Daniel was a man of purpose. His purpose was simple, yet it was sublime; simple in expression, and sublime in its principle. What was his purpose in the midst of heathen rulers? He would not touch the king’s food, nor drink the king’s wine! That was the simplicity of his purpose, but not what made it sublime. What made it sublime was that he purposed that nothing in this world would rob him of his spiritual life.
Daniel’s deepest purpose was loyalty to God. This was expressed in separation from the corrupting influences of his high position. Because he took a stand at the beginning, he was victorious till the end.
You and I live in a much easier age than Daniel lived in, but with temptations at our disposal more dangerous than Daniel had. Today therefore, everyone needs to be a Daniel with a definite purpose and it should be announced; this is especially true in the matters of the spirit, and the things of the Christian life. Today, surrounded by the allurement and enticement of a godless age, let every man and woman purpose in their heart that he will be loyal to Jesus Christ first, and declare that purpose at the start of each day.
Purposed to God,
Today, after the Easter break, we return to our study in Daniel. As you recall we left off in chapter 9 with Daniel in prayer, and in that prayer, for the first time, he called upon God using his covenant name Jehovah (Cf. 4b). Daniel was appealing to God as the one who keeps his covenant with all who obey the laws associated with that covenant. Daniel called it, “His covenant of love” (4). The word used for love here is, “hesed” a love that leads to covenant faithfulness on God’s part.
What does the word hesed mean? It means a quality of love that moves someone to act for the benefit of someone else without considering what is in it for them. The Hebrew sees the Torah, the first five books of Hebrew Scripture, as beginning and ending with God’s hesed love. They view the Torah as setting forth a vision of the ideal life whose goals are a behavior characterized by mercy and compassion.
The Christian sees God’s hesed love expressed in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The quality of God’s love is so great that it moved Him to act on our behalf without considering what would happen to Him.
Most Americans no longer attend church, but most believe in the return of Jesus Christ, so there is interest in the apocalypse. Apocalyptic literature is about the end times. Simply explained: One day God will come and rid the world of evil and set up His eternal kingdom. When stated this simply we see the relevance of the apocalyptic chapters of Daniel today, for we live in a, “Present evil age” (Gal 1:4), from which we look to God for deliverance.
Dan 7:13 reads, “One like a Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven” (13). Who is this cloud rider? The psalmist says he is God, “Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds,” (68:4), and, “He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind,” (104:3).
When Jesus was on earth He taught the Kingdom of God was at hand. After ascending into heaven God enthroned Him above all creation, and the Kingdom of God began. At the apocalypse Jesus will return on the clouds, (Rev 1:7). Therefore, the cloud rider is also Jesus. In the end God wins, and if you know Jesus Christ personally you win too.
Victory in Jesus,
As a Christian we have questions. One of them is, considering the turmoil we live in, how can I be an inspiring Christian? Begin by realizing that turmoil is not new. For instance the Book of Daniel shows Daniel had his share of it. Two verses from chapter six show how he responded: “Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities” (3), and, “Three times a day got down on his knees and prayed giving thanks to his God” (10).
Do you want to be an inspiring Christian? Be a Daniel! Emulate him in every situation of your life. Whether you are in your home, with your family, a friend, a stranger, at work, or just walking in the park, be a Daniel! Wherever your feet take you, whatever you put your hand to, so distinguish yourself among others that you give glory God. Also, establish a habit of daily giving God your praise through the day, and do this despite whatever is going on around you.
Be a Daniel and you will inspire others with your Christianity. I’m reminded of a saying by Oswald Chambers, “Give your utmost for his highest.”
Giving My Utmost,