We are quickly drawing to the close of the Old Testament as we make our way through God’s Big Story. God’s people were ‘doing quite well’ under David and Solomon, 1000 years before Christ’s time on earth but unfortunately, it unravelled over the next 300 or so years. The people’s determination to embrace practices of idolatry resulted in the Babylonians conquering Jerusalem in 587 BC and destroying the city and magnificent Temple that had stood since 957 BC. They dragged off many of the inhabitants of the area back to their lands.
With this occurring, things looked very grim for God’s people but it is amongst this tragedy that God sustained amazing heroes such as Daniel and his mates Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. God blessed Daniel with an unshakeable faith. So much so that when the decree came down outlawing the worship of anyone or thing other than the King, Daniel ignored it and continued to worship the one true God. This resulted in him being arrested by the government officials who were jealous of Daniel’s standing before the King. Due to the nature of the decree, the King was left with no option other than to throw him to the Lions even though he respected Daniel immensely and did not wish to execute him.
Mrs Hancock shared with the Junior School during chapel how God was at work for Daniel. God listened to Daniel’s prayers. He remained with him through the great trial of the Lion’s den and protected him from danger – He does the same today, 2,500 years later! God promises to always hear our prayers. He never leaves us and provides protection from all sorts of dangers.
God’s people suffered immensely due to their sinfulness and keenness to embrace the values of the people around them but amongst their abandoning of God, He never abandoned them. He always pursues us with a love that changes everything – all He needs is for us to be receptive of His claim on us as His children and welcome Him as Lord of our lives. May this be true for all of us – to follow Him as our loving God, it is where true life and love can be found.