Answers For the Heart
Last week we discovered that Daniel was a man greatly beloved (Daniel 9:23; 10:11, 19). This week, let us discover why!
Daniel was beloved by God, angels, and good men.
What was it about Daniel that made him a favorite? I see several things.
First notice his early devotion - Read Daniel 1:4
Daniel would have been about 14 years of age at this time. It was at this early year that he was faced with a great challenge….How did Daniel respond?
Daniel stood strongly - He purposed that he would not defile himself (Daniel 1:8).
Daniel also stood sweetly - Daniel was friendly, loving, and kind (Daniel 1:9). Daniel no doubt had a winning way about him (Daniel 6:3). His personality did not repel others, but drew them in. He had strength and courage, but also kindness, and respectfulness. (The Bible says that he requested (not demanded) of the prince….)
We see this kindness again in Daniel 4:19 - Daniel was very careful and tender with telling the king the interpretation of the dream, because it was going to be hard on the king to hear. You may have thought that this was the time for Daniel to “stick it to the king” and be harsh. The dream predicted the king’s soon coming temporary insanity, and Daniel told the truth but dealt gently with him!
We see this kindness and concern for others again in Daniel 2 - It seems that Daniel was more concerned about the lives of the heathen magicians and astrologers than his own. When they were threatened with death Daniel came to the rescue interpreting the dream that they could not; but when his own life was threatened, he willingly went to the lion’s den. And when he came up out of the pit....there was not one mean, unkind, cruel word for, or about, those that sent him there as he declared his innocence.
Next, we see that Daniel stood faithfully - Not only was he faithful in terms of consistency, but he was also full of faith! He believed God (See Daniels faith in Daniel 1:12-13; Daniel 2:17-18). Daniel, at the time of chapter 2 was still probably in his teenage years - and yet such strong faith in God. Daniel believed God. This always pleases God!
We are considering what it was it that made Daniel a favorite of heaven and caused him to receive such revelations and answers to prayer?
Notice, next, Daniel’s steadfastness and endurance - His was not a fickle, flimsy life but one of marked determination, devotion, and dedication. He received accolades in his teen years for his character and devotion, and here he is (in chapter 9) at 80 plus years receiving commendation from an angel…telling Daniel that not only is he loved on earth but also in Heaven! In fact, in Heaven, he is “greatly beloved.”
Remember Daniel’s environment. He was surrounded by idolators. The Babylonian and Persian courts were licentious, evil, and wicked; and yet Daniel stood. He was elevated to the highest levels of authority and power and privilege, and yet even this could not destroy his faith in God nor ruin his virtue. His devotion to God brought his life face to face with mortal danger, at lease on one occasion, (the lion’s den), but Daniel remained the same - Faithful to his God and a blessing to his fellowmen.
Next, we see that Daniel’s life was a balanced life.
Oh how important balance is! One commentator describes him this way…. Daniel was “attentive to his duty to God, he was equally so in his duty to man…Faithful to his God, he is equally faithful to his king….His morality is no less conspicuous than his religion…He is fervent in spirit, but no less diligent in business…Regular and earnest in his closet, he is equally assiduous in his office…Studious in his Bible, as a man of business he is well acquainted with his books.” Daniel - Had the capacity to be tender and yet strong, gentle yet uncompromising. What a balanced personality (II Timothy 1:7).
Let us all determine to cultivate these same qualities from the life of Daniel into our own lives, so that it may be said of us that we are “greatly beloved.”
Join us next week for part two of this important subject!