Taking Some Vacation Time: Next Post May 31
(Note: This is the 1st in a series of posts on Daniel’s life)
I Quickly Became A “Fan” Of Daniel
I love action movies! That’s where I browse when I’m looking for something to watch on Netflix— action movies, thrillers & drama! I love reading that kind of book too— the Joel Rosenberg political & prophetic thrillers; and, almost anything Ted Dekker! I quickly became a “fan” of Daniel, the Old Testament Bible character, after I became a follower of Jesus in Junior High. Who can resist the stories of Daniel in the “lion’s den”; and, his three friends being thrown into the “fiery furnace”? I remember sitting by the record player— do you remember those?— and, listening over & over to a recording of the action highlights, of the book of Daniel, being dramatized! I loved it! I couldn’t imagine a more action-packed story!
A New Way Of Looking At Daniel
Then, when I went off to Bible college, I was introduced to a whole new way of looking at the book of Daniel— END TIMES Prophecy! I remember evangelists coming to chapel & using the book of Daniel to show us where we were on God’s prophetic calendar. Through my years of study in God’s Word, since Bible college days, I’ve discovered, however, that there’s another storyline that weaves through Daniel’s book that was hardly broached by either my Sunday School teachers; or, my Bible college professors. It’s the “back story” to the lion’s den & the fiery furnace. It’s the narrative of Daniel’s faith in God; and, how he lived out his faith in one of the most wicked environments the world has ever known!
The Faith Of Daniel & His 3 Friends
It’s my purpose, over the next few weeks, to introduce you to THAT faith— a faith that was never promised deliverance from hungry lions; or, a fiery furnace! Daniel & friends had no expectations of being rescued— that’s the point of their faith! We tend to miss that point; and, focus on God’s deliverance from danger & persecution “if we just have enough faith.” That’s how we usually teach it, isn’t it? But, we completely miss the point of the text if we teach that Daniel’s faith hinged on God’s deliverance. NO! Daniel & his 3 friends remained faithful even when they fully expected to die. Let me offer you a bit of a “spoiler alert.” Just look ahead to Daniel, chapter 3. When Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar threatened Daniel’s friends with the fiery furnace if they refused to bow down to his idol, they expressed confidence that God was able to deliver them if it was part of His purpose; but even if He didn’t, they would not bow down to worship the king’s idol.
Daniel’s Story Remains Relevant Today
Like Daniel, we live in a world that pursues new levels of wickedness & ungodliness— a world that’s becoming more & more intolerant of Christians! Babylon far exceeded the wickedness of our own culture; and, yet, Daniel’s faith survived intact. In fact, we see that he thrived despite his environment— despite the threats against his faith! That’s something we have in common with Daniel. We live in a culture that increasingly opposes our faith in Jesus Christ. Remember, Jesus told His disciples that “…ALL who want to live godly lives WILL suffer persecution.” The question about persecution, for us, is not “if” but “when”! It IS coming! Be ready! Not everyone survives the lion’s den & the fiery furnace! Don’t think we’re insulated— in “Christian” America— from persecution! We’re NOT a Christian nation!