At the beginning of the book of Daniel, we are told that he served the kings of Babylon and Persia for 70 years. These 70 years were the years set aside for the exile of God’s people. This means that for the entire duration of the exile, Daniel served in the highest court of the land! That would be like someone serving as the chief presidential advisor from FDR until Obama!
God was unwaveringly faithful to Daniel throughout his life. He sustained him through the exile, established him as a chief in Babylon, protected him from lions, and blessed him with an incredibly long and fruitful life. But, what is amazing to me is the way that God used Daniel, and his friends, to reach the heart of the kings of Babylon. We don’t have record of every king’s interaction with Daniel, but what we do have is a wonderful evidence of God’s grace flowing through His people, blessing even their captors.
After Daniel interprets his dream, Daniel 2:46-47 says:
Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him. The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”
Upon seeing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego exit the furnace unharmed, Daniel 3:28-30 records that:
Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
Daniel 4 records Nebuchadnezzar as declaring to the people:
How great are his signs,
how mighty his wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and his dominion endures from generation to generation.
for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
rall the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and she does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
tand none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”
In Daniel 6, upon Daniel’s exit from the lion’s den, we read this about king Darius:
Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,
for he is the living God,
his kingdom shall never be destroyed,
and his dominion shall be kto the end.
He delivers and rescues;
he works signs and wonders
in heaven and on earth,
he who has saved Daniel
from the power of the lions.”
We often read these words and skim through them, but they are a powerful testimony to God’s Spirit working through His people to bring Himself glory in the eyes of the world. We don’t know if these kings were saved because of these encounters, but we do know that when people see God’s power manifested in His people, they cannot help but respond in awe.
My prayer is that God’s power would be similarly evident in my life, that I would live in such a way, and speak in such a way as to make God look glorious in my life. This is only possible if He moves in me and transforms my heart day by day into the glorious image of Jesus, the One who made the glorious grace of God crystal clear by His death and resurrection.
“Christ, the wisdom and power of God” as the Apostle Paul says. I want this to be what resonates within my soul into the lives of others.