24 Feb Daniel’s Determination (Part 4 of 4)
Kingdom Dynamics Weekly (KDW) By Tunde Olugboji Vol 20:04
This week marks the end of the four-part series on Daniel, that indefatigable and unrelenting follower of the living God. We know Daniel for his steadfast and pulsating faith, but this week, we’ll discuss two other things about him: 1) how he did not allow age to become an impediment in his zeal for God; how he ensured that age, as the cliché goes, was just a number. 2) how even in exile God used a foreign king’s respect for him to favor the Israelites and turn their situation around.
Do you know that Daniel served 4 four different kings while in Babylon? It was King Nebuchadnezzar who raided Jerusalem, seized Daniel and others, and kept them in Babylonian captivity. When Nebuchadnezzar died, his son Belshazzar took over the throne. Kings Darius and Cyrus came after Belshazzar. The Bible tells us that Daniel remained in Babylon through the first year of the reign of King Cyrus (Dan 1:21). What a great servant Daniel was. If you were Daniel you probably would have been complaining vociferously and blaming God for allowing the devil to invade your city and your life!
Instructively, he was in his eighties when he was thrown into the lions’ den. Perhaps you have come across some images or drawings in books or on websites depicting Daniel as a strapping young man looking peaceful in the midst of pacing, hungry lions. The truth is that Daniel, according to Bible historians, was thought to have been in his early eighties when this event happened. He was also, by that point, so respected by his superiors that King Cyrus was planning to put him in charge of the entire Kingdom.
That is, until jealous contemporaries tricked the King into passing an irrevocable decree that landed Daniel right in the lions’ den, much to the King’s chagrin. No one seemed happier than the remorseful King when he rushed to the mouth of the den at dawn and found Daniel alive and unscathed.
And shortly after this event, King Cyrus allowed the Jews that Nebuchadnezzar brought to Babylon in captivity to return home to Jerusalem, instructing them to rebuild the temple of the God of Israel that Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed. King Cyrus also returned more than 5000 priceless articles—including gold and silver dishes, pans, and bowls—that Nebuchadnezzar had carted away from the temple in Jerusalem 70 years earlier. He even bankrolled the whole endeavor, providing everything they needed— rams, bulls, and lambs for burnt offerings; as well as wheat and oil and wine to sustain them—until the assignment was accomplished (Ezra 1:1-4).
In essence, King Cyrus did everything he could to undo the destruction that had been wrought upon the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar. God used Cyrus’s respect for Daniel to help move his heart to let the Israelites leave captivity and go home.
Pray this week that whatever season of life you are in at the moment: youth, young adult, adult, middle age, single, married, employed, retired-not-tired, etc.; nothing will stop, or slow you down in worshiping God. And tell whatever may be holding you captive: Your hold over me is over. I have been set free by Jesus. I am on the way out of captivity. Freedom here I come.
Have a great week.