ATTRACTING GOD’S FAVOR(Pt. 2)

ATTRACTING GOD’S FAVOR (Pt.2)

“Daniel resolved not to defile himself”…. “God caused the official to show favor to Daniel”(Dan 1:8,9).

Among the great “Hall of Faith” mentioned in Hebrews 11, none shines brighter than Daniel. His name is not mentioned, but his deeds of faith certainly are made known. The writer to the Hebrew Christians wrote, “I do not have time to tell about…. the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions…”(Heb 11:32a,33 NIV).

Daniel’s star “shall shine like the brightness of the firmament”(Dan 12:3). By faith he attracted God’s favor in the midst of very unfavorable circumstances. Although he was born of the royal seed of Israel, he along with most of his family (and generation) were taken into Babylonian captivity due to his ancestor’s sinfulness (C.f. Jer 25). Although they did not keep the word and council of Jehovah…He kept His Word and delivered them into captivity. We must never forget that God is true to His character and nature. The God who is long-suffering, wishing that none should perish, will ultimately judge the sinner for his sinfulness if there is not repentance. So it was with Israel in Daniel’s day. Let us not forget both the Goodness and the Justness of God. “The nation that refuses to serve the LORD will perish”(Isa 60:12).

In the place of captivity, Daniel found God’s favor (Even though the odds were stacked against him). He is taken from his homeland and made a slave under a foreign government (Babylon). His name is changed. His language is changed. His clothing is changed. His education is changed. But the one thing they could not change was the faith in his God.

He resolved within himself that he would not defile himself. He had dedicated his life to the LORD God of Israel; come what may…he would trust Him. And God rewarded his faith.

Daniel dared to risk his life. He believed the impossible and saw the invisible,that God could keep him in the midst of a crooked and perverted worldly system. He was not conditioned by the culture of Babylon. Neither was he impressed (or depressed) by its fashion. He did not bow to popular opinion. He was willing to stand alone for His God. But he did not ultimately stand alone. For God stood with Daniel. The LORD caused him to excel in every educational endeavor. He promoted him in rank far above his contemporaries. How was he able to do it? “The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him. He will make known His covenant”(Ps 25:14). Again, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, knowledge of the holy One is understanding”(Prov 9:10 NIV).

Daniel attracted God’s favor by his devotion to Him. It was known that Daniel kept a stellar prayer life. Three times a day he turned away from his duties of State and spent time in God’s presence. No doubt his responsibilities as a Statesman were great. But he learned how to both lean into and turn over these weighty matters to the LORD, seeking His assistance. Prayer was more than a habit of his life…It was his life! He joined the ranks of David who said “Seven times a day do I praise You because of Your righteous judgments”(Ps 119:164). He led the way for the likes of the great apostle Paul, who exhorts “Pray without ceasing”(1 Thess 5:17). He shows us the way of our Master, the Lord Jesus our great high priest, “Whoever lives to make intercession on our behalf”(Heb 7:25). No one with a consistent prayer life is ultimately defeated.

Daniel’s faithfulness to the LORD was demonstrated when he was wrongly accused and cast into the lion’s den by his enemies. For the lions, he should have been their meat. But “Out of the eater came meat. And out of the eater came something sweet”(Judges 14:14). God turned Daniel’s prison into a palace. Daniel had wrestled in prayer prior to his prison. And he was delivered from the mouth of the lions. But his enemies became the lion’s lunch!

“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land”(Ps 37:7-9 NIV). If you would attract God’s favor…Dare to be a Daniel.

Copyright© Walter Fletcher Jr., 2011. Permission is granted to reproduce this article free of charge, provided that it is not altered in its original form and content. Please direct all correspondence to walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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