Roughly 2,500 years ago one of my favorite characters in the Old Testament was nearing the end of his ministry in service to the Lord. Daniel had lived quite a life. For the majority of his life Daniel was in captivity, forced to serve the various foreign kings of Babylon, Medes and Persia. As a young man Daniel was removed from his place of security, unable to join in fellowship worship at the temple in his home of Jerusalem. Daniel was quarantined in a distant land for decades. Given his suffering it would seem justified for Daniel to despair. However, the book of Daniel gives a specific message; God is in control.
God was in control when he provided a way for Daniel to become an educated and highly talented student which led to him being an administrator to the king of Babylon. God was in control when Daniel refused to partake in the pagan practices of these foreign empires. God was in control when he provided Daniel the divine gift of explaining the disturbing dreams that King Nebuchadnezzar was experiencing. God was in control when he delivered Daniel’s three friends from the burning furnace without even a stich of their clothes being burned by the flames. God was in control when he had Daniel interpret the writing on the wall of the palace to the king who had defiled and disregarded the golden cups that had been stolen from the temple in Jerusalem. God was in control when Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den for praying to God when it was forbidden.
However, when we pick up the story in Daniel chapter 10, things have gotten beyond what Daniel can handle. Daniel is in his 80’s and while many of his people have been able to begin returning home to Jerusalem, Daniel is unable to make the trip due to his old age. He is considered as being at high-risk of being unable to survive the journey. Also, over the years Daniel has been having visions of the future which have included great suffering. The stress, anxiety, and fear that Daniel is feeling has causes him to faint. His body beginning to respond to the mental anguish Daniel was living with. Just then someone appears before him. it’s hard to know for sure the identity of this being but one thing that is known is this is a spiritual being sent from Heaven, and the first words he speaks to Daniel in his broken state is this; “Daniel, you are very precious to God” (Dan. 10:10 NLT)
Today my friends I think we need to hear those words more than ever. You are precious to God. And because you are so precious to the God, who created the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the Earth. The God who created everything we see, hear, and feel. Because you are so precious to the God is in control, we have nothing to fear. In fact, those were the next words spoken to Daniel. “Don’t be afraid.” In his vision Daniel was uncertain of what they meant. He foresaw that four more kingdoms would rule over Israel, and although this is the knowledge that caused Daniel to fear, what he didn’t know is that God would use these kingdom to supply the cross where his perfect, blameless, sinless, only begotten son would die the death we deserved, in order to free us from our sin and bring eternal life to all who believe in him.
God was in control then, he is in control today, and he will be in control tomorrow and in the days to come. In uncertain times, take joy in a certain God. Find joy by placing your faith in Jesus who is trustworthy. Turn to the love of God which is perfect and casts out fear (1 Jn. 4:18). We may be uncertain about what the near future holds but we do know our eternal future will be spent with him because God is in control. Hallelujah and Amen!