Do you ever read about amazing people in the Bible and wonder if they have ever done anything sinful in their lives? I mean we know - all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I know that. There are people like David who were so awesome and amazing in their early life and then fell to pieces when God exalted them. Who thinks it's ok that his daughter was raped by his son? Who has a man killed because he knocked up his wife and doesn't want people to figure it out? Those are obvious sins.
But what about Daniel? I read some Daniel this morning and there is not one mention that I can find of wrongdoing in this dude's life. He did everything right: the eating veggies instead of meat, the whole not worshipping a huge golden idol thing, the believing God could save him even if God chose not to. The list could go on and on. I am thinking - where is the sin in his life? Where is it? Did he get angry? Did he lose his temper? Did he have indecent thoughts? I am sure these had to have happened. But what didn't happen is those things controlling his life. He was so faithful to the God of Heaven- the one true God- and not all the little gods that people were trying to worship around him.
Amazing- fiery furnace and a den of lions. Getting in trouble for praying or not worshipping twice. Being exalted only to be torn down by kings. All through it, he never once considered the king's exaltation a treasure. The God who made him was his treasure. And it showed. Amazing.
I went on to read some more and was struck by what Gabriel and the man in his vision in Chapter 10 ( I think Jesus) said to him. They said--
At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved.
O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.
How amazing would it be to have Gabriel- an angel of God and Jesus (I think) - the Son of God who is also God say this to you? You are greatly loved. Yikes! That gives me goosebumps.
I know that he was not loved because he was such a holy person. God loves all of us who are in a right relationship with Him. But Daniel was able to be in fellowship with that love so clearly that he heard it directly from God. Amazing. If that is the reward for a santified life- I'll take it. To know that you are so loved by someone who is so holy is indescribable. It's like a high- but a holy one. Thanks Daniel for teaching and encouraging me with your life today. Thanks Jesus for seeing fit to have it written down and for sustaining and strengthening Daniel throughout his life so I can understand what faithfulness really looks like.