“Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals, even if these three men – Noah, Daniel and Job – were in it, they could save themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD – Ezekiel 14:13-14 (KJV)
Accountability (responsibility for our own actions) requires action. Our words, even to those in positions of royalty, power and authority, can change the current atmosphere, culture, conditions and perceptions. As we learned from last week’s message, we are accountable to God for what we say and how we say it.
Daniel’s life and ministry bridge the entire 70-year history & period of Babylonian captivity. Deported to Babylon at the age of 16, and handpicked for government service, Daniel becomes God’s prophetic mouthpiece to the gentle and Jewish world declaring God’s present and eternal purpose.
Daniel’s name means “God is my Judge.” This name was changed to Belteshazzar during his captivity, however, we never mention this particular name with regards to Daniel because it did not reveal his true character.
In Chapter one of the Book of Daniel, he stood before King Nebuchadnezzar and declared his refusal to adhere to the king’s customs and ways (verses 11-13). He did not eat their food nor drink their wine as instructed. In Chapter two, Daniel acknowledged that he could interpret the king’s dreams (verses 24-28), when others failed, and the king thanked God for the revelation (verses 19-23). In Chapter three, Daniel’s influence, and resolve to remain true to his faith, convinced this three friends, Azariah, Hananiah, and Mishael to stand up to the king and refuse to bow before the 90 foot high / nine foot wide graven image that he erected.
Together, they withstood the punishment of the fiery furnace (that was turned up 7 times hotter than usual), and were rescued by God Almighty. This act convinced the king that there MUST be a God above and beyond what he had previously believed, and changed his life for the better.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me to speak words of affirmation, confirmation and truth. May the words that I select be uplifting and comforting, pointing people toward You. Amen.