The Sovereign God Who Determines Our Destiny

The Sovereign God who Determines our Destiny

Daniel 1

“As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of vision and dreams.” (vs. 17).

 

We can only imagine the thoughts of Daniel and his three friends as they trudged through the wilderness.  Forced by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar into exile, they were taken from their land and required to march to Nineveh (a distance of approx. 700 miles).  These young teens were driven to leave their homes (and perhaps their families) and march the distance.  They were leaving the world they knew and a place of security and going to a world of the unknown.  They were faced with grave uncertainty.  We can only imagine the fear and anxiety within them as they were forced and prodded along the journey.

Everything they knew was left behind, except for one thing, and it was the one thing they needed most as they marched into an apprehensive future. It was the one thing that no one could strip away from them.  Even the mighty power of Nebuchadnezzar and all his armies could not steal it from them as they had stolen everything else in their lives.  The one possession they could keep was their faith in God.  Even though everything else in their life was uncertain and unknown, the one for certainty was the presence and sovereignty of God.  That faith could not be shaken or removed.

When they arrived in Nineveh, they were among the few chosen to become servants in the king's courts.  This had both its promises of rewards and its threats of disaster.  Please the king, and they could gain favorable positions and rank.  Offend the king, and they would be killed and cast aside by a king who gave little thought to the value of life. Immediately they were confronted with a choice.  In the pagan world of Nineveh, there was no thought given to the types of food they would eat, and so these Jewish slaves would be served food that God directly forbade.  Daniel and his three friends had a choice.  Eat the food and violate the Mosaic law or reject the found and risk appearing rebellious and facing death? They were on the horns of a dilemma. The choice for the other Jewish companions was simple: compromise to save one’s life.  But this was not the choice of Daniel and his three friends, for they served a king that was even greater than Nebuchadnezzar. So they did the king of the universe.

At the risk of imprisonment and death, Daniel and his friends made their decision.  They would not merely betray the King of the Universe to obey an earthly king.  Even though they did not know the outcome, they made their choice. As they made a choice, they trusted their future in the hands of God. The sovereignty of God, who rules the universe, transcends all human governments, and dictates, would determine their future, not the king of Ninevah.  God’s plan would involve not only them rising to positions of prominence in the Assyrian government but, ultimately, through their testimony, leading to the conversion of Nebuchadnezzar (but that is a story of another devotional).  

Even as they faced an uncertain future, they did not know that the God of Israel, who is sovereign over the world, already had a plan for their lives.  It would test their faith in ways they could not imagine as they faced the joys of prosperity and the threat of death in a fiery furnace and the pit of ravenous lions.  However, through it, all God would not only provide himself powerful and faithful, but God would use them to change the course of history.  

The same is true for us.  We often face overwhelming circumstances where the choices seem unnerving.  We face a culture that demands we accept their morality or face adverse consequences. Yet, if we remain obedient, God will remain the unseen hand guiding and directing our lives according to his purpose.  He is the King worth giving our allegiance to, no matter the cost. 

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