It’s not just the doctrine, it’s the examples! While in the midst of the study of Daniel, we have been deep into the prophecies of chapters 7-12 for the last several weeks. The whole book reminds us of the chief doctrine, “God rules in the kingdoms of men” (4:17), but Daniel’s life (and the lives of his friends) are examples of what a steadfast confidence of that fundamental truth looks like. Said another way, Daniel is exhibit A for this: “we know God’s in control, how then do we live?”
We live without compromise. Daniel and company are again and again pitted against the godless, hedonistic and immoral practices of culture versus the things of holiness and godly living. Compromise was lurking around every corner. What do we say when tempted by our own immoral culture to let holy behavior and thinking slide (see 1 Pet. 1:13-16)?
We live with out-loud convictions. Daniel and his friends did not compromise. But they did not compromise because they had settled convictions, namely, “God alone is great and worthy of our worship and service” (see Dan. 3:16-18) How often do we speak our convictions? If we did speak them aloud more often, would we be less cavalier about things like missing Bible classes or worship for personal pursuits? Would we be more serious about pleasing God with our time and habits?
We live with citizenship. Daniel, in predictive prophecy, comes back to the sovereignty of God in establishing and ruling over a kingdom that will transcend all other earthly kingdoms (Dan. 2:44). It is the kingdom which we, as spiritual Israel now occupy (Col. 1:13). We may have American passports, but our citizenship is not subject to change based on the system of government of America. Our King is still, and will remain, on His throne!
We live with counsel. How Daniel ministered to those around him was by being and showing the kindness of God to people who desperately needed guidance (see 2:27-29; 3:16-18; 4:19-27; 5:17-28). We live in a world and interact with people everyday who are desperately needing someone, like Daniel, to offer godly counsel and guidance. People want to know, like Darius, “has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you” (6:20)? If God is, and He has, and He still rules, shouldn’t we effectively counsel those seeking to seek Him while He may be found? It’s not just the doctrine, it’s the examples!