by Chad Allen, Lead Pastor
Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; – Daniel 2:20-21
These words were written, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, by a young man who was forcefully removed from his homeland, taken by his captors to a foreign land and then stripped of everything that would tie him to his home, his country, his faith, and his identity as a Jew.
It was the prophet Daniel who spoke these words around 600 BC as an exile in Babylon, a powerful, beautiful, pagan, arrogant, polytheistic and wicked city under the reign of an evil king named Nebuchadnezzar, who just sentenced Daniel and his friends to die (read Daniel 1-2 for more insight).
Daniel was in a culture that was hostile to his faith, under the reign of a cruel and ungodly king. And in this environment, when his very life was threatened, what was his response? Prayer and trust in God. He did not place his hope in the nation’s leaders, he did not lead an uprise, he didn’t gloat when things went his way, he wasn’t divisive or combative, and he definitely did not attack those who shared his faith in God. Instead we see him trusting God, leading others to pray and trust God, living faithfully and peaceably in a place he didn’t want to be, ruled by a leader he did not choose to be under. Daniel is a great example for us, especially in the era we find ourselves in nowadays.
The above verses speak to God’s sovereignty and power. He is in charge of all seasons, and He installs and uninstalls leaders. If the people of God truly believe God and His Word, then our behavior, words and attitudes will demonstrate that belief.
What should be true of believers in Christ is that we are not shaken when things don’t go the way we want. Our world is not turned upside down, our joy is not stolen, our hope and trust in God is not diminished , and our mission to live for Christ, share the Gospel and love others well, is not aborted when we find ourselves in a season of hardship or disappointment.
Simply said, if you find yourself living in a Babylon, then be a Daniel. If you think you are under the reign of a Nebuchadnezzar, then be a Daniel.
Our hope and trust are in the Lord not in a person, policies, or a political party. As I have said before, our hope and trust are not in the one sitting in the oval office, but in the One who sits upon the throne of heaven.
So let’s live like it.
Lead Pastor Cuyahoga Valley Church