Choosing the Path of Faith
The young man had every advantage available in his society to prepare him for success and for his dreams to come true. He was born into the aristocracy. His intellect was keen, and he was educated by the finest scholars. Life was supposed to unfold just as he and his parents had determined.
Then came the invading armies, the national occupation, and the deportation of all leaders plus a large portion of the population. Daniel found himself in Babylon. He had lost his family, his homeland, his future, his aspirations, his whole identity. He and other children, who were of the king’s seed and of the princes of Israel, were taken into King Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. There they were made eunuchs and placed under a mentor who would oversee their schooling in the language and the cultural practices of the Chaldeans. They were to be converted, reformed, and transformed from Israelites to Babylonians.
Daniel would have had every reason to be angry at God. He could have turned his back on his faith, rejected the God of his fathers, and blamed the religion that had formed and shaped his past. He could have, but He didn’t. Daniel turned his heart to God. He decided to live a life of uncompromising consecration. He allowed his faith to sustain him and empower him to overcome the most difficult of trials.
Perhaps Daniel remembered the words of wisdom that were imparted to him from his parents. It could have been that the Holy Scripture, which would have undoubtedly been part of his training, came rushing back to his memory. Possibly God spoke a soft inspiration into Daniel’s ear giving him the fortitude to remain faithful. The Bible does not tell us the direct source of Daniel’s devotion, but it does communicate that Daniel’s faith sustained him and provided the foundation for miraculous displays of God’s delivering power.
I have met people who blame God for the problems in their lives and, consequently, abandon a life of faith. Trials come for many reasons. In the case of Daniel, his nation had failed to honor the God of their forefathers and had ceased to obey the commandments delivered to them through Moses. They had sinned. They had incurred the results of wrong choices, positioned themselves to reap what they had planted, invited the negative sanctions of unrighteous living.
Daniel had not personally disobeyed the commandments of God, but his nation had. His leaders had. His government had. Daniel, along with his generation, and all the inhabitants of Israel were forced to suffer the trials of Babylonian captivity. The Bible says that “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked bear rule, the people mourn” (Prov. 29:2).
In the presence of a powerful foreign king, surrounded by lifestyles that lacked virtue, and inundated with an idolatrous worship system, Daniel lived. He walked in compliance with God’s Word. He served the earthly king without compromise while obeying his Heavenly King without concession. God prospered him by giving him the highest positions in the land and protected him when his faith brought him persecution. Daniel’s faithfulness played an important part in the deliverance of his entire nation.
Believers should be instructed by Daniel’s walk. In a time when our nation’s choices have created economic and social hardships, may the Daniels of our day refuse to abandon their faith and choose to lead uncompromising lives of dedication to God.