Daniel 1:8-9 "But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials."
I wanted to begin today's post with a quotation from 1 Peter 2:9-12 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them,glorify God in the day of visitation."
Peter's point is to remind the Christian of the fact that they are "strangers" and "pilgrims" passing through this world. Such a theme is not unique to Peter, since his statements - under Divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit - are taken directly from what Moses wrote in Exodus 19 and other Old Testament passages. Hebrews 11 takes this theme of "strangers and pilgrims" and shows how patriarchs such as Abraham, men such as Joseph and then prophets such as Daniel exhibited this mindset as they journeyed by faith to "the city whose builder and maker is God" (John 14:1-3; Hebrews 11:10-16). Today's post features one of these figures, Daniel, and how he demonstrated faith at work in a foreign land.
The longer I walk with Jesus, the more estranged I feel from this world's system and the more I pine to get to that Heavenly home. Daniel illustrates in real life what Peter and other Biblical writers wrote frequently about - namely faith at work in the foreign land of this age.
Daniel - Faith at work in a foreign land
As you begin to read the Book of Daniel, you read a book that is partly historical, partly prophetic and also devotional. These three themes weave their way through Daniel's book like a three braided rope. In Daniel 1:1-2:18 we see Daniel as a 15 year-old lad, along with his friends, taken away into exile in Babylon, some 800 miles from their Jewish homeland. We could say that is these verses, we see the devotional theme of Daniel exercising faith in a foreign land (along with his three friends) modeled under the following headings in Daniel 1-2:
As Daniel then stands before the King to give the interpretation of the grand colossus or statue of Nebuchadnezzar's dream. We discover the prophetic history and destiny of history from Daniel's day to the end:
Nebuchadnezzar's statue or colossus represents the system of unbelief and Satanically inspired, man-made rebellion called "the world". Daniel's faith thrives in a foreign land because of his reliance upon the Word of God. Those prophetic visions gave Daniel the needed perspective on the fleeting duration of this world and the enduring Sovereignty of God.