God Is Sovereign Above All – 5

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Scripture Text – Daniel 1

Abraham called God “the Judge of all the earth” (Genesis 18:25), and King Hezekiah prayed, “You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth.” – 2 Kings 19:15. In Daniel’s day, King Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way that “the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth.” – Daniel 4:32 (NIV).

The first chapter of Daniel’s book gives ample evidence of the sovereign hand of God in the affairs of both nations and individuals.

God Gave Daniel a Long Life and Ministry

Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus. – Daniel 1:21.

The first year of King Cyrus’ reign was 539 B.C., but Daniel was still alive in 537 B.C., the third year of Cyrus (Daniel 10:1). If Daniel was fifteen years old in the year 605 B.C. when he was taken to Babylon, then he was born in 620 B.C., and he would have been eighty-three years old when he received the revelations recorded in chapters 10–12. While reading the prophecy of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10), Daniel understood God’s plan for the Jews to return to their land and rebuild the temple and the city (Daniel 9:1–2); and he lived long enough to see this prophecy fulfilled! How long he lived after that nobody knows, nor is it important that we know. During Daniel’s long life, he had opportunity to witness to Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Belshazzar, and Cyrus, as well as to the many court officers who came and went. He was a faithful servant, and he could say with the Lord Jesus, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given me to do.” – John 17:4.

However, not every faithful servant of God is given the blessing of a long life. Stephen was probably a young man when he was martyred (Acts 7), and Paul was in his sixties when he was killed in Rome. The godly Scottish preacher Robert Murray M’Cheyne was two months short of being thirty years old when he died, yet his ministry still enriches us. William Whiting Borden (“Borden of Yale”) was only twenty-five when he died in Egypt, and David Brainerd, missionary to the Native Americans, was only twenty-nine when God called him home. “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12. We number our years, not our days, but everybody still has to live a day at a time, and we don’t know when that final day will dawn in our own lives.

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In order to accomplish His plans for His people, the Lord providentially works to put some of His servants into places of special honor and responsibility. When He wanted to protect Jacob’s family and the future of the nation of Israel, the Lord sent Joseph to Egypt and made him second ruler of the land. God had Esther and Mordecai in Persia, where they exposed a plot against the Jews and saved the people of Israel from being annihilated. Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer in Susa and was able to get royal assistance for restoring the walls of Jerusalem. I wonder if the men in high political office who assisted Paul were true believers in Jesus Christ? (Acts 19:30–31; Romans 16:23) Even if they weren’t, God placed them where they were and enabled them to accomplish His will.

The events recorded in this chapter should be a great encouragement to us when we experience trials and testing and become discouraged about the direction it appears we might be heading; for when God is not allowed to rule, He overrules. God is still on the throne and will never leave us nor forsake us.

Has the enemy destroyed the Holy City and the holy temple and taken God’s people captive? Fear not, for there is still a godly remnant that worships the true God and serves Him. Does the enemy attempt to defile that godly remnant? Fear not, for the Lord will work on their behalf and keep them separated to Himself. Are godly believers needed in places of authority? Fear not, for the Lord will see to it that they are prepared and appointed. Does the Lord desire to communicate His prophetic truth to His people? Fear not, for He will keep His servants alive and alert until their work is done. Are you in a place of responsibility and wondering how long you can hold out? Fear not, for the same God who called you and equipped you is able to make you “continue” until you complete the tasks that He has assigned you. “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:24.

Each believer is either a conformer or a transformer. We’re either being squeezed into the world’s mold or we’re transforming things in the world into which God has put us. Transformers don’t always have an easy life, but it’s an exciting one and as Jesus promised, an abundant one, and it should give you great delight to know that God is using you to influence others for His glory and His perfect plans.

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Adaptation of excerpts from Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Resolute, “Be” Commentary Series.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Where noted, Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV © 2011 by Biblica, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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