(Note: This is the 3rd in a series of posts on Daniel’s life)
The Prosperity “False” Gospel
Because the Western Church has been influenced by the prosperity “false” gospel, it seems almost shocking to read that “…the Lord HANDED OVER Jehoiakim, king of Judah…” to Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1:2). How could God orchestrate the removal of “…some of the Israelites from the royal family & from nobility…”; like, Daniel & his 3 friends (v.4)? These guys were royalty! They were used to the good life! But, God turned their lives upside down; and, you won’t understand Daniel’s story if you don’t get that! This would be like ISIS “laying siege” to our own country; and, then uprooting you from your family & homeland; and, carrying you off to some middle eastern country you don’t know! You’re forced to learn a new culture; and, a new language!
He Still Trusted God’s Will
That was Daniel; but, he still trusted that it was God’s will to be uprooted from his homeland & dragged off to Babylon. Most bible scholars believe that Daniel & his friends would have been teenagers. There is no mention of their parents! It would have been “customary” for Nebuchadnezzar to have them killed in the siege against Jerusalem; probably, before their very eyes as a “fear” & “control” tactic! Just another layer of hurt & heartache they would have felt! Daniel’s story is the exception— I’m afraid that most children’s church & S.S. curriculum teaches, from Daniel, that God will deliver you from the lions & the fiery furnace if you’re just obedient; and, you have faith! Right? But, as far as we know, Daniel was the only one the lions didn’t munch for lunch; and, his 3 friends were the only ones to escape the fiery furnace! They were the exceptions!
The Faithful Will Suffer
Daniel’s story does NOT teach us that if we live obedient lives God will never let anything bad happen to us! Nowhere in Scripture does God teach that! The so-called “Health, Wealth & Prosperity Gospel” is a perversion of God’s Word. Scripture does teach us that “…all men who live faithfully in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution…” 2 Timothy 3:12. We have to battle the dominant “Christian Culture” on that one; because the prosperity gospel has trickled down into our doctrine more than we know; and, it’s altered the way we teach bible stories like Daniel! Be encouraged! Daniel wasn’t a Rock Star; and, you don’t need to be either! Fall in love with Jesus; and, run hard after Him! Be faithful! Be available! Be teachable!
The Real Story
The real story is about Daniel’s unwavering faithfulness to God in a GODLESS CULTURE. In the midst of incredible spiritual darkness, the nation of Israel is compromised by apostasy & idolatry; and, evicted, by God, from the land of promise; and, exiled to an ungodly place! God sought for young men He could use; and, He found Daniel & his 3 friends to be faithful to that calling. In our age— at this very moment— God is looking for a faithful remnant of believers who will be like Daniel in this present age of darkness! If you’ve been trying to write your own story, give it back to God— ALL of it! And, let Him take it from here! Let God write His plan into your life; and, enjoy the eternal rewards of His “…well done good & faithful servant…” Your greatest happiness comes, not from wealth & prosperity; but from obedience to God’s will!