Daily Devotional November 9th
“But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself...and God granted Daniel favor and compassion from the chief official.” (Daniel 1:8-9)
In this last week, there has been much celebration and despair over the results of the US election, even within the Christian community. As I have watched people’s varying responses, I have been left asking one question: In whom are we trusting? I have been reminded of David’s words, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7). Whether the recent election results in the US have been met with dancing in the streets or, for some, a death knell, I can’t help but think that we’ve lost focus on the One in whom we should be placing our trust...and what should be our necessary response.
Daniel was taken as a prisoner of war to Babylon. As a young enslaved man he was in all likelihood castrated by his captors. Despite all of this, he continued to be a devoted follower of Yahweh God. But how was he to live a righteous life for God when under the control of a pagan king? His body, his daily choices, his very life were no longer his own; but Daniel made up his mind not to defile himself. His mind and his faith were all that he had control of. And he chose to continue to serve God in whatever ways were still permitted to him. And God chose to give him the favour of those who controlled every other aspect of his life.
First Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, then Belshazzar of Babylon, Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Great are all mentioned in the Book of Daniel. The first three each had an encounter with God through their interactions with Daniel...despite their lack of faith in Daniel’s God. In their need, they turned to this man who proved himself more competent and trustworthy than all the other eunuchs, wisemen, advisors, satraps and royal officials (they go by many names). Through Daniel, each of these non-believers came to understand that there was a God in heaven.
Daniel had determined early on, that no matter what human master he was forced to serve, he would not compromise his obedience to God. He would do his best to serve whatever earthly king was in power as a means by which he demonstrate his even greater loyalty to the King of kings. Should that not also be our objective? No matter who ends up in ‘power,’ we serve God–who is Sovereign. In everything we think, say and do, we are to honour the One who is to rule as Master and in so doing win the favour of those who have been set in places of decision-making power in order to extend a godly influence in this world. Honey is more attractive than vinegar...every time!
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!