your life that you need to choose righteousness in?
- Are there resources or a position that God has given you in your life that you need to leverage for Him?