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; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. – Daniel 2:20-22
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
What Is In the Darkness
I need to do this. My daughter with whom I have spent a lot of time over the past few weeks calls it “verbally vomiting”. My wife does it and our granddaughter. They are going to tell you all about what is going on. Me, I like to digest stuff, which is why everything I write is crap. But at least I get something out of it.
I have realized that I do not know what God is doing. I’m not even sure we can say that God is doing everything that is going on. What I am sure of, though, is the sovereignty of God in all things, that He is able to, and does, work anything that comes along for the good of those who love Him. What I cannot doubt is that the Lord has been with us in all that has been happening.
The reason I picked that passage from Daniel is because he was among those who had been carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon before the siege and destruction of the city and the temple by Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel and his three famous friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah – better known by their Babylonian names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – had been neutered. They were eunuchs in the court of the heathen king. I would have taken that personally.
I suppose there wasn’t much they could do, so they did what fell to them. They served the king with loyalty, did what they could to benefit their people, and -- most of all -- they continued to love, honor, and obey their God. Israel and Judah had, as a whole, been faithless, but there was always a remnant that remained true and steadfast. The righteous often suffered along with the apostates and rebels. That’s the way with all of us.
We live and operate in a fallen world. We are behind enemy lines. In a way, we are captives of the flesh. If you look at the first few chapters of Daniel as an allegory, it works quite well to give us insight into how to live as Christians dealing with the conflict between our new nature in Christ and the old nature from Adam.
The pressure is always there, pushing us toward compromise, threatening us with dire consequences if we don’t align our thoughts and behavior with the world, the flesh, and the devil. The choices that are faced by Daniel and his friends remind us that even in the most difficult places, facing the most daunting challenges, we are free and remain able to live in God’s light, making the choices of obedience and faith.