Daniel learned how to stay faithful to God in a culture that was hostile toward his faith. Navigating through promised persecution, prideful politicians, and petrifying predictions, Daniel and his friends maintained their commitment regardless of the outcome. Much like those days, our culture is ever-increasing in their hostility toward biblical faith, and each of us must determine whether we will stand firm or fall away.
God’s people must not compromise to the culture but display courage in the chaos.
When Babylon conquered Judah, the pagan king gathered a group of exiles to alter their worldview in order to reconstruct the whole nation. A small group heeded the biblical command regarding exile expectations and remained expectant of how God could use them during that time.
Convictional Courage in a Compromising Culture
Daniel and his friends had to decide whether they would be transformed by the culture or transformers of the culture. Just like them, we must resolve to show convictional courage in a nation increasingly hostile to biblical values.
That Platform Isn’t Meant for You
God gave Daniel the ability to interpret the king’s troubling dream, but instead of taking credit at an opportune time, Daniel unashamedly gave God the glory. Our goal should be to use any platform to represent God rather than present ourselves.
When God Meets You in the Fire
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego risked their lives when they refused to worship the golden image. When it seemed that God abandoned them in their suffering, He actually met them within the fire.
God Is in Control of Who Is in Control
Daniel interpreted the king’s disturbing dream and showed him that all of his power had been given by the one with all authority. No matter who is in charge, God remains sovereign.
How the Haughty Are Humbled
Through King Nebuchadnezzar’s humiliation and restoration, he learns an important truth: God can do whatever He wants to do whenever He wants to do it. None of us can block God’s will from coming to pass.
When God Has Had Enough
When King Belshazzar took the vessels from the temple and used them for idolatrous purposes, God sent a frightening message to the people. The writing on the wall seeks to remind us that when God has had enough, He puts an abrupt end to sin.
Daniel refused to pray to the king and was cast into the lion’s den because of his devotion. Not only did his bold stance make a statement about his faith, but it successfully witnessed to others as well.
Make Way for the Coming King
Daniel’s frightening vision of future kings alarmed him until he beheld the coming King who would reign forever. Amid polarizing politicians and combative kingdoms, our great hope is in the true King who is on His way.
Throwing Truth to the Ground
In Daniel’s remarkably detailed vision of two coming kingdoms, God’s enemies are described as those who throw truth to the ground. No matter how powerful they may seem, God’s truth will endure, and He will ultimately defeat every remaining opposition.
When God’s People Turn Aside
As Daniel studied the scriptures, he was dismayed at how far the people had drifted from God. His prayer of corporate repentance provides a helpful guide as we seek a needed wake-up call from God.
When the Future Seems Unclear
In Daniel’s concern about the future, the angel Gabriel provided a needed amount of clarity yet permitted some level of confusion. While the details may be debated, the vision is clear – Christ is coming at an appointed time for a specific outcome.
The Spiritual Warfare All Around Us
God sent messengers to Daniel to reveal how earthly conflicts are connected to spiritual warfare. If we don’t acknowledge that we are in a war, we will most definitely experience significant defeat.
Even the Antichrist Has a Term Limit
Daniel foresaw a clear progression of prideful rulers culminating in the reign of the Antichrist. For all the power amassed by God’s opponents throughout history, their end will be sudden and sure.
What We Know for Sure About the End
While we may be uncertain regarding the timing of the end, God is clear regarding the testing leading up to that end. Daniel’s final vision provides a vague progression of events accompanied by a clear expectation for His followers.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.