God Can Use People Wherever They Are (I)
LIFE Application Study Bible writes: “Twenty-five centuries ago, Daniel could have despaired. He and thousands of his countrymen had been deported to a foreign land after Judah was conquered. Daniel found himself facing an egocentric despot and surrounded by idolaters. Instead of giving in or giving up, this courageous young man held fast to faith in His God. Daniel knew that despite the circumstances, God was sovereign and was working out his plan for nations and individuals.”
Daniel, although in a foreign land, had an excellent spirit and maintained intimacy with God. When king Belshazzar was troubled by the handwriting on the wall, his wife, the queen, said concerning Daniel: “Long live the king. Don’t be so pale and frightened. There is a man in your kingdom who has within him the spirit of the holy gods. During Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, this man was found to have insight, understanding and wisdom like that of the gods. Your predecessor, king Nebuchadnezzar, made him chief over all magicians, enchanters, astrologers and fortune-tellers of Babylon. This man, Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzer, has exceptional ability and is filled with divine knowledge and understanding. He can interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel and he will tell you what the writing means.” (Dan. 5 vs 10-12)
Of course, God will appoint a ‘queen’ today to nominate you for a post of honour in Jesus’ name. Amen. We recall it was the interpretation of this dream that was a puzzle to all the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and fortune-tellers in Babylon that catapulted Daniel to a prominent position in the empire. Daniel’s presence became the presence of God in the administration of Babylon and solution to spiritual and political problems of the kingdom.
Unfortunately, the prospect of Daniel’s promotions, according to Richards, L.O (2004:518), in the Bible Readers Companion, aroused intense jealousy. Part may have been racial antagonism (such could pass for tribalism, nepotism and bigotry prevalent in Nigerian politics). Part was the natural jealousy of those who see better-qualified persons raised above them.
However, God is all-knowing and He is in charge of world events. God overrules and paves way for those who diligently serve Him. Yes, Daniel served for 70 years in a foreign land that was hostile to God. This proves that God can use people wherever they are. The important thing, however, like Daniel, is for one not to compromise his faith in God. Also, we need to be truthful, persistent in prayer and disinterested in power for personal glory.
Ven. Onuoha is Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State. www.ibrucentre.org