Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Man God Uses - Daniel

Da Vince Vitruve
Credit: Luc Viatour /
Daniel 7:1-14

Last Sunday, we saw how God exercised and still exercises His sovereignty in the affairs of men of all ages. We saw in the first six Chapters of the Book of Daniel how God allowed six moral conflicts to come through and how in each of those conflicts He won decisive victories over the enemies. We saw that in those conflicts, there was one principal participant – a man called Daniel and renamed Belteshazzar by the prince of the eunuchs. What made God use Daniel? Let us in an attempt to answer this question, do a little more study of the character of Daniel.

Nothing is said of his family, but he is thought to have been of a noble descent for in Daniel 1:3-4, we read: “And the king spoke unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and the king’s seed, and of the princes” (KJV) or as the New Living Translation put it in verses 3-4 “Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, who was in charge of the palace officials, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives. “Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said. “Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good sense, and have the poise needed to serve in the royal palace. Teach these young men the language and literature of the Babylonians.

He was carried captive to Babylon during the reign of Jehoiakim (1:2). He, and his three companions, because they fulfilled the qualifications for selection were recruited to be trained for the king’s service (1:3-4)

As you look at the life of Daniel, it bears a very remarkable resemblance to the life of Joseph, another person whom God used mightily. Let us look briefly at the two of them side by side.

Joseph interpreting a dream 
Daniel interpreting a dream 
  • Both Daniel and Joseph were carried captive in their youth. 
  • They were both model young men. The Bible described Daniel and those selected with him as “Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skillful in all wisdom and cunning in knowledge and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.”  Joseph too, was a likable young man, well favoured, full of wisdom, and knowledge and understanding. He like Daniel had in him, the Spirit of God and they both feared God.
  • Both found employment in a King’s court – Joseph in Pharaoh’s palace in Egypt; Daniel in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace in Babylon.
  • Both were unjustly persecuted – Joseph by the master- Portiphar’s wife and Daniel by fellow governors; but their hardships became the stepping stones to honour. Joseph was lifted from prison to premiership of Egypt and Daniel from the lion’s den to the third in the kingdom. 
  • Both were exalted to high positions of honour by the interpretation of dreams.
  • Both lived pure lives in the midst of corrupt courts and died in foreign lands.

On the other hand, Daniel is like Moses, another man whom God greatly used. Both of them were statesmen and prophets. As a prophet Daniel was given a telescopic vision which had a longer range than that of most of the prophets. He saw beyond the coming of Christ and beheld His enthronement as King of kings. His book is more like the Book of Revelation. He is particularly a prophet of the last days.

What made God use him or any of the others we had examined along with him? Let us have a little insight into his character.

1. Self Control 

self control

He was a man who possessed a tremendous power of self-control. Daniel 1:8: “But Daniel made up his mind not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief official for permission to eat other things instead.” Again in Daniel 10:2-3 we read “When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three weeks.  All that time I had eaten no rich food or meat, had drunk no wine, and had used no fragrant oils.” Most of us here today, could have found that too hard to accomplish. But Daniel disciplined himself to do this for three weeks. He had self –control.

2. Courage 


He was full of courage and could stand his ground. Dare to be a Daniel – take your stand and make it known. What does the Bible talk of him in Daniel 5:22-23?: “You are his successor, O Belshazzar, and you knew all this, yet you have not humbled yourself. For you have defied the Lord of heaven and have had these cups from his Temple brought before you. You and your nobles and your wives and concubines have been drinking wine from them while praising gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone — gods that neither see nor hear nor know anything at all. But you have not honoured the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny!” What courage! A slave addressing the king! Such courage can only come from those who have allowed the Almighty God to use them and speak through them. Can we do what Daniel did? –only if we walk in fullness of the Spirit!

3. Integrity


He had an unimpeachable character. Honest in all his ways. The Bible records in Daniel 6:4-5: “Then the other administrators and princes began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling his affairs, but they couldn't find anything to criticize. He was faithful and honest and always responsible. So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the requirements of his religion.” That was a testimonial from an enemy and how glaring. Is there any wonder God used a vessel as clean as him? We too can be used, if such could be said of us!

4. Prayer 


Daniel was a man of prayer. Praying was his life style. He never did anything without first getting a clearance in prayer from God. Daniel 2:17-18 testifies to this: “Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened. He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon.”(NLT)  and Daniel 6:10-13 says: “But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. The officials went together to Daniel’s house and found him praying and asking for God’s help. So they went back to the king and reminded him about his law. “Did you not sign a law that for the next thirty days anyone who prays to anyone, divine or human — except to Your Majesty — will be thrown to the lions?” “Yes,” the king replied, “that decision stands; it is a law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.”  Then they told the king, “That man Daniel, one of the captives from Judah, is paying no attention to you or your law. He still prays to his God three times a day.”  No situation, no matter how seemingly grave stopped Daniel from communicating with His God in prayer. Daniel was never too busy, or in such a hurry that he skipped his prayer time. Very disciplined in his prayer life!

5. Humility 


Daniel was very humble.  One whom God had so much used, could if he is not filled with the Holy Spirit of God, have sought to exalt himself. But in no record did we see Daniel crediting to himself great powers or even talking of himself rather we see in Daniel 10:15-17 where he humbled himself before the messenger of God: “While he was speaking to me, I looked down at the ground, unable to say a word. Then the one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing in front of me, “I am terrified by the vision I have seen, my lord, and I am very weak. How can someone like me, your servant, talk to you, my lord? My strength is gone, and I can hardly breathe.” Let us beware of exalting ourselves after God had used us. Let us imitate Daniel in humility.

6. Spiritual vision


Daniel had a Spiritual vision which made him see beyond his immediate, into the future and saw the glorious picture of the Redeemed. Like all men of faith, he followed the Invisible and walked with Him. He saw beyond his present predicaments to the glorious future that awaits all overcomers. In Daniel 7:7-12, the passage we read, Daniel saw beyond the coming of Christ to the Judgment on the Throne. “Then in my vision that night, I saw a fourth beast, terrifying, dreadful, and very strong. It devoured and crushed its victims with huge iron teeth and trampled what was left beneath its feet. It was different from any of the other beasts, and it had ten horns. As I was looking at the horns, suddenly another small horn appeared among them. Three of the first horns were wrenched out, roots and all, to make room for it. This little horn had eyes like human eyes and a mouth that was boasting arrogantly. I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge. His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like whitest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, and a river of fire flowed from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him, and a hundred million stood to attend him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened. I continued to watch because I could hear the little horn’s boastful speech. I kept watching until the fourth beast was killed and its body was destroyed by fire.  As for the other three beasts, their authority was taken from them, but they were allowed to live for a while longer.” In Daniel 10:4-6 the Bible records: “On April 23, as I was standing beside the great Tigris River, I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist. His body looked like a dazzling gem. From his face came flashes like lightning, and his eyes were like flaming torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice was like the roaring of a vast multitude of people.”

We have seen the characters of Daniel and the question comes back to us – Do we have all, some or none of these characters? No doubt you will want to be used of God as He used Daniel. See in Him today, your all and God will surely use you. God uses a clean broken, vessel. He will use us if we present ourselves today. Will you, will I? 

No comments:

Post a Comment